There are endless ways to make and use this recipe. It’s a roasted poblano chile sauce, and I’m using it in tacos because why not, and always.
It’s similar to pesto with the oil and the method or like a chimichurri without the vinegar/citrus. You could call it an herby paste with less oil to flavor a curry or soup. Whatever you name it and however you use it, it’s a method you want to have in your back pocket, plus a really great reason to have a food processor.
I’ve made so many versions of this over the last year, inspired by all the sauces and salsas I’ve made and read about from Rick Bayless. I’m using poblanos for a smoky low spice bite and lots of bright cilantro. There’s a little jalapeno in there too, but our Ev ate it up as written below. She’s my spice checker. If she’s hungry and says, “It’s a li-ttle spicy” but keeps eating? Then it’s just about right for most people.
Here are a couple of ways to use it:
- Grill chicken and onions, or veggies, chop it all up and toss with spoonfuls of sauce covering all the pieces.
- Stir fry chicken and white onions in a heated oil of your choice. When cooked through stir in spoonfuls of sauce, until chicken is covered and starts to stick to the pan. Done!
- For Tacos, add fresh cilantro and Cojita or Queso Fresco cheese to top it off.
- Serve sauce on the side as a dipping sauce or condiment to raw or roasted veggies or cooked meats
- 3 poblanos
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 head of garlic roasted see options for roasting here!
- 2 bunches of cilantro washed and spun dry, leaves picked, thick stems removed
- 1/2 cup avocado or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- Preheat oven to broil.
- Roast poblanos and jalapeno on the top rack about 3-4 inches away from broiler and turn every minute or two until black spots on all sides. Depending on your broiler this can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes.
- Toss all peppers into a brown paper bag and roll down the top shut to create a steamy environment while they cool, for about 15 minutes.
- Once peppers are cool enough to touch, run them under cold water peeling the skin off the pepper and removing all seeds and stems. I like to use plastic gloves if I have them when working with a jalapeno.
- Chop or tear peeled peppers into large chunks and add to food processor along with all peeled and cooked garlic cloves.
- Add prepped and dry cilantro and process until all chopped and combined well.
- When finely chopped pour oil through the tube while the machine is running slow to mix in all oil.
- Add 2 teaspoons of salt and process again for about 10-20 seconds until all combined.
- If you are not using right away, scrape into a jar or container with a small opening, scraping all leftover oil from the processor on top.
- If needed, add a drizzle of new oil to the top to lightly cover sauce which will keep cilantro a fresh shade of green.
- Refrigerate extra sauce for up to a week.
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While I’m sure some of you can’t imagine an internet-less life, 😂 I started cooking in grade school before technology was at my fingertips, and recipes were passed on handwritten cards or jotted down on random pieces of stationary stuffed into recipe card boxes. (Yes, I just used the word stationary. Bwahaha.)
My nightly scroll through foodland on Instagram is pure visual inspiration, and I love it of course. If it grabs me, say peanut butter and chocolate anything, I’m probably going to have to make something with peanut butter and chocolate by the end of the week even if I give it all away. (Like these shockingly great gluten-free PB & Choc cookies from Cookie+Kate, recipe here. I could actually eat them (GF), and they might just be Ina’s cookie twin, maybe better?! Gasp!)
While I do remember life before cell phones and the internet, I feel lucky (not just old!) to have been a part of both worlds. I can appreciate that my creative beginnings were before there was full access to whatever I was curious about at the moment. Quite possibly the limitations allowed me to develop skills by following recipes we already had and then use my own imagination to change it up. Who knows. But I’m a both/and girl and I really, really love that there are ways to plan and create something new and possibly from a different part of the world in one afternoon thanks to the access we have to ideas and ingredients like poblanos.
While Instagram and online searches are fabulous for pulling up recipes fast (minus the food that gets on your device while cooking!), I still love using handwritten recipes and secretly wish I had time to rewrite all my favorites. (HEATHER, you do not have time for this so don’t put it on your list!)
For a quick reminder and how-to on roasting garlic, check out my Instagram and look for this picture!