Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa with Curtido Slaw and Salsa Roja

These Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusas can be served as an appetizer or main dish.  The vibrancy of the curtido slaw is the perfect balance to the heartiness of the pupusas and the salsa roja spiciness brings it all together.
I have attempted to make these pupusas a few times but I felt that they were too dense for my liking.  Most pupusa are made with masa but some are made with rice flour.  I decided I would try combining both masa and rice flour.

Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Have you ever tried pupusas before?  They are a well-known Salvadoran street food that is out of this world.

I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Pupusas prior my moving back to Venice in 2007.  My friends Beto and Brian took me to Lidia’s Pupuseria on Westminster right off of the Venice boardwalk.  It was literally a hole in the wall on the side of a building.  I ordered the jalapeno with cheese and I was in heaven with my first bite.  It was a decent sized pupusa for only $2 served on a small paper plate with a curtido slaw and a small plastic bag of salsa roja.  They had no tables so the three of us would stand while eating these gems.

Brian and Beto had a chocolate business that I was involved with at the time and at least three times a week we would jump on our bikes and ride to the boardwalk for Lydia’s pupusas.  After inhaling them, we would jump back on our bikes, cruise around the boardwalk, checking out the waves and the skate-park and then we would head back to make more chocolates.  It was always a fun time!  Unfortunately, Lydia’s has since closed down; I am sure it was do to all the crazy rent increases that have been taking place in the Venice Beach area.

Pepper-Jack-Roasted-Poblano-Pupusa I love a sparkling wine like a Prosecco or a Cava.  They are also great with a Pinot Gris, white Rioja, Rueda or a Sauvignon Blanc.

Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Recipe:

Makes 10 Pupusas

Curtido Style Slaw – best prepared at least 4 hours in advance or even better, the day ahead.
  • 1 1/2 Cups Red Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups Green or Savoy Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Red Onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 Cups Filtered Water – boiling
  • 1 Carrot (1/2 cup) – grated
  • 1/2 Cup Radish – thinly sliced – cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeño or Serrano Peppers – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Salsa roja – can be made the day ahead
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 White Onion – 1/2 cup – diced
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove – minced
  • 2 Jalapeño Pepper – sliced – roughly chopped (leave seeds in for a hot salsa or remove for a mild salsa)
  • 1 Large or 2 Small (about 1 1/2 cups) Tomato – diced
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Mexican Oregano (can sub regular)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper – or to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Filtered Water – or to taste
Filling
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Large Onion – diced
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – minced
  • 1 Cup Jack Cheese – shredded
  • 2 Large Poblano – roasted – destemed – deseeded – diced
Dough
  • 1 1/2 Cups Masa Harina
  • 3/4 Cup White Rice Flour
  • 1 1/2 Filtered Water
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt

Other options

  • Black Beans
  • Roasted Poblano
  • Avacado
Instructions:
Curtido Style Slaw
Place the cabbage, carrots and onion into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over, cover, then set aside for about 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as you can.  Add the cabbage and carrots back to the bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.  Let set at room temperature for a couple hours.  Then chill.  It’s even better the next day.
Salsa
Add the oil into a saucepan over medium low heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minute then add the garlic and jalapeño sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and garlic becomes golden.
Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
Puree the salsa in a food processor or immersion blender until smooth then stir in the water.
Filling
Roast the poblano peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half, remove the seeds and stems and dice.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet on medium low heat.  Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes then add the garlic and salt then saute until the garlic just starts to become golden.  Add the onions to a medium sized bowl and mix together with the poblano and salt then mix in the cheese.  Set aside.

Dough and Assemble
Combine the masa, rice flour and salt together in a medium mixing bowl then mix in the water.  Knead the dough into a smooth, moist sticky dough.  If it is too dry you can add one teaspoon at a time of water.  Wet your hands to form 10 round balls about the size of a golf ball.  (I used a kitchen scale and each ball weight was 2 1/4 ounces) With your hands, press a ball into a flat disk by a bit bigger than your palm.  Add 2 tablespoons of filling in the center and form the dough around the filling.  Pinch the edges together, roll it into a ball and then flatten the ball to about 1/2 inch thick.  Try your best to repair any holes.
Place the pupusa on a large nonstick pan with some olive oil and cook on medium high until each side is golden brown.  About 3 -5 minutes on each side.  Don’t worry if some cheese leeks out.
 *
Here are two other recipes that include the curtido slaw that you might like.  One is my empanadas and the other is this appetizer.
*
  Pepper Jack Roasted Poblano Pupusa Health benefits:

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.

