Monday, May 5, 2008

Weekend Tacos

Monday Monday Monday! What fun weekend around here, and the weather just could not be beat. The dance performance was fun, despite some truly embarrassing choreography, and the gig was full of incredibly gracious old geezers in suits who practically ate us up with a spoon. Plus, then I got to go spend all my gig money on plants and not feel one bit guilty. I didn’t have time to take pictures, but I will – I am especially excited about some Red Veined Sorrel and an enormous Silver Thyme plant. The garden is a happy place right now, save my total basil failure. Is basil hard to direct seed? Does everyone know this but me? I think I planted them too early maybe, it’s still under 50 here at night. Fortunately I found some tiny little starts at the plant sale (I hate planting huge starts, they are almost always stretchy or floppy or something) so we can still have insane amounts of pesto this summer. Lessee, the cucumbers just popped up, and they are a lovely pale green. Cukes are new for me, and I only got interested in growing them after someone gave me a homegrown cucumber last year and I was stunned into silence upon realizing that I had not eaten a decent cucumber in decades. Seriously, wow. I had planned to do some pickling cucumbers, but I think we might be out of room…

Ok, so this blog is supposed to be about cooking and eating too, but lately I have been way too overloaded to cook or bake anything that don’t know how to make in my sleep. Crazy. But yesterday I made something new and yummy and if you like peppers like we do, you should try it too. Plus, I love roasting peppers on a gas stove, it’s so fun to be allowed to burn things. Sorry about the lack of pictures, I just kind of forgot about my camera this weekend.

Tacos with Corn, Poblano Peppers, and Potatoes
From the New York Times

3 large poblano chilies (I would up this to 4 next time)
3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced
Salt to taste
2 large baking potatoes, peeled, cooked and cubed (I used Yukon Golds and did not peel them. Also, I think you should cube them to be fairly small cubes.)
1 cup cooked corn kernels (or fresh, see recipe)
1 cup crema (or crème fraîche or sour cream)

Red or green salsa, more crema or crumbled cotija for garnish.

1. Over a flame, in a broiler, on a grill or in a cast iron skillet on high heat, char skins of chilies until completely black on all sides. Put in a paper or plastic bag to steam for 15 minutes. Remove, then peel away skin; remove seeds and veins and slice into strips 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long (note: the original recipe says that you can rinse the skins off, but I have read that this rinses a lot of the yummy roasted pepper flavor away, so I just peel and have a small bowl of water to dip my fingers in- don’t worry if they still have tiny charred bits still on them, it tastes good, I swear).

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat lard or oil and cook onions, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until translucent and tender (if you are using fresh corn, add it in here). Add chili strips and salt, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, another 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add potatoes and cooked corn if that’s what you are using, and continue cooking for a few minutes, until potatoes are heated through. Check seasonings; stir in crema or sour cream at the last minute or so of cooking. Place in warm tortillas and add condiments as you wish.

Oh man, these were soooo good. We just used plain sour cream, and I love adding it into all the ingredients while it’s still on the heat because then you get the lovely sour cream flavor without cooling down your taco. Also, it is really worth tracking down Cotija cheese for this – you can find it at most Latino grocery stores, and if you don’t see something labeled Cotija, look for something that says Queso Duro (hard cheese), it will be very close. It’s kind of like a very dry salty feta, and it is the perfect topping, along with chopped avocado, for this dish.

The only other thing about this dish is that it is not spicy – next time I would roast a Serrano or Jalapeno along with the Poblanos to give it a little more kick.

Have a great week out there everyone.


Lets Plant said...

Sounds delicious!! When will it be ready!?!

queenbeehoney said...

I want my own personal cooking demonstration of this ~ oops! we have to start with the grocery shopping since I don't even know what these peppers look like. That darn big bird doesn't label their special peppers!