Learning from the best is an extreme privilege, and this week we’re over the moon to have Mexican cuisine master Rick Bayless on the A Couple Cooks podcast. He’s host of the PBS show Mexico–One Plate at a Time, has authored 9 cookbooks, has a handful of award-winning restaurants in Chicago (including Frontera Grill), has a line of super popular Frontera salsas, and has won various James Beard awards and the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. Basically, he’s a complete boss in his space. And after I caught up with him, I found he’s also a true teacher at heart and one of the most genuine souls around.
Alex and I joke that chefs we know have a thing called “chef brain”, where in the midst of conversation they’re suddenly walking you through a recipe from conception to execution. In this interview, Rick displays a little “chef brain”, throwing out recipe ideas including a simple, roasted tomatillo salsa. Though tomatillos aren’t quite in season here in Indiana, we couldn’t resist buying some and making Rick’s signature recipe. And why make roasted tomatillo salsa at home when you can easily buy it at the store? Because it’s that good — and makes you feel like, “Yeah, I made this!”. And for those other times when you’re pressed for time? I’m sure Rick wouldn’t mind if you bought his Frontera-brand salsa verde :)
Check out the podcast & recipe below.
This recipe meets dietary restrictions including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Pair this recipe with our homemade tortilla chips – they’re easy and a staple in our household.
- 8 ounces tomatillos
- ½ serrano chile (or more, to taste)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- Handful fresh cilantro
- 1 small white onion
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Remove the paper from the tomatillos and rinse them. Remove the stem from the serrano chile. Peel the garlic cloves.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatillos, whole serrano chile and garlic on top and broil on high for 5 minutes, until starting to blacken and soften, then flip the tomatillos and roast the other side for about 5 minutes (the tomatillos will change from green to olive green).
- Allow to cool, then transfer everything except for ½ of the chile pepper (including juices) to a blender. Add cilantro and ¼ cup water and blend to the desired consistency. Taste, and add additional chile pepper if desired.
- Finely dice onion, then rinse under cold water and shake to remove excess moisture. Combine with the tomatillo mixture in a serving dish along with ½ teaspoon salt. Taste and add additional salt if necessary.