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  1. Thursday, December 4

    Drunken Mushrooms + A Mexican Food Tour of the Mission with Rick Bayless

    This post is sponsored by Negra Modelo. All opinions are 100% my own and I can’t wait to share this post with you!

    I am super excited for today’s post because it is filled to the brim with all kinds of wonderful, including a recipe for drunken mushrooms that are pretty much perfection.

    recipe for drunken mushrooms inspired by rick bayless by @janemaynard

    Two weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity of traveling to San Francisco for a Mexican food tour of the Mission District in San Francisco with Negra Modelo and Rick Bayless. You guys, Rick Bayless. We were walking around the streets of San Francisco with RICK BAYLESS. It was beyond cool and here’s the proof!

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto courtesy of Negra Modelo and Vanessa Bahmani

    Our first stop on the Negra Modelo Mexican food walking tour was a tortilleria. The tortillas were unreal, like no tortilla I’ve ever tasted. Rick Bayless talked about how most tortillas today are made from maseca, not from scratch using masa, but that tortillas made with masa are infinitely better. He’s totally right and, consequently, I have begun a hunt here in San Diego to find a tortilleria just like the one we visited in San Francisco (wish me luck!). Rick Bayless also told us that Chicago is the top producer of tortillas in the world. That’s right, the world, even above Mexico City, and that the abundance of great tortillas is one of the reasons he opened Frontera Grill in Chicago.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The second stop on the tour was a Mexican butcher. It was beyond fascinating and we learned that the way Mexican butchers cut up meat is totally different than American butchers. We also learned the history of carne asada in the United States. That’s a whole blog post of its own, we’ll have to chat over coffee so I can share that story with you.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    The last stop on the walking food tour was La Reyna Mexican bakery. We had the chance to sample all kinds of sweet goodness and it was endearing to have the grandson of the original owner tell us all about the bakery.

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #spon

    Once the tour was done we attended an after party, complete with Negra Modelo, wonderful Mexican food and more fascinating information from Rick Bayless. I swear we could have sat there and listened to him talk for 6 hours straight and have been enraptured the entire time. Here are a few of the Rick Bayless gems I walked away with:

    • Rick Bayless never uses jalapenos because they are completely unpredictable when it comes to the level of heat. He relies most heavily on poblanos in his cooking.
    • Rick Bayless doesn’t understand green bell peppers and I am, and always have been, in complete agreement!
    • If you want to start cooking with dried chiles, ancho and guajillo are good to start with and go well together.
    • We also learned about the confusion that is ancho and pasilla chiles…but it would take me a whole post to tell you about it. We can talk about that over coffee as well, the same day we talk carne asada. 😉
    • Rick Bayless uses Negra Modelo beer in his restaurant, including in ice cream! He likes that Negra Modelo is a medium-bodied beer with slow-roasted caramel malts, which yields a soft sweetness that works well in cooking. Which leads us to today’s recipe…

    walking food tour with #NegraModelo and rick bayless by @janemaynard #ThePerfectComplement #sponPhoto with Rick Bayless courtesy of Irvin Lin from Eat the Love

    During the party I had the chance to chat with Rick along with my friends Anita and Annelies. While we were talking I asked him what his favorite thing to cook with Negra Modelo is. He answered by saying that if a chef ever tells you that they have a favorite food, that they are probably not a very good chef because true chefs love all food and flavors. 🙂 Despite his lack of a favorite, he did tell us how to make really wonderful mushrooms.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynarddrunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    So, here is my recipe for Drunken Mushrooms, as inspired by Rick Bayless. These mushrooms really are fantastic, with layers of flavor that are subtle and all play beautifully with one another. Rick said he uses these mushooms in queso flameado, which I am sure is amazing. But I am also confident that these mushrooms would be delicious topped on burgers, chicken, steak and pizza. In fact, I made pizza with olive oil, bacon and drunken mushrooms for dinner last night and it was scrumptious.

    drunken mushrooms recipe from @janemaynarddrunken mushroom bacon pizza from @janemaynard

    Drunken Mushrooms
     
    This recipe was inspired by tips shared with me by Rick Bayless.
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Bacon drippings from a 10-ounce package of bacon
    • 8 ounces white or baby bell mushrooms, sliced
    • ¼ cup Negra Modelo beer
    • salt and pepper
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh epazote or cilantro
    Instructions
    1. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook until they are about half-way cooked.
    2. Raise heat to medium-high and add the beer, cooking and stirring until mushrooms are cooked through and most of the liquid has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to tasted (a few pinches of kosher salt and a shake of pepper should do it).
    3. Remove from heat and stir in the epazote or cilantro.

    drunken mushrooms recipe by @janemaynard

    Big thank you to Negra Modelo and to Rick Bayless for spending an afternoon with us! It is a day I will not soon forget! Be sure to visit the Negra Modelo site for even more Rick Bayless recipes!