Cabbage is really low in calories, fat and high in fiber. It’s high in vitamin K that helps with brain function.  Red cabbage is the highest in vitamin K than other cabbage.  It’s high in sulfur keeping your hair, skin and nails healthy.  If you have arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases or gout, cabbage can help with its high vitamin C and sulphur content.  Cabbage is higher in vitamin C than oranges and is a natural antioxidant that helps with premature aging and also helps detoxify the blood and liver.  Cabbage helps protect bones from becoming brittle with its high potassium, magnesium and calcium content. Potassium is also great for reducing high blood pressure allowing the blood vessels to open and the blood to flow freely. It is also high in beta-carotene needed for eye health.  The pigment in purple cabbage helps lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production.  It helps your body fight off cancer with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin.  Cabbage is good for your heart, blood pressure, brain, nervous system, immune system, digestion, bowels, bones, eyes, skin, hair and nails.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer with Curtido Slaw

 This “Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer” is a blending of nationalities; Anaheim peppers from Mexico, Manchego from Span, curtido slaw from El Salvador and farinata (socca) from Italy.  The combination of these ingredients is loaded with flavor!  Apparently, this delicious flatbread originated in Genoa Italy.  They are called “farinata” in Italy and “socca” in France.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer When I was 5 years old, my mom decided that she needed to get out of L.A.  She was 27 at the time and had just broken up with her boyfriend.  She decided to meet up with my uncle Glenn, her brother, who was living in Italy with his girlfriend Terry at the time.  Unfortunately my mom didn’t have any savings so she had to sell her car to come up with the money for the airfare.  So, she sold the car, bought us tickets, packed two large suitcases and off we went.  We flew into London and stayed the night at my uncle’s friend’s house.  The next morning we arrived at the train station and to my mom’s horror, there was a huge bridge and stairway that we had to cross to get to the correct side of the tracks to catch our train to Rome.  There was no way that she could get two large suitcases and a 5 year old over at the same time.  So, she dragged one of the large suitcases while holding my hand over to the other side and left it there.  We then went back to get the remaining suitcase.  It was quite the ordeal.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer My mom had made arrangements to rent a room in Rome from a really nice family who took care of us as if we were part of their family.  The grandmother made me a very special birthday cake for my sixth birthday.  It looked like a bunch of cinnamon rolls stuck together with a cream cheese frosting (most likely mascarpone) and large colorful disk shaped sprinkles.  I will never forget it!  I also remember losing one of my front bottom teeth down the drain while brushing my teeth.  Since we didn’t know how long we were staying, my mom decided to enroll me into the local school.  They wore blue and white uniforms, so my mom cut up some old drapes and made me a uniform.  I was mortified at first because I didn’t speak Italian and I had to sit at the front of the class next to the teacher facing the other students. I ended up making friends with a few of the kids and it didn’t matter that we didn’t speak each other’s language. We spoke the universal kid language of gestures and facial expressions.

Four months later, my uncle was picked for a starring role in a spaghetti western film that was going to be filmed in Spain.  We all packed up into my uncle’s classic green VW van, including two dogs and a cat and we drove off to Spain. I absolutely loved this experience!  We ended up camping out in Madrid for a whole month and then we moved into a triangle shaped house, which had floor to ceiling glass windows on one side.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer After two months in Spain, my mom decided that we needed to get back to LA because she was running out of money. She called my grandma, her mother, to see if she would lend her some money to purchase tickets home and she refused to lend her the money.  So crazy!  Terry’s mom ended up loaning my mom the money. We flew into Boston and stayed with Terry’s mom for one night before catching our next flight home.  My grandmother must have felt bad because she called Terry’s mom to see where we were. Terry’s mom wasn’t sure if she should tell her that she lent my mom the money so she said we hitchhiked.  My grandma got so concerned that she ended up calling the state police.  Haha, what a story! Am I right?  We made it home safe and sound.

My mom didn’t want me to tell the last part of the story because she thought it would make her look like a bad mother. Actually, to me she is a badass and way more gutsy than I would ever be.  My mom always taught me to just go for it in life. Her motto has always been to feel the fear and do it anyways!  Sorry mom!  Hehe.  Italy will always hold a special spot in my heart and I hope to visit again someday!

