J-Fur and I were married in a rustic mountain inn owned by a cranky, no nonsense old guy. He may not have smiled much, but boy could he cook. The wedding meal was a bit of a contentious issue. J-Fur and I insisted that everything at the meal be vegetarian. He father wasn’t so keen on the idea (he’s virtually vegan now but at the time, not even close). The cranky old man didn’t say much during the back and forth discussion we were having. Finally, after having enough, he said “It’s their wedding, let them do what they want.” Everything was vegetarian. This could’ve been a problem, considering my family were farmers who grew up eating pig stomach and every part of the cow imaginable, but the food was so damn good, no one seemed to notice that there wasn’t any meat. The dish that received the most attention was a bell pepper that was stuffed with hash brown potato and tofu and covered in a sauce. People who wouldn’t be caught dead eating tofu, raved about this dish. For years I have searched high and low for a pepper that makes me quake in my boots like that wedding night version. Each attempt has left me unsatisfied and despondent. Well, not this one.
Until one night this summer I made a batch of poblanos stuffed with mushroom and hominy. I tasted and waited for the inevitable let down. It didn’t come. These peppers certainly were no match for the wedding ones, but they also weren’t bland barrels of rice mash. I think of them as my “Tribute” (that’s for you Ted).
-6 poblano chiles
-1 onion, small dice
-1 garlic clove, minced
-2 Portobellos, grated
-16 ounces white hominy
-14.5 ounces diced tomatos
-1/3 cup vegetable broth
-3/4 tsp. cumin
-1/4 tsp. coriander
-1/4 cup lime juice
-Colby Jack and Cheddar cheese
1. Broil the poblanos on a baking sheet for 15 minutes (or until blackened). Turn to get all sides. Allow the peppers to cool. Rub off their skins. Slice the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a Dutch Oven. Add the garlic and onion and saute until the onion is translucent. Spoon in the grated portobello, hominy, tomatoes and broth. Stir a few times and let simmer for about a minute. Add the cumin and coriander. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Remove the Dutch Oven from the heat and squeeze in the lime juice. Stir.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a glass baking dish.
5. Spoon some of the mushroom mixture into each poblano half and carefully place into the baking dish. Cover with cheese. Repeat with the remaining poblano halves. Place foil over top the baking dish and bake for ten minutes. Remove the foil and bake another five minutes. Pop it.
The tomatoes in this dish make the surface, right below the cheese, one largely red in color. A song that celebrates this angry color is the electrified folk number of the same title by Echorev. “Red” is the starter on the band’s new EP The Mermaid & The Astronaut. It is driven largely by electronic beats that bask in the glory of chemically laced lyrics. It reminds me of a slightly brighter Postal Service. Eventually “Red” turns to blue (“Flights”) before giving way to the black magic of “Shadow King” (my other favorite track on the EP). You can get the EP free from the band’s website. The band will be traipsing through California and Arizona on a mini tour before heading off to CMJ. Californians, check tour dates here.
Glam rock smattered with Roy Orbison? Brit-Rock patched together by Doo Wop? That’s exactly what Romans gives you in their new track “Somedays.” This is the second single from their upcoming album.