On the menu: Grilled Poblano and Portobello Tostadas
Something is igniting within me. It’s big, and it’s exciting.
After weeks of delays and dilly-dallying, this week I finally got out in the field to collect some data. Never mind that after two weeks of rain, it’s been 90+ degrees out lately. I’m now the proud curator of a burgeoning collection of Maine’s native bees, which I will identify and tie to the location of their capture to begin determining where native bees thrive in the landscape here.
It’s on now, friends. All I’m thinking about are bees and the wildflowers they pollinate. One of my survey methods involves catching bees with a net. Naturally, I didn’t catch a single bee with the net, so my advisor sent me home with a net and told me to practice. The weather is slated to cool down a bit, so guess what I’ll be doing this weekend? Catching bees like a boss, yo. I do hope to enjoy some celebratory cooking also, as the anticipation and pressure of field work put my culinary exploits on the back burner.
But the bees. The bees! There is this constant buzz in my brain (or maybe I’m still hearing the flies from the field)–I can feel it in my belly, too. It’s…a long lost eagerness, I think. I’m learning! I’m observing. I am a sponge, taking in as much as I can. Names of plants have come back to me, and I’ve learned many, many more lately. Names of the bees…well, not so much just yet. But soon. I am just so thrilled to be out there seeing these native pollinators in their environs, and I’m so excited that I get to learn how they use the landscape and share that information with the world.
Remind me I wrote these words when I’m deep into my dissertation proposal this fall.
We made these tostadas weeks ago, and these photos have trailed me ever since. It’s time to share them. Our oven has been on three times this summer–once when we made Joe Yonan’s cheater’s Cochinita Pibil (wrapped in tin foil instead of banana leaves), once when Kevin baked my birthday cupcakes, and once when I made Kevin’s parents a blueberry pie with almost the last (!!!) of the berries I have from the farm last summer. We’ve been rocking the Weber as much as possible. And it’s awesome. I’ll spare you the crotch shot to show you the roasted poblanos. And I’ll tell you that grill-roasted poblanos are where it’s at! You get toasty char and smoky flavor in minutes.
I love how meaty portobello mushrooms are, and they paired perfectly with the freshly roasted peppers. The flavors here are simple and clean. Poblanos and portobellos, tangled together and garnished with all matter of color and texture. There’s no spice anywhere, save for the fiery dashes of hot sauce. It made for a refreshing summer meal. The snap and clean flavor of sliced bright pink radish is a must for these. The tiny pop of the yellow corn kernels and the creamy bits of goat cheese were excellent textural additions. Lime juice brightens everything up…at least flavor-wise. We left the pickled red onions in the fridge, thinking that their assertive flavor would be too much here. I think that was a good thought.
Grilled Poblano and Portobello Tostadas
2 Portobello mushroom caps (about 6 oz)
3 Poblano peppers
6 small flour or 12 corn tortillas (if you double up)
sliced radishes, corn, crumbled goat cheese, lime wedges, and hot sauce, for serving
Build a medium-high heat fire in the grill. We use a chimney starter and hardwood lump charcoal and have hot coals in 20 minutes. Place the hot coals in the bottom of the grill. Roast the peppers first: place peppers over the coals and turn every 2 minutes until blackened all over. Remove from grill and place in a ziptop bag; this creates steam that loosens the skin. Finish prepping the peppers by removing the charred skin and slicing the peppers into thin strip. Meanwhile, grill the mushrooms: place portobello caps over the coals, cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes until well browned and soft. Remove from grill and slice into thin strips. Meanwhile, grill tortillas until crisp, less than a minute per side.
Serve sliced peppers and mushrooms with crispy tortillas and all the fixings.