Thursday, February 9, 2012

Poblano Potato Salad

Give me one week of solid sunshine and I'm ready to launch into summer. It's barely February, not even close to Spring, yet I found myself daydreaming about summer fun, summer weather and summer food with strong, bright flavors. It helped too that the kitchen was overstocked with the fresh green colors of cilantro, tomatillos and Poblano peppers. So I roasted those green veggies and took a mental road trip into summer adventures.

The aroma of roasting peppers filled the house, reminding me of a tempting recipe I had bookmarked months earlier. Bookmarked, and then resisted. Last June (link) I stated a preference for vinaigrette dressing on potato salad. Actually I ranted on and on, dismissing potato salads with a mayonnaise base as too goopy and weighty. Then HomesickTexan featured a Poblano Chorizo Potato Salad post in July and I was tempted. Poblanos, chorizo, potatoes - who could resist? But it called for mayonnaise, so I resisted. Resisted until this week, when those lovely just-roasted peppers demanded star billing. So I worked on my version of that tempting bookmarked recipe.

I roasted a dozen tomatillos and five peppers, knowing they could be used in several familiar dishes. While the online recipe called for two Poblanos, I only used half of one large pepper. It was hot enough to make it's presence known! You know the feeling, when your lips tingle a bit but you don't quite break into a sweat or cry. 

Basic kitchen ingredients combined to make a tangy dressing, not at all goopy or weighty. Cumin can be overpowering in scent and taste, but it played nicely in this dressing. The same can be said for the garlic.

That vibrant green color hints at the flavor punch a Poblano can pack. Mmmmm, love those peppers!

RL raved over this recipe, declared it his new favorite and promptly ate two helpings. That's translates to two thumbs up at our house. So now we have another "favorite" version of a sunny, savory potato salad. Every cook needs more than one great potato salad recipe in their repertoire, right? What's yours?

Poblano Potato Salad
adapted from a recipe by Lisa Fain, the HomesickTexan


1 or 2 roasted poblano chiles, in small dice (use more or less to taste)
2 pounds red or yellow potatoes, cubed
1/4 teaspoon chorizo spice mix
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice (add more to taste)
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons light Best Foods mayonnaise
2 tablespoons light sour cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
a handful of cotija cheese or pepitas for topping (optional)

  1. Roast the poblanos under the broiler until blistered and blackened on all sides. Put the chile in a closed paper sack and let it steam until cooled. Then peel off the skin, remove the stem and seeds and chop the flesh into small dice.
  2. While the chile steams, put the potato chunks into a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a slow boil over medium heat. Cook until just tender, then drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. Mix together the chorizo spice, garlic, cumin, lime juice, vinegar, mayonnaise and sour cream for a dressing. 
  4. Place the cooled potato chunks in a large bowl; add some or all of the diced Poblano pieces and the chopped cilantro. Chiles vary in heat, so adjust to your own taste. Toss gently to distribute evenly. 
  5. Add the dressing and mix gently to incorporate.
  6. Adjust the seasonings, you may want more lime juice or Poblano. (I used 1 additional tablespoon of lime juice, but only one half of the Poblano - it was really hot! Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve warm or chilled, it's delicious either way. Top with a sprinkling of Cotija cheese crumbles if you like.

1 comment:

  1. That looks like one terrific potato salad! It's a great combination of flavors.


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