Monday, July 12, 2010

2 Fantastic recipes from Rick Bayless's new book


First off let me just say that my day started off by being called outside by my neighbor Jeff to check out the bat hanging around. A BAT! Ok, it didn't go in either of my two bat boxes but it did come to visit. I am just hoping that it isn't sick and has rabies or anything. Ok, but then again I don't plan on petting it.


Two nice houses and it snubs both of them.


Ok, maybe that was a little gross for a cooking blog but the name of the blog IS BITE ME New England. I didn't mean for the bat to come into the picture though.

So, it is very hot and humid here these days and I didn't want to heat up the house but I did want to cook something good. Seeing that I just got Rick Bayless's new book "Fiesta at Rick's" and I am not going to be invited to his house for a fiesta anytime soon, I decided to have my own fiesta. It really wasn't a FIESTA though because we all spent most of the day floating around the swimming pool to stay cool.


I have to admit that baking is NOT my forte (other than bread which I have sorta conquered). My kitchen turns into a disaster area when I bake. It doesn't go well with having issues with the kitchen being overly messy while I cook (read: OCD?). Anyhow, lord knows why but I had my mind set on the Impossible Cake (Pastel Imposible aka Chocoflan) in Rick Bayless's book. It wasn't too hard.


I did not make my own cajeta. Rick said I didn't have to. He said I could buy it already made (I love Rick).


Here it is in the oven. I loved how the flan sinks and the chocolate cake floats up to the top. I will show the finished product at dessert time, but now we move on to the Grill-Braised Short Ribs with Arbol Chiles, White Beans, Mushrooms and Beer (Costillas de Res Guisadas con Chiles de Arbol, Alubias, Hongos y Cerveza).


I used shiitake mushrooms.


Found Arbol's at the mexican market that we luckily have around here.


Dr. Food manned the grill and browned the short ribs. He was a trooper because it was disgustingly humid out there.


He is the man! Perfection.


Meantime, *I* was in the house listening to music and cooking in the air conditioned environment.


I digress a bit by showing you that my stupid topsy turvey planter is actually getting grape tomatoes. I have to say that planting tomatoes in the ground works way better.


Yum. Did I tell you that I love Rick Bayless? Oh yeah, I think I did. This dish was fantastic. The Parmesan Roasted Corn on the Cob was made by Taylor and Cathy my Fiesta partners and neighbors. It was great.

You want to see the dessert you say? Ok, here it is!


It wasn't impossible. Just messy and GOOD!

Braised Short Ribs with Arbol Chiles, White Beans, Mushrooms and Beer
Costillas de Res Guisadas con Chile de Arbol, Alubias, Hongos y Cerveza

Serves 8

Rick Bayless

8 arbol chiles
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 pounds (8 good-size pieces) bone-in beef short ribs
Salt and fresh black pepper
1 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces full-flavored mushrooms (think shiitakes here), stemmed and quartered
2 cups full-flavored beer (I like Bohemia)
2 cups beef broth
1 head of garlic, cut in half across the center
3 sprigs fresh thyme
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
4 cups cooked beans (homemade or canned - you'll need three 15-ounce cans), drained

1. Toast the chiles and brown the meat. Turn on the oven to 325 degrees. Break the stems off the chiles, then roll them between your fingers to loosen the seeds. Break the chiles in half and shake out all the seeds that come out easily. Set a large (7- to 8-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the oil. Add the chiles and stir for 10 to 15 seconds, until they are noticeably darker and aromatic. Remove to a small plate, draining as much oil as possible back into the pan. Generously sprinkle the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Lay the short ribs in the pan and brown them, turning frequently, until they're a rich golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Remove to a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Flavor and braise the short ribs. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring regularly, until golden, about 7 minutes, then stir in the mushrooms and cook another couple of minutes. Add the beer, broth, garlic, thyme, tomatoes, beans, toasted chiles, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a generous 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Return the short ribs (and any juices that have collected around them) to the pan, nestling them into the liquid. Set the lid in place and bake for about 2 1/2 hours, until the short ribs are fork tender.

