Monday, August 26, 2013

Roasted Poblano Tacos

August has been a complete whirlwind for me. I moved into a new apartment and suddenly grad school starts tomorrow. Yipes. My head is spinning a little bit, but I'm exciting for this new phase in my life. Once we get the apartment situated, I'll post some house pictures.

I have been waiting all summer for poblanos to be ready so that I could post these tacos. My friend Ari turned me on to this delicious recipe a while back, and I am grateful. It is a refreshing change from my usual black bean or carnitas tacos. 

The roasted poblanos are simmered with charred onions and then a dollop of sour cream is added to mellow out the flavors. The finished poblano filling ends up mildly spicy and very tasty. Next time I might garnish the tacos with crumbled cotija for an added brightness and tang. 

I am a huge fan of roasted peppers, but not of the actual roasting and peeling. My impatience often leaves me with a mangled, half-skinned pepper. Plus, poblanos are a little trickier to roast and peel as their skins tend to be thinner than bell peppers. The best strategy is to make sure to really blacken the skin and let them steam under a lid or covered bowl before peeling. Also, as you can see from the above pictures, I failed to stem my peppers first. I highly recommend stemming and seeding prior to roasting, as the roasted peppers are very fragile. 

The creamy poblano strips pair really well with pickled red onion, so I recommend making a quick batch. 

Roasted Poblano Tacos
adapted from Bon Appetit

makes 2 to 3 servings, depending on appetite and fixins'

3 poblano peppers (about 12 oz)
1/2 onion (or 1/3 giant onion), about 1 heaping cup peeled and sliced
3 plump garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c water
3/4 tsp mexican oregano
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste
2 1/2 Tbsp sour cream

corn tortillas
sliced cabbage
chopped cilantro
crumbled cotija or shredded jack cheese (optional)
sliced avocado (optional)

Preheat oven to broil. Stem and seed each poblano pepper. With a spatula, smash down each pepper until slightly flattened. Place the peppers on a cookie sheet or cast iron pan and set under the broiler. Roast until blackened on each side, about 10 minutes a side. Remove from pan, place in a bowl or on a plate and cover with a lid to steam for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and let cool to the touch. Carefully peel each pepper. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise and then in 1/4-inch strips. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a dry medium-sized cast iron pan or heavy-bottomed skillet on medium-heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring regularly, until brown and slightly charred. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn the heat to low and add the 1/2 cup of water, oregano and salt. Simmer until most of the water is gone, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the poblano strips and cook for another 5 minutes. If the pan becomes too dry within the 5 minutes, then add a tablespoon or two of water. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Heat the tortillas and serve with roasted poblano filling, pickled red onion, cilantro, and avocado or cotija, if desired. 

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