Oh, how I miss Mexican flavors. I envy people who have access to good authentic Mexican food. Although, the dish I made here isn’t exactly Mexican, it does include Poblano peppers which do have some affinity with Mexican cuisine. The day I saw these Poblanos at the farmer’s market, I literally screeched in excitement. I was instantly reminded of my favorite dish, chilies rellenos.
In Rhode Island, where I grew up, is where I had first taste I had of authentic Mexican food, and no I’m not talking about Taco Bell or some Tex-Mex chain, I am talking about real authentic and fresh food. The food where you taste the smokiness of fresh cumin, the tartness of lime, the creaminess of avocado, and the smoothness of crema. It’s where you add radishes for that perfect and slightly piquant bite of fish taco.
Every time I visit my parents, I make sure to make a stop at our old family favorite, Mexico Restaurant. I know new restaurants have popped up and some claim they are better, I have not found that to be so, maybe I am biased by the many years of dining there. I have even made my husband a lover of their cuisine.
Again, I come back to the poblanos. I wanted to make the chilies rellenos, but I feared I could not do them justice. I will try another time, hopefully yielding delicious results. With the days of summer gone, I decided to relish the last of its flavors. Corn and poblanos are a natural paining. Paired with some quinoa, the dish soared. I almost forgot about the authentic Mexican food, almost but not quite. Luckily, I will be visiting my parents soon and there will be poblanos galore waiting for me.
Quinoa with Poblanos, Corn, and Chives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry quinoa, soaked in water for 15 minutes and then rinsed
3 Poblano peppers, cut into strips (seeds and ribs removed)
1 cup corn kernels
2 shallots, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
the juice of 2 limes
a bunch of chives (as much as you want really, I like a lot)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
optional–lime wedges, avocado slices, sour cream, extra chives, for garnish
I like to cook quinoa in the pasta method, if you prefer it the traditional way, go with your own method. Boil ample water in a medium-sized pot. Add the quinoa and allow to boil for about 15 minutes, or until cooked. Drain the excess water in a colander and set aside.
In a sauté pan, on medium heat, cook the shallots in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and allow it to slightly change color, about a minute. Add in the corn and cumin and allow the corn to cook for 3-4 minutes. Next, the Poblanos along with the lime juice go in and do not let them get mushy, they should still have a little bite left in them, season with salt and pepper.
The corn and Poblano mixture should cook for about 5 more minutes. At this point, toss in the quinoa and chives and incorporate the whole mixture together. Serve warm with a dollop of sour cream, avocado, chives, and lime.