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer This appetizer goes great with a White Rioja, Rueda, Cava or Txakoli.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto on Farinata (socca) Appetizer Recipe:

26 pieces

Curtido  Slaw – double if you want some on the side
  • 3/4 Cup Red Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 3/4 Cup Green or Savoy Cabbage – thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Red Onion – thinly sliced
  • 3 Cups Filtered Water – boiling
  • 1 Small Carrot (1/3 cup) – grated
  • 1/4 Cup Radishes – thinly sliced – cut into matchsticks
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Jalapeño or Serrano Peppers – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 1/4 + 1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
  • Pinch of Black Pepper – or to taste
Roasted Anaheim Pepper Manchego Pesto – for whole recipe
  • 1/2 Cup (about 2) Anaheim Peppers – roasted
  • 1/2 Serrano Pepper – or whole for spicier
  • 1/2 Cup Manchego Cheese – finely shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Raw walnuts
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Farinata
This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz
  • 1 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 Cup Warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Serrano Pepper – minced
Garnish
  • 1/4 Cup Anaheim Pepper – roasted – cubed
 Instructions:
Curtido Style Slaw
Place the cabbage, carrots and onion into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over, cover, then set aside for about 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as you can.  Add the cabbage and carrots back to the bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.  Let set at room temperature for a couple hours.  Then chill.  It’s even better the next day.
Pesto/Roasted Peppers

Roast all the peppers for the pesto and garnish.  Place the peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.

While the peppers are cooling, measure all other ingredients and add to a food processor or blender.  Add the pepper to the food processor and blend well.  If you like it hot, you can leave the seeds in the Serrano peppers.

Farinata

Add water, olive oil, serrano and salt into a bowl and whisk in chickpea flour until combined.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes up to 4 hours.

Heat a large, non-stick pan over medium heat, add a little olive oil and let it get hot.

In batches, add a tablespoon of batter, leaving space between each one.  Cook for 1 minute or until bubbles appear, then turn and cook for another minute.  Gently slide onto a plate and keep warm in a low oven or cool to room temperature.  Repeat with the remaining batter.

*Note – If you want them as perfectly round as you can (they will most likely never be totally PERFECT) use a round cookie cutter for a mold.  Pour in the batter and wait a few seconds carefully twist and lift up the cutter.  I used an oven mit incase the cutter became too hot.  Wipe off any batter that sticks to the cutter and repete.

Roasted Anaheim Pepper Pesto Farinata (socca) Appetizer Health benefits:

Anaheim pepper are an excellent source of vitamin C, only a 1/4 cup provides you with the daily amount recommended for adults.  They are also very high in vitamin A, which is good for your eyes, skin and hair. Peppers are high in fiber and they are rich in phytonutrients that may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly. They are high in Vitamin K that strengthens bones and helps protect cells from oxidative damage. They also have a significant amount of B vitamins, thiamine, niacin, iron and riboflavin.

Cabbage is really low in calories, fat and high in fiber. It’s high in vitamin K that helps with brain function.  Red cabbage is the highest in vitamin K than other cabbage.  It’s high in sulfur keeping your hair, skin and nails healthy.  If you have arthritis, rheumatism, skin diseases or gout, cabbage can help with its high vitamin C and sulphur content.  Cabbage is higher in vitamin C than oranges and is a natural antioxidant that helps with premature aging and also helps detoxify the blood and liver.  Cabbage helps protect bones from becoming brittle with its high potassium, magnesium and calcium content. Potassium is also great for reducing high blood pressure allowing the blood vessels to open and the blood to flow freely. It is also high in beta-carotene needed for eye health.  The pigment in purple cabbage helps lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production.  It helps your body fight off cancer with the powerful antioxidant anthocyanin.  Cabbage is good for your heart, blood pressure, brain, nervous system, immune system, digestion, bowels, bones, eyes, skin, hair and nails.

 

 

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad with Charred Lemon

I love the simplicity of this French Style Potato Salad.  As you probably know, French potato salads are oil based as opposed to the typical mayonnaise based potato salad.  This is the perfect alternative for someone like me who has an aversion to mayonnaise and eggs. This salad has a well-rounded flavor from the vinaigrette that blends seamlessly with the potatoes.  It is meant to be served warm or at room temperature and it goes great with a side green salad, warm French bread and a nice glass of Rose’ wine!