  2. Thursday, October 27

    Stefania’s Braised Chicken

    My friend Stefania (a.k.a. CityMama) brought us a delicious dinner after the baby was born. Stefania blogs about food AND does meal plans each week, so she’s a girl after my own heart. I was looking forward to seeing what she would bring us for dinner and, let me tell you, she did not disappoint. This braised chicken served with a side of bulgar wheat with sliced almonds was scrumptious.

    Stefania sent me the recipe with a note that it’s an easy “wing it” recipe that is very forgiving. I like those kinds of recipes! And not only is it easy, but the flavors are wonderful – a perfect balance of savory tastes with a bit of sweet thrown in. Yum!

    Stefania's Braised Chicken
     
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dish, Poultry
    Ingredients
    • olive oil
    • 3 pounds of cut up chicken parts (Stefania used thighs because she loves them, and I wholeheartedly agree!)
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2-3 cloves of garlic
    • ½ cup or so dry white wine
    • 2-3 glugs (tbsps) white wine or white balsamic vinegar (very important!)
    • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
    • ½ cup of golden raisins
    • 1 basket of white mushrooms trimmed and sliced in half
    • salt and pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. In a Dutch oven or covered braising pan, heat olive oil (as much as you like) over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pan. When chicken is browned, toss in garlic and onion and continue cooking until onions are soft. Deglaze the pan with wine and vinegar, scraping up all the yummy bits. Add rosemary sprigs, raisins, and mushrooms. Stir gently, cover and continue cooking about 15 minutes until chicken is done. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove rosemary before serving. Even better the next day. (Great over rice, pilaf, pasta, bulgur wheat or with bread to soak up the yummy juices!)

     


  3. Tuesday, September 28

    Creamy Pesto Fettuccine with Mushrooms & Tomatoes

    Last week when I made the Pesto Tortellini Soup I had on my menu, I ended up with 7 ounces minus 1/4 cup of pesto left over. The next night we had Easy Peasy Bean Tacos, which resulted in a half a container of leftover grape tomatoes. The next night (are you liking this painful play-by-play?) I swung by the store on the way home from a playdate and saw a $2 package of fresh fettuccine that inspired me. I grabbed a half pint of cream, a package of sliced mushrooms and went home to throw dinner together as quickly as possible.

    The result was a simple and fast recipe that was molto delicioso. The best part? My girls ate ALL of their dinner and then some. And I have another meatless recipe to add to the arsenal.

    Buon appetito!

    Creamy Pesto Fettuccine with Mushrooms & Tomatoes
     
    Quick, easy, and super yummy!
    Author:
    Recipe type: Main Dishes, Pasta
    Ingredients
    • 9 oz. fresh fettuccine (or whatever past you have on hand)
    • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
    • Couple handfuls of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
    • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced or smashed through a garlic press
    • ½ pint cream
    • Prepared pesto (I used 7 ounces MINUS ¼ cup since the pesto was leftover from the soup recipe, but I think a 7-ounce package will work just fine…no need to subtract out that ¼ cup…although you could make the Pesto Tortellini Soup the same week to coordinate!)
    • 2 handfuls fresh grated parmesan cheese, plus some for garnish
    • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
    • Olive oil for sautéing
    Instructions
    1. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and drizzle with a bit of butter or olive oil to prevent sticking.
    2. While waiting for water to boil for the pasta, start working on the other stuff. Sauté the mushrooms in a tablespoon or two of olive oil until softened. Add garlic and tomatoes and sauté a few minutes more. Add cream, pesto sauce and salt; simmer to reduce until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
    3. Pour sauce over pasta and serve, sprinkled with fresh grated parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil if you have it.
    4. A few things I think would be good to add, but I haven’t actually tried yet: a shallot sautéed with the mushrooms, spinach, or white beans.