The last time I did this dressing two things come to mind. The first one I had a heck of a hard time getting it right. It's one of those times, when you taste and one ingredient jumps on your taste buds too hard, and it kills the whole thing. The second thing that comes to mind is the result, after much tweaking, I got numerous raves through out dinner, people just went nuts for it.
It's a mexican dressing, and it's from Rick Bayless, the authority in Authentic mexican cuisine in the US, as opposed to the mexican we know here which is tex-mex. He is based in Chicago, and owns several restaurants, I went to three of them, and every time I've been blown away by the flavours. The last time I was at one of his restaurants we went for the topolobampo his high end restaurant, and this whole experience of mexican cuisine is at the top of my list on all fronts, service, ambiance, and food. Manon and I wrapped up dinner and I can't count how many times we said, 'I didn't know mexican food was so sophisticated and could be so amazing!'. You can find numerous books from him, this one particular recipe is from Authentic Mexican cuisine, a book I highly recommend for anyone looking for good mexican recipes, easy to follow, the only downside is there are few pictures.
You can use the dressing on anything, from salads, to all sorts of greens, warm or cold, in my case it was to dress green beans. I'm serious when I say you can use this dressing on anything, it could be to dress-up a mexican rice salad, all the way to top off a steak if you dial up the spices and cheese! Go at it!
So here is the recipe, get it straight from the source on frontera. It's very simple so where did my problems come from the last time I did it? It's in the feta cheese. I used goat feta cheese last time, and this type of feta is a heck of a lot more bitter than the one made from cow milk. My guess when it says feta cheese in the recipe, the intent is a feta closer to cow milk feta, which in turn is very close to Queso Fresco, the mexican sibling to feta in texture.
Now what do you do if you only have goat feta on hand. Instead of 3table spoons of feta, start at 1.5 table spoon, and taste, you can increase from there, but I suspect this is the most the dressing can take keeping the other proportions the same. In my case I roughly had to triple the recipe to get to a place where it tasted right, and the bitterness was subdued and blending with the lime, cilantro and the heat!
Two additions, my preferences:
- if (only if) you have chipolte on hand, i would had some to taste, instead of hot peppers
- In any cases I strongly suggest to round it up with a table spoon of maple syrup, it's spring after all!