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad How has your spring been going so far?  Robby and I have been taking advantage of this amazing weather we have been having lately.  We went on a really nice bike ride in Monterey once again.  This time, we thought it would be fun to stop for lunch along the ride at one of our all time favorite lunch spots in Pacific Grove called “Red House Cafe.”  I highly recommend giving it a try if you are ever in the area!  Robby loves the burgers and I usually go for the open face caprese.

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad Beto invited us to meet him and his clan at Fitzgerald Reserve in Moss Beach for a picnic and some tide pool exploration.  Moss beach is just a few miles north of Half Moon Bay off of Hwy 1.  The drive is an hour and a half long for us but it is well worth it because it is so beautiful and scenic.  We set up camp at the very far left to avoid the crowd which allowed us to enjoy our picnic.  I brought this potato salad and Jill brought a delicious broccoli salad, homemade guacamole and chips. We decided to explore the tide pools in search of the many critters before we sat down to eat all of these homemade goodies.

We saw so many cool critters along with all the cool seaweed and algae.  One type of algae we saw is called iridescent algae and it had the most amazing shimmering colors when the sun hit it just right.  It was so incredibly beautiful. There were giant green sea anemones, hermit crabs, baby eels, eelgrass and black turban snails.  Sadly, we only got to see one starfish.  Paloma could spend all day exploring the tide pools, so after we ate, we decided to go back out for round two.  This beach is a must see, especially if you have kids!

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad I love this potato salad with a nice glass of Rose’. It is also wonderful with a Sauvignon Blanc.

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad French Style Potato Salad Recipe:
8 – 10 servings
  • 2 1/2 Pounds Yellow Potatoes – 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon White Vinegar – (helps to keep potatoes intacket)
  • French Tarragon Shallot Vinaigrette – recipe below
  • 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Shallot or 1/4 Cup – thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 Garlic Clove – minced
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper – or to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 3/4 Cup Scallions – thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Peas – thawed
French Tarragon Shallot Vinaigrette – for whole recipe click here.
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Tarragon – roughly chopped
  • 1 Medium Shallot (about 2 tablespoons) – minced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
Charred Lemon
  • 2 Organic Lemons – sliced to 1/4 inch
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
Garnish
  • Charred Lemon Rings – one slice per serving
  • Scallions
  • Pecorino Cheese – optional
Instructions:
Potatoes

Dice the potatoes into half inch chunks and put in a large pot covered in water.  Add the vinegar and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium high heat.  Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until opaque and soft.   Make sure and check on them a few times, you don’t want to hard or mushy potatoes.  The best way is to taste them.  When the potatoes are tender, pour into a colander, drain and then dump them into a large bowl.

Vinaigrette

Add mustard, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and whisk together.  Next whisk in the vinegar, tarragon, shallots and slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Charred Lemon

Slice the lemons no less than a 1/4 inch or the flesh will dissolve. Lightly coat in olive oil and lightly sprinkle with fine sea salt.  Turn on the burner to medium high heat.

Heat up a a cast iron skillet or in the frying pan and when hot add the lemons in a single layer. Cook until the lemons just beginning to char then flip to cher the other side.  (about 2 -3 minutes on each side)

Assemble

Add the peas to a bowl of water to thaw.

While the potatoes are cooking, prep and then mix the garlic, shallots salt and pepper into the wine.  Set aside.

While the potatoes are hot, pour the wine mix over the potatoes and gently toss a few times.  Let sit for 5 minutes then add the vinaigrette, peas, cabbage, and scallion.  Carefully stir everything together.  The dressing will soak into the potatoes so don’t worry if it is pooling at the bottom of the bowl.  Stir before serving.  Top with a little more scallions, pecorino and charred lemons.

French Tarragon Shallot Potato Salad Health benefits:

Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold – content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.  They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage.Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss,

Tarragon herb is one of the highest antioxidant value food sources.  It helps lower blood-glucose levels, which helps with low blood sugar.  It helps in the production of bile by the liver thus making it a great digestive tonic.  It is a mild sedative and can help with insomnia anxiety and stress. It is great for the health and function of the eyes. It helps prevent clot formation inside the tiny blood vessels of heart and brain protecting from heart attack and stroke.  It is rich in vitamins C, A and B-complex.  An excellent source of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and zinc.  Tarragon should not be used while pregnant or nursing.

