Rick Bayliss

Recipe for Mexican Style Fish With Potatoes and Salsa

by Anne Maxfield on January 26, 2012

Accidental Locavore Mexican FishSo far, the Accidental Locavore has stuck to my once-a-week seafood goal. A piece of cod found in the freezer clean-out inspired this recipe, based on one of my favorites: Rick Bayliss’ Mexican Everyday. Below is his recipe, for 4 people. It’s easy and fast. I use half the potatoes and fish to serve 2 and keep the rest of the salsa for other uses. 

  • 4 medium new or Yukon Gold potatoes (1lb) sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • 1-15 ounce can diced tomatoes (fire roasted if you can find them)
  • 1 large garlic clove, cut in half
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup sliced, pickled jalapeños ( use jarred nacho slices), plus 1 tablespoon of the liquid
  • 4 4-6 ounce skinless fish fillets (mahi mahi, halibut, black cod, a firm white fish works best here)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the potatoes in a microwave and oven-safe dish big enough to hold the potatoes in a single layer. Drizzle on the oil, sprinkle with salt, toss to combine and place the potatoes in a single layer. Cover and microwave until the potatoes are barely tender, about 4-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the food processor combine the tomatoes with their juice, garlic, cilantro and jalapeños and their juice. Process until puréed with a little texture.

Layer the fish in a single layer over the potatoes. Top with the salsa.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the fish flakes and is just opaque in the thickest part. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: this time I used my own tomatillo salsa (click here for the recipe) and the cod from the freezer. It was good but not great. The cod would have stood up to the regular tomatoes and jalapeños. With the tomatillo salsa I would have liked a sweeter white fish. Adding a good squirt of lime helped. If you do want to use your own, or a jarred salsa, just leave out the last four ingredients (keep the jalapeños if you like the heat).

 

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Accidental Locavore Essentials

A couple of weeks ago, the Accidental Locavore was talking about essential cookbooks. At that time I was thinking about them in terms of what a new cook would want, but what about the rest of us? Don’t you think it’s like movies–there are classics and then there are ones you can watch over and over? I would ask, if you were on a desert island what you would want, but there it would probably be a lot of BBQ books and 365 different ways to serve coconuts, right?

For the rest of us, location, time and space play a big part. Because of my farm-boxes, my country house has a lot more veggie-centric books than the city. Same for grilling and smoking. The biggest proof of essentialness might be owning more than one copy. Although each house has a copy of Gordon Hammersley’s Bistro Cooking, I’m not sure it’s essential (and the short ribs with Guiness and bacon is pretty much memorized). Rick Bayliss’s Mexican Everyday. There are a lot of great recipes in it and even better, they all can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Julia, always Julia, for comfort if nothing else. And a basic, be it Mark Bittman, The Essential NY Times Cookbook (must be essential, it’s in the title) or the Joy of Cooking.

You might have noticed there’s no mention of anything Italian. It’s not that the Locavore is such a Francophile, I just don’t make that much Italian food and when I do, it’s mostly from memory. If I could find an essential Indian cookbook, that might go on the list, any suggestions? A Middle Eastern book could probably wrangle its way on, possibly Claudia Rodin’s A Book of Middle Eastern Food.

Accidental Locavore Charlie TrotterOne of the members of our Blogging Boomers Carnival, Katie, had to make the ruthless choice when she and her husband moved to Dubai (almost a desert island). Here’s what she chose and why: “Workin’,  More Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter – love the way he melds the tastes together to achieve the ultimate meal – but this is maybe not for the inexperienced cook. Some of the recipes are rather time-consuming and intricate but I think they are well-explained and not too much to do. The Best Ever Vegetarian Cookbook by Nicola Graimes – picked this up on the sale rack at Barnes & Noble years ago and swear by it. Almost every recipe is awesome! Eat More Weigh Less by Dean Ornish, MD – I inherited this from someone I can’t remember but I love the use of herbs to create delicious vegetarian meals. All the Best Pasta Sauces by Joie Warmer –  a simple soft-cover book one of my daughters gave me because she didn’t want it. The VERY best sauces of all descriptions! Great Bowls of Fire by Jay Solomon – when we were first dating my then-future husband invited me to dinner to his house and proceeded to cook dinner – all in a microwave! When he later found out I had a reputation for being a fairly good cook, not to mention was once the owner of a very successful catering business, he was very chagrined! After we were married, I was surprised to find among his kitchen item this incredible book of amazing one pot meals from all over the world. They are really hot, spicy and delicious.”

But how much of this is a moot point? Do we even need cookbooks? Ah, that’s a blog for another day… Stay tuned!

And if you have any cookbooks you think are non-essential how about donating them to an incubator kitchen? Let me know and I’ll hook you up with the incubator.

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Recipe: Albondigas or Mexican Meatballs

by Anne Maxfield on March 15, 2010

Accidental Locavore AlbondigasThe Accidental Locavore has been making albondigas (Mexican meatballs)  for years.

While I used to keep trying different versions, this one, adapted from Rick Bayliss‘ “Mexican Everyday” is my favorite.

When my husband is in a bad mood, a plate of these cheer him right up! Bonus, they’re quick and easy. Serves 2 greedy people with some leftovers.

Albondigas al Chipotle

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves (divided use)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs, or 3/4 cup panko
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground pork
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice (fire-roasted are the best)
  • 1-2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, and 1-2 tablespoons of the canning sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • Lime and avocado for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450°.
In a food processor combine the bacon and 1 of the garlic cloves. Process until finely chopped.
Add the eggs, bread crumbs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse to combine thoroughly.
Add the pork and mint. Pulse until everything is just combined, but not over-processed.
Form the meat into 16 two-inch balls, and space them out on a 13×9″ baking dish.
Bake about 15 minutes until lightly browned.
While the meatballs are cooking: Combine the tomatoes, their juice, chipotles, and the canning sauce, oregano, the 2 remaining garlic cloves cut in half, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor.
Process to a smooth puree. When the meatballs are lightly brown, pour the tomato puree over them, covering them evenly.
Bake until the sauce thickens about 15-20 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I could make this once a week and my husband would be thrilled! I’ve made a lot of albondigas recipes, but this is the one I make over and over.
It’s also a forgiving recipe so don’t worry about messing it up if you tweak the ingredients.
What I’ve learned, is that it’s best to warm up the tomato sauce for a minute or two in the microwave, before pouring it over the meatballs. Because of the high heat, ceramic baking dishes have cracked and that prevents it.
Serve with wedges of lime and diced avocado to garnish. If you want them more soupy, you can add some chicken or beef broth to them with the tomato sauce.

 

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