Alright, we are now at the point in Everyday Food that we are coming upon recipes that I might have been putting off. There are three main reasons I'd put off a recipe. One is because this dish is not in season yet. The second is because it requires the oven to reach a temperature over 350, in which case I have to go elsewhere (my parent's house). And lastly, I can't locate the ingredients in any of my regular market & store visits.
Before cooking through Everyday Food we ate a lot of homemade Mexican dinners. We've gotten pretty good at making all sorts of enchiladas and tacos. Nothing too different or exotic. Now, with Everyday Food's Mexican entrees and sides, they seem to be calling for a lot of ingredients that are very hard to come by here in Canada (or at least Niagara).
This dinner is Pico de Gallo, Yellow-Tomato Salsa Verde and 8-Layer Dip. In amongst the lengthy grocery list to complete this meal were Serrano chillies, can of chopped green chillies and fresh yellow tomatoes. All three seemed to be difficult to find but I managed to purchase the first two ingredients at El Milagro (a Latin market beside R&J Meats). I had to substitute a can of pickled Serrano chillies and it worked out great. The yellow tomatoes are very hard to come by even though it's tomato season. I picked up a pound at Quiet Acres Farm Stand (Lakeshore Rd. & East West Line). The yellow tomatoes went into the Salsa Verde, which was a total pain-in-the-ass to make! I smoked up the house right off the bat by heating the tomatoes, jalapeno and onion on high in a skillet. It's all part of the process, but wasn't pleasant. However, once complete, this Salsa Verde is outstanding and it made a ton!
Luckily the Pico de Gallo was quite a bit easier and with the field tomatoes the way they are now I don't think there could be a better time than now to enjoy this recipe.
The eight layers in the 8-Layer Dip (not from Everyday Food, Fresh Flavour Fast - but from Everyday Food June 2010 issue) consisted of a layer of seasoned refried beans, layer of sour cream, layer of grated cheddar, layer of chopped green chilies, layer of plum tomatoes (which are currently in season), layer of avocado, layer of lettuce and a final layer of scallions. I gave Owen a 3-Layer Dip of unseasoned refried beans, layer of sour cream and layer of grated cheddar. He didn't really seem to be on board with this one.
I'd say this entire meal was very time consuming because of all the fresh produce that went into the 3 dishes. There was a lot of washing, peeling and chopping. Time consuming intricate cilantro plucking and jalapeno chopping. But having said all that, this was a super delicious dinner! We loved it. If we ever decided to make this dinner again it would have to be a two person meal prep on a Saturday or Sunday night.