3. Serve. Carefully remove the short ribs to a deep serving platter. Discard the garlic and thyme sprigs from the braising liquid. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the beans around the short ribs. Taste the sauce mixture and season with additional salt if you think necessary. Then ladle the sauce mixture over the ribs and beans. You’re ready to serve.

Impossible Cake - Pastel Imposible (AKA Chocoflan)
Serves 12 generously

Recipe from Rick Bayless

For the mold
A little softened butter and some flour
1 cup store-bought or homemade cajeta (goat milk caramel)

For the cake
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water
OR 3 tablespoons espresso
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (I like the more commonly available - not Dutch process - cocoa best here)
9 ounces buttermilk

For the flan
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican vanilla

1. Prepare the mold. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees and position the rack in the middle. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch round cake pan (you need one that's 3 inches deep), sprinkle with flour, tip the pan, tapping on the side of the counter several times, to evenly distribute the flour over the bottom and sides, then shake out the excess. Microwave the cajeta for 30 seconds to soften it, then pour over the bottom of the pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Set a kettle of water over medium-low heat. Set out a deep pan that's larger than your cake pan (a roasting pan works well) that can serve as a water bath during baking.

2. Make the cake. With an electric mixer (use the flat beater, if yours has a choice), beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light in color and texture. Scrape the bowl. Beat in the egg and espresso. Sift together the all-purpose and cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. Beat in about 1/2 of the flour mixture, at medium-low speed, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat. Scrape the bowl, then raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute.

3. Make the flan. In a blender, combine the two milks, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend until smooth.

4. Layer and bake. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread level. Slowly, pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. (I find it easiest to pour the mixture into a small ladle, letting it run over onto the batter.) Pull out the oven rack, set the cake into the large pan, then set both pans on the rack. Pour hot water around the cake to a depth of 1 inch. Carefully slide the pans into the oven, and bake about 50 to 55 minutes, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, except for the very center . Remove from the water bath and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

5. Serve. Carefully run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake/flan to free the edges. Invert a rimmed serving platter over the cake pan, grasp the two tightly together, then flip the two over. Gently jiggle the pan back and forth several times to insure that the cake/flan has dropped, then remove the pan. Scrape any remaining cajeta from the mold onto the cake.

Parmesan Roasted Corn on the Cob


1/2 cup mayonnaise
5 ears corn, husk and silk removed
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on each ear of corn. Sprinkle the corn with the Parmesan cheese, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Wrap each ear with aluminum foil and place on the grill.
Grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels begin to brown, about 10 minutes.


  1. What a great dinner. Looks like you had a great time.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love Rick Bayless! I was actually in the book store just a few days ago debating if I wanted to buy this book or "Mexico One Plate at a Time." I ended up buying the latter, but that's not to say I'm not going to go back and get this one! Everything looks amazing--great fiesta!

  3. OOOOOOOHHHH!!! This looks soooo good, and I love Rick Bayles too!! I mentioned that to Paula and she said, oh do you want to meet him I'll introduce you..but I don't know what I'd have to say to him..I LOVE YOU!! I ADMIRE YOU!??
    So I declined. I will worship him from afar. That food looks amazing, and I love the cake. OMG!! Is Dr. food going west with you to visit..what will he eat while you are gone to Cali??
    Also I think the bat is cute and it looks like it is wearing a cheap toupee.

  4. Gross. Glad to move on to the food!
    That smokin' grill and those ribs look awesome. We heart Rick.
    I'm going to Chicago next month, I hope to eat his food there!

  5. You've encouraged me to cook BAT!
    Really, you've encouraged me to cook something out of at least one of my Rick Bayless cook books. I have no idea why I never have - not ONE thing!

  6. Wow, both are fantastic, especially the cake. Since only 6% of bats carry rabies, I think you're safe, though I wouldn't take the chance. :) At least your mosquito population will start declining.

  7. Wow, both are fantastic, especially the cake. Since only 6% of bats carry rabies, I think you're safe, though I wouldn't take the chance. :) At least your mosquito population will start declining.