Chilaquiles Salsa Verde with Roasted Multi Pepper Salsa

This Chilaquiles Salsa Verde is a versatile dish that nourishes the soul.  I used a green salsa but this dish can also be made with a red salsa.  Top this dish with grated cheese, diced tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, a little sour cream and the roasted multi pepper salsa and oh boy you are in for a treat!

Chilaquiles Salsa Verde Have you ever had chilaquiles before?  It means a broken-up old sombrero.  I just about died the first time I tried them.  I thought to myself “where have you been all my life”.  Beto and Brian took me to a little diner that was inside a bowling alley called Pepy’s Galley shortly after I arrived back in Venice in 2007.  It seemed somewhat unassuming being that it was located in a bowling alley yet the food was outstanding!  Just check out the yelp reviews.  Pepy’s had been in business for over 40 years until they had to close there doors due to the crazy rent increases that have been going on in the Venice and Mar Vista area lately.  So very sad!

Anyways, I saw chilaquiles on the menu and asked Beto what it was.  He told me that they were a poor man’s breakfast made from leftover salsa and stale chips and urged me to try them.  They are normally topped with an egg but I asked them to make it without the egg.  They served them with a fire-roasted salsa and when I took my first bite, my eyes rolled to the back of my head in utter intoxication.  I was hooked!  I asked Beto why haven’t I heard about this dish before?  He said that it has just recently started to show up in restaurants because it was considered a poor man’s meal.  Now you see it everywhere.

Chilaquiles Salsa Verde It was Robby’s birthday last Friday so Jill, Paloma and Severin came to our house in the early afternoon.  Unfortunately, Beto had to work so he met up with us later that evening for Robby’s birthday dinner at Ella’s at the Airport.  Erin, Leif and Taj also joined us.  It was a fun time as usual.  The cutest thing was that Paloma had asked her mom if Taj was going to be there and Taj had asked his mom if Paloma was going to be there.  OMG, they are so adorable together.  I think Taj thinks that Paloma is the coolest thing.  They get along great together even though Taj is three and Paloma is five!  After dinner, Beto and his clan came back to our house and spent the weekend with us.  It’s always a fun filled time with arts and crafts, the beach, good food, etc. with the Beto clan.

Roasted Multi Pepper Salsa Try this with a light Mexican beer or a dry white wine such as a Pinot Gris or a Sauvignon Blanc.  Or if you make these for breakfast, a mimosa might be in order!

Chilaquiles Salsa Verde Chilaquiles Salsa Verde Recipe:

2 – 4 servings

  • Roasted Multi Pepper Salsa – recipe below
  • 1 Cup Roasted Tomatillo Salsa – or to taste – recipe below
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 12 Corn Tortillas – cut into 8 wedges – recipe below
  • Cheddar Cheese – shredded – to taste
  • 1 – 2 Jalapeno Peppers – thinly sliced
Roasted Multi Pepper Salsa –  1 1/2 Cups
  • 1 Poblano Pepper – roasted – deseeded – destemed – diced
  • 1 Anaheim Pepper – roasted – deseeded – destemed – diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – roasted – deseeded – destemed – diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper – roasted – deseeded – destemed – diced
  • 1 Small Jalapeno Pepper  –  roasted – minced
  • 1/2 Small White Onion – roasted
  • 1 Cups Cilantro – roughly chopped
  • 1 Small Garlic Clove – minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Teaspoons Sea Salt
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa – for whole recipe click here.
  • 2 Poblano Peppers – roasted – deseeded – destemed
  • 5 Tomatillos – roasted
  • 1/4 White Onion
  • 1 Small Jalapeno Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro
  • 1 Small Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Lime Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1 Teaspoons Sea Salt
Toppings
  • Cherry Tomatoes – halved
  • Chives – thinly sliced
  • Queso Fresco – crumbled
  • 1 or 2 Avocados – sliced
  • Cilantro – roughly chopped
  • Sprouts – your choice – optional
  • Lime – wedges
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
Tortilla Chips
  • 12 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt – lightly sprinkled
Instructions:
Roasted Multi Pepper Salsa Recipe

Roast all the peppers for both salsas,

Roast the peppers on the stovetop on medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it works fine on an electric stove.  Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.

