Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Roasted Poblano

I shouldn't watch Rick Bayless and then go to the grocery, especially without a plan. Everything on his show looks so great but it's all "authentic Mexican" and I tend to fall down on the "authentic" part. This time, though, it worked out- albeit on a small scale.

At the grocery the poblano peppers looked and smelled so fresh and delicious that I got one without a hint of a plan. I know fresh poblanos are not exactly exotic but they also aren't in my regular recipe rotation. It languished in the fridge a few days until I had James grilling for supper. I rubbed it with some olive oil and sent it out to the grill, over protests that he didn't know what to do with it (uh... me neither. not the point.). It came back lovely and charred, semi-soft and blackened in spots. By the time dinner was over the skin peeled off easily and I dropped it in the blender (actually, it's a Vita-Mix and I love the thing, make all the infomercial comments you want).

I also used Rick Bayless' method of roasting individual cloves of garlic in a dry pan (as in this gazpacho recipe). I had hoped for the super soft and sweet buttery roasted garlic they serve as a spread for bread at my favorite restaurant, Hudson's on the Bend, but they didn't quite get there. They had a roasted flavor, but not the mildness or softness. I mixed one with butter for the bread at dinner instead of spreading all three on the bread. Maybe I needed a higher temperature; I'm definitely going to try it again. So, I had two flavorful but strongish cloves of roasted garlic left and they went into the Vita-Mix as well.

Meanwhile, as James was grilling, Zack was running crazy around the yard. James sent him to the garden to look for anything ripe - mostly to give him a task. Over the course of several trips we netted six or eight small ripe tomatoes. I put those in the skillet with some olive oil and salt and left them, shaking occasionally, for a long time, while we ate and I cleaned up. They burst and blackened in spots, leaving a gorgeous crust of caramelization in the skillet (why didn't I think to take a picture?). I dropped those in the skillet, deglazed the pan with a little water, poured that in too and blended to a rough puree.

Since it was then 9pm and I had nothing to do with this invented roasted salsa, I stuck it in the fridge and went upstairs for the night.

I ventured to taste it today. O, the roasted goodness! It was my sole dinner, with some chips to hold it up, and it was delicious. Hurray for random salsa discovery!

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