notes from the mexican kitchen

Our First Members-Only Cookalong!

It’s our first members-only live cooking class! We are incredibly excited to share a night of soul-satisfying cooking with you. We pondered what would be the best dishes for our inaugural session and the debates were fierce: Enchiladas? Something on the grill? Should we throw a curveball and go with a bright, wild ceviche?

Ultimately, we decided on something comforting, because there’s a chill in the air and comfort is what we all really need right now.

So, soups it is. Specifically, a Steaming Seafood (or Vegetable or Chicken) Caldo.

As the soup simmers, we’ll also make a Creamy Jalapeño-Garlic Dressing for a salad to accompany your comforting caldo. To drink? We suggest a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, or perhaps a light red like a Barbera or a fruity American Pinot Noir.

Recipe: Steaming Seafood (or Chicken or Vegetable) Caldo
Recipe: Creamy Jalapeño Garlic Dressing

Remember, our class starts 6 p.m. (Central) on Tuesday, Dec. 29. We expect the session to take about an hour, start to finish.

Grocery and Equipment List


2 heads garlic 
1 medium white onion
2 fresh jalapeño chiles
1 pound (about 4 medium) boiling potatoes (like the red-skinned ones)
1 ripe avocado
Epazote or parsley, optional
4 limes
Salad greens

For vegetarian version of the caldo: 

– 3/4 pound (usually 2 medium-small) zucchini or calabacitas (found in Mexican grocery stores)
– A couple of medium carrots or parsnips (or one of each)


A can chipotle chiles en adobo (you need 2 chiles)
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes
A generous cup olive or vegetable oil

Meat and Seafood

1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

For chicken version of the caldo: 

– 1 ¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken (I prefer thigh meat, but breast meat will work)

For seafood version of the caldo: 

– 1 pound mussels
– 1 pound peeled, deveined shrimp (I like the largish ones that are about 25 to a pound)


½ cup tangy crema, crème fraiche or sour cream


Food processor or blender
4-quart saucepan with lid


  1. Growing up fishing in San Diego, I’ve eaten bowls and bowls of this (always called it Mexican fish soup.) I can’t wait, I like adding ocra and using Yellow tail.

  2. Appreciate the wonderful effort you have put into this program. Look forward to the first cook along. Merry Christmas

  3. Rick Bayless, the dinner you proscribedhad w with chicken thighs was so exciting. We were just recovering from a three day power outage here in Stockton CA. and we went to La superior with your shopping list, purchased the recipe components, and followed you as closely as we could and then produced that wonderful dinner. We enjoyed the best left-overs for several more days. Thank you so-much!!!
    On Valentine’s Day, our church children’s leader Mike used your format to use Zoom and the parts bagged for the families signed up and with mikes direction to “make” a lovely valentines dinner. We had fun and it was still romantic and wife pleasing. Thank You very much. Morgan & Vicki Taylor.

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