Add the onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, lime and salt into a medium sized bowl.  Dice the peppers into small squares.  Add and stir well.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Cut the cores out of the tomatillos and cut in half then spread them out on a baking sheet cut side down.  Turn on the broiler and broil tomatillos for 5 -7 minutes then flip over and broil for another 2 to 4 minutes or until real soft.

Add the onion to a pot of water and bring to a boil then remove and let cool.   When cool add to a food processor.

When tomatillos are done, let cool then remove burnt parts of skin as best you can then add to a food processor.

De-stem, de-seed and remove burnt skin from the poblano and jalapeno with a paper towel (if you like your salsa hotter leave the seeds in the jalapeno and add to a food processor along with cilantro, lime, and salt.  Puree.  Set aside.

Toppings

Prep all your toppings and shred the cheese then set aside.

Tortilla Chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Lightly coat each tortilla in olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Stack them up and cut into 8 wedges.  Lay them onto a lightly greased baking sheet and arrange them in a single layer.

You will need to do it in two batches.  Place in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until the edges curl up and they are firm to the touch.  They will continue to crisp as they cool.  If not pop them back into the oven for a couple of minutes.

Assemble

Heat up the tomatillo salsa and tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat.  When the salsa is hot add the chips, quickly toss to evenly coat. Top with cheese and garnishes.

If you like it on the crunchier side, serve immediately.  It will never be really crunchy.  You can also pop it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to really melt the cheese and then add all the toppings.

Chilaquiles Salsa Verde Health benefits:

Tomatillos have been found to have antibacterial and anti-cancer properties from the Ixocarpalactone-A, a phyto-chemical.  They contain niacin, which helps convert food into energy.  They are a rich source of vitamin C and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants.  The vitamin K increases bone mass, potassium that helps electrolyte regulation, nerve function, muscle control, and blood pressure, folate that supports red blood cell formation and fiber.  They are without sugars, low in salt and cholesterol-free.

Bell Peppers are extremely high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight especially night vision.  It is also very high in vitamin C, which is really important for the skin.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.  Red peppers are one of the veggies highest in lycopene and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, giving many fruits and vegetables their color, especially tomatoes, that are great for the prevention of cancers in the bladder, prostate, cervix and pancreas.

Poblano Peppers are extremely high in vitamin C; just one pepper has 95% of your daily value.  They are great for your immune system and help to reduce inflammation like in arthritis and asthma.  They are also helpful with the increase of oxygen helping the body to burn more calories 20 minutes after eating peppers.  They are full of vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.

Anaheim Peppers are a rich source of vitamin C, a half-cup provides over 100 percent required daily intake for adults.  They also have a good amount of vitamin A, which is helpful for skin and eye health.  Anaheim peppers contain phenols; flavonoids and capsaicinoids that help the body fight free radicals, inflammation and promote weight loss.  The bioflavonoids are a powerful antioxidant that helps strengthen blood vessels.  They aid the immune system and contain vitamin E that helps to protect cells from oxidative damage.  They also contain vitamin K, which increases bone mass more than any other pepper.

Chilaquiles Salsa Verde

Black Lentil Chili with Crispy Shoestring Fries and Crunchy Veggie Pico de Gallo

This Black Lentil Chili is one of my favorite dishes.  It is an extreme comfort food packed with a whole lot of roasted pepper and tomato goodness.  It’s perfect on its own or you can dress it up with yummy crispy shoestring fries and my incredible crunchy veggie Pico de Gallo.

Black-Lentil-Chili I was obsessed with Amy’s canned lentil chili when growing up, so I decided it was high time that I share my own version.  Amy’s uses brown lentils where I use black lentils.  Black lentils have a firmer texture so I feel like it lends itself to a heartier chili.  I have to admit that there are times where all I want is basic comfort food and to me that means chili, fries and cheese.  However, there are other times where I want to add the freshness of my crunchy veggie Pico de Gallo salsa.  I love this chili smothered in cheddar cheese but it is also awesome left vegan.

Crunchy-Veggie-Pico-de-Gallo This crunchy veggie Pico de Gallo is a unique and incredible salsa that adds an amazing fresh quality to the mix.  The colors of this salsa make me so happy. It’s like a treasure chest of jewels.

