When we lived in Europe there was so many Mexican foods that we painfully missed. Though I successfully created many substitutes, there were simply some things that just couldn’t be substituted. Poblano peppers fit into both of these categories. You can try your hardest using other peppers but nothing tastes like a plump, glistening, forrest green coloured poblano — really, nothing.
Poblano peppers are traditionally used in Mexican cuisine for chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers) or for rajas poblanas, which are strips of the poblano with onion and a creme. (Recipes coming soon) Both of these dishes are amazing and among my favourite Mexican meals, but that’s not the only thing you can cook with poblanos. I’m kinda of making it a personal mission to create as many recipes as possible with poblano peppers. (lol) Today I want to share one of those recipes, these delicious tacos.
You can purchase fresh poblano peppers in many regular grocery stores, if not make sure to check out farmer’s markets and/or Latin food stores near you. If you have the unfortunate luck of not finding the peppers you can use your favourite local pepper variety for a different and unique take on my recipe.
It is important that you not skip the charring of the peppers, this step is what helps really bring out the true delicious flavour of poblano peppers. I char mine over an open gas flame (like in the photos) but it can also be done on a grill, griddle, pan or in the oven over the broiler setting. You choose the method most convenient to you.
- 700 gm or 1.5 lb. poblano peppers
- 600 gm or 1.3 lb potatoes, peeled and evenly cubed
- 175 gm or 6 oz white onion (it was a medium sized onion), cut in half and thinly sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, mince
- 1.5 to 2 tbsp olive oil
- fine sea salt to taste
- corn tortillas
- salsa of choice
- queso fresco or feta cheese (omit for vegan option)
- refried beans, optional side-dish
- After rinsing the pepper, pat dry with a paper towel. Set the peppers directly over an open flame and char on all sides evenly, make sure to keep turning. Alternatively charring can be done on a grill, gridle or in the broiler setting of your oven.
- After the peppers have been evenly charred place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.
- While the peppers are cooling you can continue with the other ingredients. Heat the oil in a large pan, once hot add the onion and cook until soft. Next add the potato cubes and fry until they have softened. Make sure to check them often so they don't burn or stick to the pan.
- While the potatoes are cooking you can finish the poblano peppers. Remove the plastic wrap and either using a butter knife or your fingers, begin removing all of the charred outer skin on the poblanos. Rinse the peppers, then cut the stem off and remove all of the seeds from inside, discard these charred bits. Rinse again if need be. Check on the potatoes, if they've finished cooking turn heat off and set aside. Now we need to cut the charred and cleaned poblanos into thin strips. After the potatoes are cooked through add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the poblano strips and salt. Give the pan a good stir, cover and allow to cook for about 8 minutes. Taste and adjust salt if necessary.
- Heat the corn tortillas, add some filling to the centre and top with your favourite salsa and cheese if desired. Serve alongside with refried beans to give your meal some protein.
•To give the taco meal an extra boost of protein I served them alongside refried beans. Get my recipe here.
•The corn tortillas I used were blue corn and ones flavoured with chipotle peppers. Feel free to use regular corn or flour tortillas.
•For a meat lover's variation I suggest adding finely chopped turkey bacon to the mix. Simply add it just before the potatoes.
These tacos are so simple but because of the roasted poblanos they are so packed full of delicious flavours. Remember if you want to make a vegan meal out of it just omit the cheese. But if you want to make it a meaty meal then I suggest adding bacon. While we normally eat these for vegetarian meals, on a couple occasions I have added finely chopped turkey bacon; It works wonderful and adds an extra smokiness to the tacos.
I hope you give these tacos a try for your next Meatless Monday or meat free meal during the week. And as we say in Mexico, buen provecho!