Whew, finally I am back! It’s been a whirlwind of a month or so for our family, first with my brother’s wedding, Andrew’s birthday, a trip to Disney and then a trip to California (many travel posts coming your way soon!) Things are starting to settle back into a more normal routine and I’m happy to get back to posting here. I have mentioned Andrew’s love of Mexican food in general and specifically his love for Rick Bayless before. It has pretty much become a part of our weekly menu planning that we pull out Rick’s cookbooks and choose a recipe that sounds good. Though we love them all, this was definitely a favorite of those we have tried recently!

This is one of those recipes where Bayless’ genius brilliance really shines. A roasted tomato salsa takes just a short bit of time to make with the help of a broiler, and that magical stuff serves as the flavor base for the entire dish. This genius technique makes the whole thing super simple, even though it seems far more involved and complex.  This meal would definitely be a fabulous option for entertaining and I can’t wait to share it with my friends.

  • Yield about 4-6 servings


  • 1 lb. ripe tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1-2 jalapeños, stemmed
  • ½ small white onion, sliced ½-inch thick
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup medium grain rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ lb. meaty, skinless fish fillet (mahimahi, halibut, sea bass), cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 12 large mussels (6 oz.), or 12 oz. small clams, scrubbed and beards removed
  • 1 sprig epazote (optional)
  • 12 large shrimp (8 oz.), peeled and deveined
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving


  • 01

    Place an oven rack at the highest level and heat the broiler. Place the tomatoes, garlic, jalapeños and sliced onion on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the tomatoes are softening, blackened and blistered on one side (about 6 minutes). Turn everything over and roast the other side until softened. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool slightly. Once cool, remove and discard the garlic peels, and roughly chop the chiles. Peel off as much skin from the tomatoes as you can. Add the garlic and chiles to a food processor and pulse into a paste. Add the tomatoes with any juices from the baking sheet and pulse until a coarse puree is formed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Chop the roasted onion into small pieces, then mix into the tomato mixture. Stir in the water and salt.

  • 02

    In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Once hot, stir in the roasted tomato salsa you just made. Stir and let cook down about 5 minutes, until the mixture begins looking shinier. Add the rice to the pan and stir slowly for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, fish pieces, mussels and epazote (if using) to the pot. Season generously with salt (at least ½ teaspoon plus more if needed). Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and let cook for 15 minutes.

  • 03

    Take a bite of rice (let cool for a few minutes before tasting!) and check the texture. If the rice is still crunchy at the center, cook for just a few more minutes. Remove from the heat as soon as the rice is fully cooked and add in the shrimp. Replace the cover on the pot and set a timer for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve warm with fresh lime wedges.