MEXICAN EVERYDAY and MORE MEXICAN EVERYDAY - January 2023 COTM
SALSA BRAISED TOFU - More Mexican Everyday, p. 64
This recipe is written for fish, tofu, or eggplant. You start by making the roasted tomato salsa from p. 57. You put 1 lb. of fresh tomatoes, some onion slices, garlic, and a couple jalapeños on a sheet pan and broil for about 6 min each side. You then mash the garlic and chiles in a molcajete, then add the tomatoes one by one, then finally add the onion, which you have chopped. My molcajete isn’t big enough to handle all this, so after making the paste of the chile and garlic, and adding one tomato, I transferred the mixture to a food processor to incorporate the rest. This salsa is good, but doesn’t quite have the flavor it would if I charred the veg on the grill or on a comal, like I usually do. It does have the advantage of being weatherproof, however.
To make the braised dish, you take slices of tofu, pan-fry in a bit of oil, then add the salsa, slap a lid on, and simmer. When it’s cooked to your liking, remove the tofu to your plates, thin the sauce as needed to get the consistency you want for serving, then spoon over the tofu.
This was an extremely easy dish, which I appreciated as I’d had a busy day. I might actually like this better with some Daring vegan chicken over tofu, although the tofu was absolutely fine. I’d make it again just for sheer ease it. Served with leftover rice for a somewhat monochromatic meal.
love his books too and your photos are worthy of inclusion
i like to add thinly sliced raw habeneros to that kind of pickled onion relish. i go for a lime juice approach too. goes great with everything.
also as actually doable his recipes are half the time i still find myself subbing ingredients here and there especially with the dried chiles.
looks like a nice vegetarian dish. i really enjoy collards but make 'em the same way all the time. this is a pleasant change.
I’ve added habaneros too. Since there were going to be some in the tomato salsa, I ended up adding some crushed, dried chiltepins this time. Worked out well!
Dish of the Quarter is Tacos, for a little cross-thread fun:
I’d completely forgotten about Dish of the Quarter! Thanks for posting this.
After seeing your report, I made the same dish, recipe from this website:
I had slightly under 2lb of Asian eggplant I needed to use so the fit was perfect.
As chef for the evening, I liked RB’s unfiddly recipe, accurate ingredients and steps, and great effort-to-result ratio.
We liked the finished product very much too. The salsa negra, new to me, is excellent and I look forward to trying it in other applications. Any suggestions?
Served with a side of white+cauli rice cooked w/ garlic and red beans in vegetable stock.
I’ve found that, when you have garlic that doesn’t want to come out cleanly, even after whacking it once or twice, 9 seconds in the nuke loosens it up.
CHIPOTLE MEATBALLS (page 287), MEXICAN EVERYDAY
This recipe has been on my list to try ever since I read the (positive) reports back on Chowhound from the previous COTM, which happened before I joined. I was glad to have a nudge to actually make them.
I have to admit, while they were in the oven, I second guessed them - I don’t love mint, and the sauce seemed pretty unseasoned, so I was convinced I’d be underwhelmed. But I really enjoyed these meatballs! They are quite easy to put together, especially using the food processor as recommended (though I didn’t process the pork with the rest of the meatball ingredients - I folded it in at the end). I also found that the sauce was still quite saucy even after baking for the full time, so I didn’t need to add any broth. I served the meatballs on the rice pilaf from the book (see below) and was very satisfied with the meal! Would definitely make these again.
GULF COAST-STYLE WHITE RICE PILAF (ARROZ BLANCO) P.88 MEXICAN EVERYDAY
This simple pilaf is more of a method than a recipe, but I’m glad to have stumbled on it. The original recipe involves sauteing onion and rice in some oil, adding some garlic, salt, and chicken broth, and cooking it in the oven. Instead, I did one of the variants - sauteing on the stove, then scraping the mixture into my rice cooker. It came out great and stayed warm until my meatballs were finished, plus I didn’t have to worry about burning it (which I always seem to do on the stove/in the oven…) The pilaf itself is cozy and a great accompaniment to the slightly spicy meatballs.
GULF COAST-STYLE WHITE RICE PILAF (ARROZ BLANCO) p. 88 Mexican Everyday
I made this to go with the Cilantro Poached Halibut. I used the oven method. I used shrimp stock, so I did not get a white pilaf out of this (more of a blush color). Also, my ratio of rice to stock was 270 g. arborio rice to 475 ml. stock (about a quarter cup more than he calls for). This turned out to be perfect for us.
Pictured is the leftover rice, which will be used later this week for another meal.
CILANTRO-POACHED (SOLE) HALIBUT - pp. 330-331 More Mexican Everyday
This turned out great! You start by sauteing some onion and serrano chile in butter or olive oil. Then add some chicken broth, cilantro, and lime zest. Season with salt to taste and add your fish. Simmer, covered, until cooked through (about 5-6 minutes). Then remove the fish to a plate (keeping warm) and put your onion/chile/cilantro/broth in a blender until smooth. Add a creamy element - he gives a choice of Mexican crema, creme fraiche, heavy cream, or Greek yogurt. Reheat and serve with the fish.
The dish really is just as simple as that. I did double the amount of chiles called for (and a couple cloves of garlic) and used 2 T. of heavy cream in total for my sauce. Notes on Eat Your Books suggested that the sauce would be on the thin side as written, so I reduced it by half and then thinned it back out a little with the juices from the fish from while it rested. That was perfect.
Oh, and I used sole (rolled up to mimic the thickness of halibut). Worked fine.
This is good for weeknights or special occasions. We had this over the Gulf Coast Style White Rice Pilaf from Mexican Everyday.
Instead of the cream, I’d add an avocado and a roasted tomatillo or two and some lime juice to that blender.
I want this SO much, but my husband has this issue with white fish, and especially white fish with creamy sauces. But this looks so good. Any chance all the interesting stuff in the sauce sort of masks the cream?
or a little peeled boiled potato or 2
@Amandarama - that looks awesome btw i love mexican fish dishes the most. I’m a big fan of frying up and then mushing/chopping and mixing a plantain (or banana) into the rice too especially with seafood.
Skip the cream. I can’t think of any fish recipe I have had with cream sauce.
Bacalhau com natas (salt cod in cream) is one of my favourite salt cod dishes.
(Short video clip: open the wheel/setting, select “auto translate” for language of choice)
I do too!
I was also thinking that a way to thicken the sauce (other than the dairy called for) might have included potato. I wanted to try it the way it was written (for the most part) before deviating.
Skip the cream if it bothers him. If you puree it well and reduce it, it should be fine. Or, take a note from his faux pipian recipe and add tahini!