A cold snap finally brought seasonally-appropriate weather to our neck of the woods, accompanied by the sort of winds that inspire cliches about the beginning of March. The flu is nearly in the rear-view mirror, but it's going to be a while before I'm firing on all cylinders again. It would have been a lovely day to stay in bed, but my immune system seems to be work week-aware which has to be some sort of genetic deficiency.
I can't share the book I'm currently reading with you, so to make it up to you, I'm going to share something very near and dear to my heart with all of you today. Tacos are a Very Big Thing in this neck of the woods and I'm not going to pretend that my recipe is the best, but it's mind and it's comforting to me, and now it's yours as well:
One can of kernel corn
5 poblano peppers*
1 head of garlic
1 yellow onion
1/4 pound asadero cheese (or whatever kind you like)
Salt & Pepper
Just enough vegetable oil to keep it from sticking (between 1 and 2 teaspoons)
Really good tortillas (I like corn, but I won't judge if you're in to flour)
Peel all of the garlic (I know, I know), peel the onion and chop it roughly into half-moons about 1/4-1/2" in width. Chop the top off the peppers and remove the seeds unless you really like the seeds. Slice them into long, 1/4" wide strips. Drain the can of corn. I've tried roasting an ear of corn, then cutting the kernels off of it, but I haven't noticed much difference in taste, so I just buy the can. The key is to let it cook until the corn has slightly blackened bits on some of the kernels. Add a little salt and pepper to taste while everything's still hot. That's it for the prep.
Heat a large skillet to the low side of medium heat and add the oil. Add the garlic cloves and onions and heat them slowly until the onions are transparent and the garlic is getting a little soft. Add the drained corn It's still pretty wet, so mix it all up and let it cook down until it's almost dry. Lastly, add the peppers. The next bit is a matter of personal taste. If you like the peppers a little crunchy, just let them warm up. I like them to soften and turn olive green so they'll be a little sweeter. To each their own.
OK, your filling is down. The next thing to do is to get your tortillas ready. You got good tortillas, I trust. If you didn't, stop what you're doing, get in your car, and get some good tortillas. Would you serve a Philly cheese steak sandwich on Wonder Bread? Make sure they're nice and warm and supple so they don't crumble when eat them. Scoop some of the taco filling in, add some grated cheese on top and you can squeeze some lime on there too.
Eat your tacos.
I get about 12-13 tacos out of this recipe. The whole mess takes maybe half an hour to put together. One of the main reasons I love this so much is that it reheats so well. If you're a dedicated carnivore, add some thinly sliced skirt or flank steak when you add the peppers. I use about 1/4 pound for the whole thing, but again, it's a pretty versatile recipe.
Those tacos have seen me through some tough times. It's a tough recipe to screw up, although I've managed it a couple of times. They're cheap, they're filling, I think they're pretty tasty, and you can make up a big batch in advance and just reheat as you go for several meals.
* Poblano peppers can be used instead of green bell peppers in almost any recipe. In fact, almost always should be used instead of green bell peppers, which are bitter and flavorless. If you can find a place that makes fajitas using poblanos instead of bell peppers, make it your home.