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Valuable Martha-like party tips from Rick Bayless' new cookbook

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(photo courtesy 'Fiesta at Rick's')

In today's story on Rick Bayless new cookbook, Fiesta at Rick's (due out next week), I write that Bayless "unleashes his inner Martha." But I mean that in the best way.

He offers this genius tip for serving guacamole, salsas and salads: Buy terracotta pots (make sure they fit your bowls -- metal bowls work best), soak the pots for a few minutes in water, then refrigerate for about an hour. Pop your guacamole-filled bowl on top, and the pots will stay cool for a good hour or two.

Even better: Set the guacamole pot in the middle of a much larger terracotta saucer, cooled the same way, and pile your chips or veggies around.

See -- easy peasy. If it'd been Martha, you would've had to fire up a kiln first.

And another take-away tip from the book: How to reheat store-bought corn tortillas.

In the microwave: Wrap tortillas by the dozen in a square of damp paper towels. Place in a plastic bag large enough so that tortillas lay flat, but don't seal. Microwave for 1 minute per dozen, up to 3 dozen. Remove from bag and store in a Styrofoam tortilla warmer (which you may not have) OR a small thermal chest (which you probably do have). They should stay hot for 1 hour.

In the oven: Preheat oven to 300. Place a cooling rack in a roasting pan and pour in Πinch of water. Spread a clean kitchen towel on the rack, making sure it doesn't touch the water. Lay tortillas in stacks of 1 or 2 dozen on towl and cover with second towel. Cover the pan with aluminum foil or a lid, crimping the edges to seal. Heat in oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn oven off. Tortillas should stay warm for 1 hour.

Correction: Today's print edition lists Bayless' recipe as "Creamy Chicken and Beans with Roasted Poblano and Caramelized Onion." We meant greens, not beans.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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This page contains a single entry by Janet Rausa Fuller published on June 30, 2010 9:23 AM.

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