At Frontera Grill in Chicago, Rick Bayless serves this classic dish that combines grilled marinated steak, fried plantains, homemade black beans and fresh guacamole. At home, trim the dish back to a simple duo of spice-marinated rib eye steaks and canned black beans served with avocado.
You can think of this salsa as a not-too-smooth, fresh version of your typical rusty-orange hot sauce—fresh chiles replace dried ones, fresh lime juice replaces vinegar. The roastiness of the fresh chiles adds sweet richness, plus a powerhouse of heat should you choose a chile like cayenne or habanero. The not-too-hot jalapeño is a good chile to start with, as you're getting to know this approach to salsa; its natural, juicy sweetness makes a salsa that's well rounded and utterly delicious—a favorite of market stall cooks in Guadalajara. In its pure simplicity (no additions, no riffs), this salsa is one of Rick Bayless's favorites, too.
With only a few ingredients, Rick Bayless's salpimentado (salt-and-pepper) ceviche is typical of what one would find at stands around the southern tip of Baja. Cooks often make it with sierra, a large and meaty Mexican fish, but tuna works just as well.
Chef Rick Bayless is renowned for cookbooks featuring elaborate Mexican recipes. With Mexican Everyday, he's finally published a cookbook for fast weeknight cooking. This simple, 20-minute dip of melted cheese flavored with tomatoes, chiles, onion and a hit of tequila is just the thing to satisfy a sudden craving for something warm, salty and gooey.