- 2 medium fresh poblano chiles
- 8 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo sausage, removed from its casing if there is one
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 ½ pounds ground chuck (chuck offers a beefy flavor and richness; you can choose a leaner cut if that makes sense for you)
- 1 to 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, finely minced, seeded if you wish
- 8 thick slices Monterey Jack Cheese
- 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
- Roast the poblanos over an open flame or 4 inches below a broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, 10 minutes for the broiler.
- Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let cool. Rub off the blackened skin and pull out the stems and seed pods. Cut into 1/4-inch strips.
- Set a large (10-inch) skillet over medium. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking up large chunks, until the chorizo is beginning to brown and is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Scrape on to a plate lined with paper towels and let cool.
- Return the skillet to medium heat, measure in the oil and add the onion.
- Cook, stirring frequently until it begins to brown, 7 or 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and poblano and cook for 2 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Scrape the rajas into a bowl and cover to keep warm.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, the cooled chorizo, the chipotles and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Mix thoroughly but lightly (to keep from turning out an overly compact texture).
- Divide into 4 portions, lightly pressing them into patties the size of your buns.
- Heat a gas grill to medium-high on one side, medium on the other; or light a charcoal fire and let it burn until the charcoal is covered with white ash (and still quite hot), then bank the coals to one side.
- Lay the hamburger patties on the hottest side of the grill and cook until the grill grates have seared beautiful marks on one side, about 2 minutes if your grill is quite hot, then flip and cook until the hamburger is a little less done than you like (usually a couple of minutes longer for rare to medium rare).
- Move the burgers to the cooler side of the grill. Lay one piece of cheese on top of each burger, top with a portion of the warm rajas and then another piece of cheese. Close the lid and continue cooking until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute.
- Remove from the grill and place on a toasted bun. Serve immediately.
- 1 large fresh poblano chile
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 medium bunch cilantro, (tough lower stems cut off, the leafy part roughly chopped), plus additional for serving
- 1 medium bunch parsley (tough lower stems cut off, the leafy part roughly chopped)
- 1 1/2 pounds ground pork (you’ll need pork that’s a little fatty—25 to 30%—and preferably coarsely ground)
- 3 tablespoons spinach powder (available at well-stocked grocery stores and from online sources)
- 2 tablespoons light-flavored vinegar (i.e. rice wine vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 12 fresh corn tortillas
- Roasted Tomatillo Salsa for serving
- Roast the poblano chile directly over a gas flame or 4 inches below a very hot electric broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes for the broiler.
- Cool until handleable, rub off the blackened skin, tear open and pull out the stem and seed pod.
- Quickly rinse to remove any seeds or bits of skin.
- Roughly chop and scoop into a food processor, along with the garlic, serrano(s), cilantro and parsley.
- Pulse until uniformly chopped, then run the machine until you have a coarse puree.
- In a large bowl, combine the pork with the green seasonings, spinach powder, vinegar, and the salt—your hand is the most efficient utensil for working the seasonings thoroughly into the meat.
- Break up the meat mixture as you transfer it to a 12-inch non-stick skillet set over medium heat.
- Cook turning frequently until cooked through (there will be browned edges), about 10 minutes.
- Scoop the mixture into warm corn tortillas and top with salsa and cilantro leaves, serve immediately.
Budín de Pan y Coco
- 6 tablespoons of butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing the pan
- 14 ounces bread (i.e. brioche, challah, or cakey white sandwich bread), crusts trimmed off if you wish, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 8 cups)
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican or dark rum or Xtabentún
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (regular, not “lite”)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar, for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup chopped papaya
- 1 cup crema
- Turn on the oven to 400 degrees.
- Scoop the butter into a large, microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute.
- Scoop the bread into the bowl and stir slowly until it is evenly coated.
- Spread the bread on a rimmed baking sheet, slide it into the oven and toast, stirring every 5 minutes, until it is richly browned, about 15 minutes.
- Remove the bread and turn the oven down to 300 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish and scoop the bread into it.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and salt.
- In a small (1- to 2-quart) saucepan, heat the coconut milk and the granulated sugar over medium-low, stirring until the mixture is just warm (not close to boiling) and the sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the warm coconut milk into the eggs in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until well combined.
- Pour the custard over the bread.
- Let the bread soak up the custard for 15 minutes, gently stirring the mixture every few minutes.
- Slide the baking dish into the oven and bake until the bread pudding is barely set at the center, about 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, cut into pieces, place them on small plates and you’re ready to delight a few friends.
Variations: Garnish the finished bread pudding with about 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil and 1 cup chopped papaya. Serve with crema.