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This is a Rick Bayless recipe from our dog eared copy of Mexican Everyday. The page in question is being held together by green painter’s tape, which is a good indication of how often Hanne and I have used the Chipotle Shrimp recipe. This dish comes together quick, making it a great weeknight meal. Bayless recommends fire-roasted tomatoes. Take his advice if you can track them down. Or better yet, roast your own!

Using two chipotles in this recipe makes for a strong steady burn. Three and you’ll be smacking your lips happily (I’m a sucker/masochist for spice) or manically searching for that ill-advised glass of water (doesn’t work. Soothe your sad gummy tongue on a gob of yogurt, wimp). Don’t even think about using one chipotle.

This dish is also a great reheater. Double up the recipe and you have leftovers for lunch. It’s not a fishy dish, so it won’t stink bomb your work’s microwave. Not that you should really care.

Serves 2
1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water
1 drained 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 canned chipotle chiles (or 3, tough guy)
1 tablespoon chipotle sauce (from the can)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Approx. 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
Approx. 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 pound (or so) of shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave the tails on to make this a quick recipe)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish

Step 1) Get your rice steaming. Your sauce will be ready by the time it’s done.
2) Blend tomatoes, chipotle chiles and sauce until smooth.
3) Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook until golden.
4) Pour in tomato mixture. Be sure the pan isn’t too hot or your white shirt is screwed. Cook for 5 minutes.
5) Add broth, making sure to keep the sauce saucey, not soupy. Salt it.
6) Add the shrimp. When they pink and curl they’re done (about 4 minutes). If your sauce is too thick, add a bit more broth or water, if you used up the broth in step 4. If it gets soupy on you (not sure how, but this happened to me. The frozen shrimp probably released moisture), then remove the shrimp and cook the sauce down.
7) Serve garnished generously with cilantro. I recommend serving this dish on a bed of long grain white rice.


Rick Bayless, the lovable Yogi, is not Mexican. But he’s one of America’s top Mexican chefs and cookbook writers. We visited his restaurant in Chicago a couple years ago. It was really good, but honestly? We’ve gotten better results at home using his recipes. This is either a testament to Bayless as a great cookbook writer or having gone soft like a week old plantain on his kitchen staff. Probably an effective chef should let Yoga be.

Seriously though, if you love Mexican food and need quick recipes for weeknight meals, get this book. Equally seriously, skip the page picturing Bayless on his head, doing Yoga. And uh, don’t eat refried beans before your Yoga class.


Pierogies in Brown Onion Tomato Sauce

We’ve been busy lately. I know, so have you. And it’s no excuse, as much as I’d like it to be. But there are some days (Monday in particular) when I’m pretty sure this all really is just too much. Those days, all I can do is bite my lip, close my eyes, and barrel my way through headfirst. Those are the days that usually end–shamefully– in a frozen pizza. Lately, though, we’ve been eating pierogies (perogies? pyrogies?) instead. They’re still frozen, but I feel slightly more virtuous after making this amazing browned onion sauce for them. We found the original recipe in the October Gourmet’s “Ten-Minute Mains” section. The following is our slightly adapted version. Gourmet’s recipe calls for boiling the pierogies before adding them to the sauce, but we’ve made the whole thing a one-pot meal by cooking the pierogies in the tomato sauce. The pierogies come out slightly chewier this way than when they’re boiled, which to me is a good thing. These pierogies also reheat perfectly, both in the microwave or panfried on the stovetop, so they’re a great lunch leftovers choice.

Pierogies in Browned Onion Tomato Sauce adapted from Gourmet Magazine

2 onions, quartered and sliced thin (the slicing be done in a food processor)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon caraway
1 bay leaf
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz.)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs. frozen pierogies, unthawed

Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Toss in the caraway seeds and the bay leaf and stir them in the oil for a few seconds. Add the onions to the hot oil and cook them at medium heat until they’re lightly caramel-coloured. This will take you about 15 minutes. Once the onions are caramlized, turn the heat up and cook them a bit more until they’re nice and dark.

Add the tomatoes, sugar, dill, some salt (about 3/4 tsp), and three or four twists of freshly-ground pepper. Bring this sauce to a nice fast boil, and keep it there for a few minutes. Then add the frozen pierogies, tossing them well to coat them with the sauce. Cover them up and cook for 7-10 minutes (or follow the package instructions on your pierogies for more accurate timing), stirring and tossing occasionally to ensure that they’re evenly coated with tomato and onion. When the pierogies are cooked through (they’ll be soft when you poke them with a fork) serve with a generous side of sour cream.

Welcome to the new! motivated! supper in stereo. We’re taking a kick in the posterior from NaBloPoMo, which in actuality will probably just mean a bunch of uninspired posts as I grope for topics to fill a-post-a-day-for-a-whole-month. Think about this. We signed up for a blog in June, and since then we’ve put up nine posts. I am now proposing to our (by now disgusted, alienated and non-existent, which is a feat considering that they’re our friends and family) audience that we will delight and entertain them with thirty posts in the next thirty days. Math’s not my thing, but that’s got to be about a 460 percent increase in posting frequency. And no, please don’t go check my calculations. I told you math’s not my thing.

And! To make the kickoff to our marathon even a little more unlikely, I’m offering you an inappropriate recipe. This is November, right? Time to settle into your armchair with a bowl full of something rich and spicy, time to savour the last days of fall before we all put on our snowpants. Well, I know that exactly what you all don’t want after your delicious beef and butternut squash stew is some refreshing, tangy, summery dessert. But that’s what I’m offering.

But you know, I think I’m going to stop apologizing for unseasonal choices. This lemon frozen yogurt is delicious; while it is refreshing (if refreshing could ever possibly be a bad thing anyway), there’s a bit of creamy richness to it that made me feel okay about curling up with a bowl of it in front of the television this evening. The full flavour of the yogurt (please use the good full-fat kind) is a good contrast to the in-your-face tang of the lemon, and the whole thing is tempered by milk and rounded out by a bunch of sugar. The best part? It only took me a few minutes to get the whole thing thrown together, and everything came straight out of our fridge and cupboards, no preplanning or errand-running necessary.


1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

When Grey’s Anatomy goes to commercial break, toss the milk, yogurt and sugar into a food processor or blender. Whirl it all together until the sugar’s dissolved. After you’ve measured everything out, your show’s probably back on. Go watch it. When the next break starts, add the lemon juice, and pulse it through once more. If you can get this all done in the space of one commercial break, great! Your ingredients are probably all still nice and chilled. Pour your mixture into an ice cream machine, and operate it according to manufacturer’s instructions. It will be ready before your show is over.

P.S. Dear probably-non-existent blog audience. I’m sorry if the next month contains pictures of our cats. Thirty days is a lot of recipes. And our cats are cute.