Robby and I are pretty much obsessed with salsa and it is always a sad day when tomatoes are no longer in season.  I was determined to create an off-season salsa and I feel that I have succeeded.  It is so incredibly versatile.  You can eat it with chips, add it to quesadillas, burritos, tacos, beans, salads, rice, pasta, soup and the list goes on and on.  What would you like to add it to?

Black Lentil Chili On another note, how was your Easter?  We had a relaxing afternoon around the house and then we headed to our friends Erika and Gary’s house for dinner and had a super fun time full of conversation and laughter.  I made my rosemary garlic almonds , which were a bigger hit than I imagined.  Erika’s friend Teresa brought her artichoke dip that was to die for, I couldn’t stop eating it!  I must get the recipe and share it with you!  There was plenty of wine and champagne to go around, not to mention, Erika made her famous potato au gratin. YUMMMMM!!!

Black Lentil Chili Black Lentil Chili Recipe:

10 – 12 servings

  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Red or White Onion – diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1/4 Dry Red or a Dry White Wine
  • 1 Jar Strained Tomatoes – I use Bionature (this link is for 6)
  • 10 – 12 Cups Filtered Water
  • 4 Cups Black Lentils
  • 2 Poblano Peppers – roasted – diced
  • 1 Anaheim Pepper –  roasted – diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper –  roasted – diced
  • 1 Red Orange Pepper –  roasted – diced
  • 1 Red Yellow Pepper –  roasted – diced
  • 2Tablespoon Ancho Powder (you can buy it already in powder form or de-stem and de-seed whole dried peppers and grind them in a coffee grinder until it turns to a powder)
  • 2 Tablespoons Paprika Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano
  • 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Sea Salt or to taste
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
Crunchy Veggie Pico de Gallo
  • 1/2 Cup Radishes
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage
  • 1 Orange Bell – diced
  • 1 Red Bell – diced
  • 1 Poblano Pepper – roasted – diced
  • 1 Anaheim Pepper – roasted – diced
  • 1/2 Onion – diced
  • 1 Cup Cilantro – roughly chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Lime Juice
  • 1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Crispy shoestring potatoes
  • 1 Yellow Potato
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil – plus more for baking sheets
  • Sea Salt – sprinkling
Garnish
  • Shoestring Potatoes
  • Crunchy Veggie Pico de Gallo
  • Optional Garnish
Other garnish options
  • Cheddar Cheese – regular or vegan
  • Sour Cream – regular or vegan
  • Avocado
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Jalapeño
Instructions:
Black Lentil Chili

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven add the onion and olive oil to a straight sided pan and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook until garlic just start to brown.  Add wine and cook until reduced and it has a syrupy consistency.

While onions are cooking, grind the ancho peppers to a powder.

When the wine is reduced add the strained tomatoes and spices, except the salt!  Turn up the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes.  Add the water and lentils and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium again.  Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.

Add the spices, roasted peppers, corn and salt.

 Let cook on medium low for at least 10 minutes to incorporate the flavors.  You can also puree up to half of the lentils before you add the veggies.

Crunchy Veggie Pico de Gallo

Roast the poblano and anaheim peppers on the stovetop at medium high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it works fine on an electric stove.  Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for about 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag rolled shut to hold in the steam.

Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Slice in half and remove the seeds and stems.

Add the onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt to a medium sized bowl and mix well.  Next add the radishes, cabbage, and the bell peppers to the bowl.  When the roasted peppers are steamed dice and add then mix everything well.
Crispy shoestring potatoes 
Use a julienne peeler or a spiralizer to cut potatoes into strips.  Submerge the potatoes in a bowl of cold water.  Drain potatoes and place on clean towel.  Pat as dry as you can with a paper towels.
Toss together potatoes, oil, and salt in a bowl.  Arrange potatoes in a single layer as best you can on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for about, 12 to 18 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.  (I turn them in 8 minutes.) Turn potatoes with a metal spatula a few times and rotate the baking sheets halfway through.  I cut the potatoes so there are four flat sides and depending on the size I might cut the sides to match the width of the pealer.
*You will have some leftover scraps that I usually add to a pot of water, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes.  You can fry them up for breakfast or however you seem fit.  
 *
 Health benefits:

Lentils have very high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber, which is a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady steam of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health. Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and key source of energy for cells in the body, and is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain in excellent shape. They are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with a food containing vitamin C, like citrus fruits or peppers the iron is enhanced, which can also increase your energy.  They are also a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth. Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years.