This is a very easy and delicious meal that will cover some basic skills that you will use again and again in Mexican cooking; pickled onions, refried beans, and roasted and peeled poblano peppers.
One important thing I need for preparing chilies is a pair of rubber gloves. Otherwise, I get that hot stuff on my hands and then in my eyes,etc. I always have a bag of disposable gloves around. It’s a huge help.
Preparing the Peppers
The peppers to use are fresh poblanos. They are good sized peppers, dark green and beautiful. I’m going to spell this process out for you. Stay with me, now. One step at a time.
Before you can peel the chilies, you have to char them to loosen their skins. This is really easy, you just have to pay attention to what you’re doing. So — I do this over the flame of a gas stove burner. This is a very direct method. You can do one on each burner. (I just make one stuffed chile per person, as they are pretty large). You should end up with the peppers looking pretty burned and charred, which might seem weird to you, but that’s exactly what you want. Unless they are charred, the skin won’t come off. You will scrape off the burned part. Tongs are very helpful tools in handling the peppers while they are on the flame.
Put the charred chiles in a paper bag, or wrap with paper towels. Put the paper bag in a plastic bag. Let them steam themselves for at least 15 minutes.
Use a sharp serrated knife and scrape off the burned skins. You now have a pliable pepper. Leave the stems on, cut a slit in the side of the pepper that goes from the top about half-way down. Hold under cold water and carefully remove the seeds. They are all up at the top, tight under the stem.
After soaking, rinse the peppers really well with cold water, then pat dry with paper towels.
Pickled Onions (Escabeche de Cebollas)
Cut 1 large red onion into thin slices. Put in pan with 1/4 cup water and bring to boil. . Let stand 30 seconds. Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat, drain, and chill to crisp.
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 tea salt. 1 T sugar
1/2 tea oregano. Dash of black pepper
These will keep in the frig for several days
I must brag a little and say I make the BEST refried beans. Now, you can, too.
Well, this couldn’t be easier. I really cheat here and use canned ones. Just make absolutely sure you get the vegetarian version. Of course, I do my own spin on them, as follows:
In 2 T olive oil
Sauté 1 large yellow sweet onion for about 5 minutes. Then add
4 cloves chopped garlic.
1 chopped jalipińo pepper, with seeds removed. Cooking the jalipińo will give you flavor, not heat. Add
A handful of chopped cilantro
1/2 teas hickory smoked salt
1 T adobo seasoning, or chili powder. Then deglaze the pan with
1 T smoked vinegar
Let the vinegar “cook off”
You can buy the smoked salt and vinegar at blvd if you live in Nashville. You can use regular salt and cider vinegar in a pinch.
Add 2 15 Oz cans refried beans. I like Amy’s
Mix well and cook over low head for a few more minutes.
For this particular meal I add some tomato sauce to the beans to thin them down a bit. I just use marinara in a jar.
Since there is so much flavor in everything else, I kept this simple. Mashed up avacado with a bit of salt and juice of 1/2 lime.
Assemble by putting the beans into the slot you cut in the peppers to take the seeds out. Top with the avacado and onions, add a sprig of cilantro, and serve.