Guess what? Tacos are better with fire roasted poblanos.
And they’re even better when you’ve roasted the peppers yourself! DIY fire roasting can be achieved with a broiler or a gas stove. I recently learned how to do this over a gas stove, and it is really easy and fun. Maybe it is my lifetime love of science and playing with Bunsen burners, or maybe it is my fascination with new cooking techniques, but I’ve got a fever. And the only prescription is more fire roasting.
First, a disclaimer, which has nothing to do with fire safety. It’s my stove. I rent an apartment in a really old building (89 years old to be exact) and the kitchen has really old appliances. My stove is ugly, with indelible burn marks everywhere. No amount of Method cleaner, degreasing stovetop cleaner, or Bar Keeper’s Friend can clean this baby up. So we deal with it, and now you will too. Because here it is in all its glory.
The first step to fire roasting your peppers is slicing them in half, deseeding them, and placing them directly on the burner of your gas stove. Turn the heat up to high and hold the pepper with fire-proof tongs. Or non-fire-proof tongs (but be careful). Just make sure your tongs can withstand the heat and they won’t melt everywhere. Grilling tools are ideal.
The skin will start to get brown and, in some spots, black and bubbly. Turn the pepper periodically so that it gets charred evenly over the flame, for about 8 minutes. When the skin is brown and blistering all over (yum!) remove the pepper from the flame and repeat the process for all remaining peppers. If you get really good at this, you can have multiple burners going at once.
Next, place your peppers in a large plastic bag with a zipper seal.
This will steam the hot peppers and make it easier to remove the skin. After 5 minutes, remove them from the bag and the skin should peel right off. From here you can chop, slice, dice or stuff them for your favorite recipe.
One option is to keep the burners fired up to warm some tortillas. Corn tortillas are fantastic when heated over an open flame.
It takes just a minute or two per side to get fresh corn tortillas warm and slightly charred. I’m telling you, now that I know how to do it I dream about what I can fire roast next! This is how I made the roasted poblano and spicy black bean tacos for the vegetarian beer dinner that I created earlier this month.
1. Poblanos: First, fire roast your poblano peppers using the method described above, and slice the peppers into strips. See all the little charred bits? Delicioso.
2. Black Beans, Chili powder, Cumin: Next, add 1 Tbsp oil to a saucepan over low-medium heat and add black beans (canned or dry and soaked). Stir for two minutes, then add chili powder and cumin to the pot. The amount depends on your personal preference. Cook for about 5 minutes just until the beans start to get pasty and then take them off the heat.
3. Sour cream, Lime, Cilantro: Then add 1 Tbsp lime juice and a palmful of chopped fresh cilantro to 1/2 cup of sour cream. Stir to combine.
4. Tortillas: Warm some corn tortillas over the flame on a gas stove, or in the microwave between 2 damp paper towels for 30 seconds, or wrapped in foil in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes.
5. Additional Toppings: I shredded some cheddar cheese and pulled the Chipotle Tabasco out of the refrigerator. Other toppings ideas include: steamed corn, pico de gallo, roasted diced potatoes, or sriracha sauce.
6. Assembly: Fill the warm corn tortillas with beans, peppers, and additional toppings, and top with a dollop of the cilantro lime sour cream, for a super roasted Mexico-inspired dinner.
Once you try this technique, you might get hooked. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.