Monday, October 12, 2009

Squeee! Meeting Rick Bayless!

As soon as I found out that Rick Bayless was coming to Schnucks Cooks Cooking School, I sprung into action getting tickets for me and Kelly (just in time for her birthday!). I've always admired Chef Bayless for his knowledge and passion for cooking and teaching about Mexican food. I was pleased to see, in the class and the following book signing, that he is indeed very genuine about his love for what he does.

The class was just one hour long, but he packed in LOTS of good information and recipes and tips! Kelly took notes, thank goodness, because I was busy taking photos and being starstruck, and probably missed a few things. You can see her recap and notes in this Barbaric Gulp post. Basically, he showed us how to make his multi-tasking salsa, and then demonstrated ways to add to it and make stuff using it. The last dish he made was chipotle cream shrimp. So good. We all got to taste a shrimp, but when he recommended serving it over pasta, I knew I had to make it the first chance I got.

The Shrimp with chipolte cream sauce we were served in class

This was quite a simple recipe... the most labor goes into making the salsa, which you can do days ahead of time. OR you can buy the Frontera chipotle salsa... Chef Rick assured us that all his products are made from scratch with no pre-processed ingredients. Though it's quite simple to make yourself as well.

Chipotle -Tomatillo Salsa

-1 pound (about 11 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
-2 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
-1 canned chipotle pepper with about 1 tablespoon of the adobo sauce it's canned in
-1 small white onion, finely chopped
-1/4 cup loosely packed, roughly chopped cilantro
-salt, about a generous teaspoon
-sugar, about a generous teaspoon (if needed)

1. roast the tomatillos under a hot broiler on a baking sheet. When they blister, blacken and soften on one side, about 5 minutes, turn them over and roast the other side, 5 to 6 minutes more. Cool completely. In a dry heavy griddle or skillet, roast the garlic cloves* over medium heat, turning occasionally, until blackened in spots, about 15 minutes. cool and peel.

2. Pour the tomatillos and any juice from the pan they were roasted on into a food processor or blender, along with the garlic and chipotle and adobo. Pulse until it's not quite smooth, but not really chunky. Add puree to a bowl with the onions and cilantro. Taste and add salt and sugar to taste.

Chef Bayless making Chipotle-Tomatillo salsa

Frontera's Shrimp with Chipotle Cream
-1 medium red onion (this isn't part of the original recipe, but he garnished the dish in class with grilled red onions, so I took a cue from that)-1 1/4 pounds peeled and deviened large shrimp
-1 Tablespoon olive oil
-1 recipe or 1 (16 oz) jar of chipotle salsa (see above)
-1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream or créme fraiche
-chopped fresh cilantro

1. Cut red onion in half and slice thinly. Cook in a skillet over medium or low heat, stirring frequently, until thoroughly softened and shrunken, sweet, and slightly browned... this takes about 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

2. Pat shrimp dry. Heat the oil in a large, heavy non-stick skillet over medium-high. Add the salsa and heat to a boil. Cook and stir until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring often, until barely pink, about 3 minutes. Stir in cream and return sauce to a gentle boil. Season to taste with salt. Remove heat, serve over pasta (I used cavatappi ... I like the similarity in size and shape tot he shrimp), sprinkled with cilantro and carmelized red onions.

Me and Chef Rick Bayless! Woot!

One more shot of the Chipotle Cream shrimp and pasta. So yummy! Rich, spicy, smoky!

*Um, yeah... so I had an article published in Sauce Magazine... It's about roasted garlic.... So exciting!!

Some more links related to this post...
Follow Rick Bayless on Twitter
That Time I met Micheal effin Ruhlman
That time I met Trevor Corson, sushi hero
Iron Stef cooks Mexican
Tomatillos and more Tomatillos

1 comment:

Mandy said...

Turning green with envy here! Wish they would do things like that here in Des Moines.