Someone Else's Farm

June 21, 2010

Mexican chard tacos

Filed under: what we did — Tags: , — M @ 20:36 PM

Tonight, we used half the chard to make a taco filling. The recipe is mostly one of Rick Bayless’s early cookbooks, and available from Google Books.

To make it, I started by blowtorching the skin off two poblano chiles and putting them in a covered bowl to steam for a bit. While they were steaming, I sliced an onion, crushed a garlic clove and added a bit of thyme and Mexican oregano, sliced half our batch of chard into ribbons, diced a couple of good-sized new potatoes and put them in a saucepan with water to cover and a pinch of salt, sliced the very last bit of the grilled skirt steak from the other night, and wrapped eight corn tortillas in a clean non-fuzzy kitchen towel. The wrapped tortillas went into a pot that held half an inch of water and a rack. Everything else went near the stove. (I should note that the original recipe said to use chicken broth for the potatoes, but I didn’t have any handy.) By the time the rest of the prep was done, the chiles had steamed sufficiently, so I put a pair of rubber gloves on (nothing like chile-sliming a contact lens!), used a grapefruit spoon to scrape off all the charred skin, cut the meat of the peppers away from the seed pods, and then sliced it into rajas. They also went near the stove.

To start the filling, I turned the heat on to get the potatoes boiling. I also covered the tortilla pot, turned the heat on under them until the water was boiling, and then turned that burner off to let the tortillas steam. I started  the onions in a little oil in a frying pan on fairly low heat. After a couple of minutes, I added my rajas, sooner than the recipe said because blowtorching doesn’t cook the peppers as much as broiling does. When the onions were nicely browned and the rajas softened, I added the garlic and herbs, cooked it all just until I could really smell the garlic cooking, and then turned the heat off. Shortly after that, I tested a potato chunk with a fork, and it felt nearly done. So I added the rajas and the chard ribbons, gave everything a good toss, added another splash of water because it looked pretty dry, and let it go till nearly all the water had boiled off and the chard was cooked. Then, for the finishing touch, I added a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, still on the heat, and mixed it all together. I tasted it, gave it another pinch of salt, and tasted again. Into a bowl it went, and from there to the table.

Chard taco filling

The filling

While I was cooking the filling, I also had a 15-minute timer set for the tortillas. It went off just as the filling was done. And during the last bit of cooking the filling, when the water was boiling off, I heated the steak pieces in the same frying pan I’d used to cook the rajas. In the fridge, we had a container of French feta cheese (which is typically a little creamier than other nationalities of feta, and what I’d gotten when I couldn’t find any queso fresco or other fresh cheese at the supermarket). That was our dinner fixings.

Taco fixings

Taco fixings

Assessment: These poblanos didn’t have any detectable zip. I could have amped up the heat by adding some of a serrano. Other than that, the filling was quite nice, and worth considering for the future. We had a little left over, which I could see using as the filling for a frittata or omelet (although if I were making the filling specifically for that purpose, I’d take care to cook it down even further, so it wasn’t quite as soupy as this batch). The steak certainly wasn’t necessary, and I could see serving this as a vegetarian meal. The feta was nice, but again not necessary. The tortillas…do I need to talk about them? I think I may have oversteamed them, because the top and bottom ones from the stack were practically falling apart. I either should have added a couple more to the collection, or just kept a closer eye on them. Oh well.


1 Comment »

  1. […] about a third of a pound of crumbled French feta (yes, the same feta I’d gotten to go in the tacos.) I got a disher ready to go in the filling, and poured some olive oil into a dish with a pastry […]

    Pingback by Spanakopita « Someone Else's Farm — June 28, 2010 @ 13:33 PM

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