December 29, 2009

Rick Bayless' Chorizo, Potato, Mushroom Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

I think by now you all may recognize my obsession with Rick Bayless. I am not the only one...I share this obsession with my friend Claire, as well. I don't know how to explain it other than I have a huge "chef crush" on him and his food. My husband doesn't even mind, since he loves Rick Bayless too (in a very platonic, masculine way). Ahem. Anyway, I have never been disappointed with one of his recipes. Also, I love that most of his dishes from the Mexican Everyday cookbook are pretty darn easy. It is seriously my favorite cookbook ever!
Since we always have a surplus of bulk chorizo on hand in my house, I thought these tacos would be an easy one dish meal to try out. Also, I made the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa a week or so ago, and I can't get it out of my head. I just have to have it again. These tacos promise to be a great vehicle for the salsa. Yum! I still have some stale corn tortillas leftover; I am going to try to revive those, and pair this meal with a green salad.

Chorizo, Potato, and Mushroom Tacos with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
From: Mexican Everyday, by Rick Bayless; copyright 2005

12 oz. Chorizo, casings removed (I use bulk pork chorizo)
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
6 oz. mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (shitake is recommended, but I am using sliced crimini)
12 oz. (approx. 3 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, coarsely grated
Salt to taste
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro
corn tortillas, warmed
1 cup Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (see recipe below)

Crumble chorizo in a large nonstick skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until sausage is half cooked. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion and mushrooms; continue to cook, stirring almost constantly, for about 3 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Sprinkle potatoes into skillet; cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Season to taste with salt. Transfer mixture into a bowl and top with cilantro. Serve in warm corn tortillas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
From: Mexican Everyday, by Rick Bayless; copyright 2005

4 medium (8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
Hot green chiles to taste (2 Serrano *OR* 1 jalapeno), stemmed and roughly chopped (For less heat, seed & devein some or all of the chile peppers)
About 1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Set a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lay in the garlic and tomatillos, cut side down. When the tomatillos are well browned, 3-4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side. The tomatillos should be completely soft.

Scrape the tomatillos and garlic into a blender or food processor and let cool to room temperature, about 3 minutes. Add the chiles, cilantro, and 1/4 cup water. Blend to a coarse puree. Pour into a salsa dish and thin with a little additional water if necessary to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency.

Scoop the chopped onion into a strainer and rinse under cold water. Stir into the salsa. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 tsp.

The Result:
These tacos were yummy and satisfying; but admittedly, not as fantastic as some of the other recipes I have tried from Rick. They were good, just not drool-worthy/craveable. The flavors were all familiar, but nothing new and exciting. Also, the shredded potatoes made these suckers really, really filling. The tomatillo salsa was still great, and I also mashed up an avocado with some salt, lemon juice, and lime juice for a topping. On the plus side, this was one Mexican dish that did not have dairy in it. (For most people that is certainly a con instead of a pro...but sadly not for me. I will say that cheese would have worked in this dish for those of you who are not currently lactose intolerant. Under normal circumstances, I would have added queso fresco to these tacos.)

I did have some tortilla issues, so that didn't help matters. It turns out that my old corn tortillas can I put this delicately?? a word...YUCK! Not good. We took one bite of the stale tortillas and gave the rest of the package to the dogs. Seriously, inedible. Thankfully, I had just done my grocery shopping yesterday morning and bought some whole wheat flour tortillas. Whew! Those literally saved dinner. We ended up making little burritos with the filling, salsa, mashed avocado, and the new tortillas. Yum! Again, they were good...once the tortilla issues got straightened out. Now for the big question...would I make these again??? Maybe. If I wanted tacos and already had everything on hand, I would. I don't know if they were stellar enough to go out of my way to specifically make again. I liked that these were pretty much a one dish meal, so they were pretty easy. I guess I am just used to always being dazzled by Rick Bayless. Ultimately, I think there are much better Rick Bayless recipes out there to try first that will blow your socks off.

1 comment:

Claire said...

Wow, that's disappointing. The recipe sounded so good, and the picture looked really yummy too. I may still try it as I'd like to cook my way through the whole cookbook, but now I don't know.