Roasted Poblanos with Mushrooms

Mushrooms bring out an earthy and hearty flavor in this classic Mexican recipe by Stacie Billis from One Hungry Mama. It is the perfect option for a summer fiesta with tortillas.

It doesn’t need to be Cinco de Mayo to get this mama hungry for Mexican food. Mexican cuisine is among my favorites, and not just the cheesy Tex-Mex dishes most popular in the States. Don’t get me wrong—I love those, too—but Mexican food is so much more than burritos and quesadillas, and mushrooms play a significant role in Mexican regional cooking. Mushrooms’ meaty texture and earthy flavor perfectly paired with chiles.

Mushrooms—hongos, in Spanish—have long been enjoyed by cooks from the mountainous regions of Mexico where they grow wild. Their texture is ideal for many traditional Mexican preparations. They are great in moles, stews and as a stuffing in anything from peppers to quesadillas. Cook them in beans and fried with onions, and they pair well with fish, meat, cheese or just other veggies. And, if you ask me, that’s the best way to enjoy mushrooms in Mexican food: in hearty vegetarian dishes that satisfy even the most serious meat eater.

This recipe is one of my favorite ways to incorporate mushrooms into traditional Mexican cooking. Rajas con crema—strips of roasted poblano peppers cooked in cream—is popular in, among other cities, Puebla and Oaxaca, both of which are surrounded by mountains. It only makes sense, then, to add mushrooms—so I did!

This dish, rajas con crema y hongos, is as gratifying as vegetarian food gets. It’s complex, filling, delicious, and not just in a delicious-for-vegetarian-food kind of way! It’s great all year around and with whichever mushrooms are in season. I especially love this dish in summer when roasting the poblano peppers is as simple as throwing them on the grill. Serve with warmed corn tortillas for a fresh take on taco night or do like many Mexican locals and enjoy these for breakfast. They are delicious alongside scrambled eggs!

Rajas con Crema y Hongos (Roasted Poblanos with Mushrooms)
Serves 6

Ingredients:

• 8 poblano peppers
• 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
• 1 cup chopped shallots
• 24 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped, trimmed and sliced
• 3/4 cup Mexican crema (you can substitute sour cream)
• 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Begin by roasting the poblano peppers. If you have a grill, set it to high and place peppers on the rack; close the grill and allow the down side to   blacken. Turn peppers and repeat. Continue until the peppers are completely charred on all sides. (You can also do this on a gas stovetop, using the open flame to char the peppers.)
  2. Put blackened peppers in a brown paper bag or in Tupperware and seal shut; allow peppers to cool, about 5-10 minutes. Remove peppers from bag or container and peel off the blackened skin—it should come right off leaving you with soft flesh. Remove the stem and seeds, and cut the flesh into ½-inch wide strips. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan set over medium-high heat. Once melted, add shallots and sauté until caramelized. Add mushrooms and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, at which point the mushrooms will shrink and release their liquid. Continue cooking until the liquid evaporates, another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add remaining butter and roasted peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Add crema and cheese. Stir and cook for a minute or so, just until the cheese melts and the flavors come together. Be careful not to overcook or it will get gummy.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with warmed tortillas or scrambled eggs.




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