Monday, September 17, 2012

Muy Bueno Cookbook Celebration: Mushroom, Jalapeno and Cilantro Salsa



I have a very talented blogger friend named Yvette who has been working and cooking on a collaborative cookbook with her mother and sister for as long as I have known her  .  This cookbook will soon be hitting the shelves and I was fortunate enough to be chosen along with 15 other food bloggers to do a series of posts to get the word out about it.

Muy Bueno, Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor, is a compilation of recipes and stories from family matriarch, Evangelina (Vangie) Soza and her two daughters, Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack and Veronica Gonzalez-Smith. 


Rich in history and family tradition, Vangie’s recipes are mostly credited to her own mother, Jesusita whose traditional old-world northern Mexican recipes come alive through both Vangie’s descriptions and the beautiful photographs in the book.

Complimenting Vangie and Jesusita’s traditional recipes are the more contemporary Latin fusion dishes created by Yvette and Veronica.  From Veronica’s Beef Brisket Tacos and Blood Orange Mezcal Margaritas, to Yvette’s Spicy Mushroom Torta with Cheese and Tres Leches Pumpkin Flan, this cookbook is truly a colorful family patchwork.  

For my first post in this series of three, our coordinator Heather over at Girlichef chose two recipes from the book and asked that the participating bloggers choose one to feature.  I decided on Yvette’s Mushroom, Jalapeno and Cilantro Salsa partly because I already had the pleasure of tasting Yvette’s delicious Mexican Bread Pudding (Capirotada) about a year ago at a blogger get together.  Even though I loved the Capirotata, I really wanted to try something different, and honestly the main reason for choosing the salsa, was because I was attracted to its simplicity of preparation and interesting combination of flavors.

Now I must admit from the get go that I am not a raw mushroom person, but I really wanted to step out of the box and give something new a try.  I love sautéed mushrooms, but always give the fresh ones a pass on the salad bar.  Yvette calls for the mushrooms in her recipe to be marinated in lime juice, and since I’ve eaten fish given the same treatment in ceviche I decided that this might give them the cooked texture that I prefer. So, armed with an open mind I got cooking.

Since there are only four of us in my family and only two of us eat mushrooms, I thankfully found it easy to cut Yvette's recipe in half.   Even after reducing it, it still made what I thought to be enough for four people as an appetizer with chips, or a topping for grilled steaks or chicken breasts.

The recipe was super simple to assemble, and following Yvette’s directions, I made mine well ahead of our evening meal and let it marinate for a couple of hours.  The results were very good even for those who are not raw mushroom lovers like me.  The mushrooms did indeed turn soft and moist and the flavors married nicely producing a simple earthy flavor which complemented our grilled steaks very well.

Mushroom, Jalapeno and Cilantro Salsa

This recipe is Yvette's original which yields 3 cups.  I easily cut this recipe in half and found it to still be enough to easily feed four as an appetizer or a light side dish.

1 pound fresh white mushrooms, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and finely chopped
Handful cilantro, chopped
3/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste

In a bowl combine the mushrooms, onion, jalapeno and cilantro.  Add the lime juice and olive oil and toss gently.  Salt to taste.

Let sit for a couple of hours allowing the flavors to meld.  This salsa is best served at room temperature. 

Serve as a topping for fish, chicken, grilled steak, or as an appetizer with a basket of your favorite tortilla chips.

Makes 3 cups.

*This post is part of the Muy Bueno Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef*
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