When I told The Husband that Rick Bayless is the new featured chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs, he said, "Old Rick better deliver because Kiros is going to be one hard act to follow."
I'll let you know in 6 months if Rick held his own or not.
This week begins a new cycle of I Heart Cooking Club themes...cooking the recipes of the Fiesta Freak himself, Rick Bayless. I've been reading through many of Balyess' cookbooks as well as recipes from the Frontera Fiesta website for several weeks.
My first impression is that Rick seems to be a fun guy. So what better way to celebrate this week's ¡Bienvenido Rick! theme than with FUNdido? (Yeah. I had to go there.)
Hola, Queso Fundido con Hongos y Chile Chipotle.
That's a mouthful.
But I don't think you'll mind the mouthful.
Bayless suggests serving this fundido (I like saying that!) in warm corn tortillas. Since we were already eating tortillas as part of supper, I decided to serve it with chips.
It is earthy and spicy and gooey. A hint of sweet from the browned onions. Just the slightest woodsy hint... after I finally remembered to toss some thyme on top.
The Husband and I loved this. The Boy not so much. He's not a mushroom eater. I really do think this is better suited being hugged by a warm tortilla since we had to smear the fundido on our chips with a spoon. But, no doubt, it will be tasty no matter how you choose to deliver it to your mouth.
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Queso Fundido con Hongos y Chile Chipotle
(Mozzarella Casserole w/ Mushrooms & Smoky Chipotle Chile
from Rick Bayless/FoodNetwork
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
1 medium red onion, sliced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced (about 2 generous cups)
2 canned chipotle chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
12 corn tortillas, the fresher the better
8 ounces mozzarella, shredded
A generous 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
A little fresh ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir nearly constantly until they have softened and any juice they release has evaporated, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the sliced chipotle, then taste and season with salt, usually about 1/4 teaspoon.
Transfer the mixture to a pie plate.
Very lightly dampen a clean kitchen towel. Check the tortillas to make sure none are stuck together. Wrap them in the towel, then in foil, sealing the edges tightly. Place in the oven and set the timer for 7 minutes.
When the timer goes off, stir the shredded cheese into the warm mushroom mixture. Set in the oven alongside the tortillas and bake until the cheese is just melted, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle with the thyme and black pepper and serve immediately, accompanied by the warm tortillas.