September 27, 2013
My garden is my guide and inspiration when I cook. But by the end of any season it’s forced inspiration, because I’m really kind of over it and ready to embrace the next new thing—watermelon radishes! Romanesco!
These tasty veggie tacos were created with a mix of the end of summer and new garden offerings. My basket of peppers continues to runneth over on my counter. I couldn’t wait any longer use one of my new pumpkins. The sweetness of squash matched with the spice from the peppers and the light creamy sauce is absolutely delicious.
One of my favorite scents is the smell of roasting poblano peppers. The toasted, exotic spice perfumes my kitchen like no other. For these tacos, poblanos are a great choice, because of their thickness they hold well through the cooking process.
Even if you’re a meat-loving family, it’s always nice to have vegetarian options for family meals that still taste hearty and satisfying. So grab a big knife and hack into your first squash of the season.
This is a great dish for casual entertaining because you can roast the squash and peppers earlier in the day, and then when you are ready to eat, finish cooking with the onions and the cheese.
Roasted Squash and Poblano Tacos
Fromage blanc is a soft fresh cheese with a consistency similar to ricotta. Combined with a little milk it makes a nice creamy sauce for these tacos. It’s one of those staples that I like to have on hand because it adds great depth of flavor to a variety of dishes. If you can’t find fromage blanc, feel free to substitute with queso fresco or queso blanco.
Small kobacha squash or butternut squash (I won’t tell if you buy the pre-chopped version at TJ’s)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
3 large or 6 small poblano peppers, roasted
Half of a white onion, sliced super thin
1/2 cup fromage blanc
1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 375.
Remove the skin from the squash and cut into one-inch slices. Lay the slices out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and cumin seeds. Bake for 35 minutes, flipping the squash halfway through.
While the squash is roasting in the oven, roast the peppers. On a gas burner of your stovetop, BBQ or grill pan, roast the peppers. Rotate often until black and charred on all sides. When fully roasted, rinse peppers quickly under cool tap water. This stops the cooking process, making them easier to peel and keeping them from getting soggy.
Peel the burned skin off pepper using your hands or a knife. Then open the side of the pepper creating a slit from the bottom to the top and pull the top off. Scrape the seeds out and shred into pieces or cut in long strips and then dice.
After the squash is out of the oven and cool enough to handle, cut into a large dice. Place the sliced onions in a medium saucepan with the remaining olive oil and sweat them on medium heat about 10 minutes. Add the poblanos and squash, stirring to heat throughout.
Stir in the fromage blanc and milk – in a warm pan the fromage blanc will melt quickly. Stir to incorporate all those yummy flavors and serve in warmed corn tortillas with garnishes of your choice.