Cinco de Mayo Recipes From Chef Rick Bayless

Mexico and the US share a coastline along the Gulf of Mexico which has resulted in several cross over recipes.  The jambalaya so popular in Cajun Country is actually a Louisiana spin on the classic Spanish dish paella.  West Indies Salad popular in and around the Mobile area is a variation on ceviche.  There is even an entire cuisine that sprang up along the border between Texas and Mexico called Tex-Mex. 

Rick Bayless is perhaps the best Mexican cuisine chef in the United States which isn't bad for an Irish kid from Oklahoma.  Ah, America.  Mexican food is Third Coast Cuisine and Rick Bayless knows Mexican food.

Rick, and his wife Deann, dedicated more than 6 years to culinary research in Mexico, culminating in 1987 with the publication of their now-classic cookbook Authentic Mexican (Morrow). They also opened the colorful, vivacious Frontera Grill in Chicago, specializing in regional Mexican cooking, that same year to instant success.

To help celebrate the Battle of Puebla Rick has offered up a few recipes perfect for the party:

Frisee Salad with Pumpkinseeds and Queso Fresco
  • 1 head frisee lettuce or curly endive, bottom trimmed, torn into 2 inch pieces (about 8 cups)
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkinseeds (pepitas)
  • 5 small radishes (about 4 ounces), trimmed, sliced in half lengthwise and then cut into very thin half moons
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled Mexican queso fresco or salted farmers cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • About ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • A small pinch of sugar
  1. Rinse the frisee and spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with clean towels.
  2. In a large salad bowl, combine the frisee, pumpkinseeds, radish slices and crumbled cheese.
  3. To make the dressing, simply whisk together the ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Green Chile Shrimp Enchiladas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 poblano, seeded and diced
  • 1 pound shrimp, raw, peeled and deveined, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 pouches (8 ounces each) Frontera Green Enchilada Sauce
  1. Heat oven to 400º. For filling, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and poblano. Sauté until tender and golden, about 5 minutes.  
  2. Add shrimp and salt. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp are just barely cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer shrimp mixture to a large plate. Cool completely in the refrigerator.  Once cooled, stir in 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese.
  3. Wrap 4 tortillas in plastic wrap. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining 4 tortillas.
  4. Working quickly so the tortillas stay hot and pliable, unwrap one stack of tortillas and roll a 1/8th portion of filling into each tortilla. Place seam-side down in a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Repeat to use all tortillas and filling. Open sauce pouches at one corner and pour over tortillas so they are completely covered with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  5. Bake until the enchiladas are hot through and the cheese is golden, about 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.
For more of Chef Rick Bayless' Cinco de Mayo recipes visit his web site HERE.
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