Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Papas Verdes: Green Chile Potatoes

I noticed this recipe some years back in a cookbook entitled "La Cocina Familiar en el estado de Baja California Sur", one of the cookbooks that The National Council for Culture and Arts (Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, or Conaculta), has published for each of the Mexican states. I had looked at it many times but never tried it-- until now. I mean, it's a recipe for "green potatoes", and it's written in Spanish...

But there I was with some potatoes that needed to be used, and all the other ingredients on hand, so I thought "Why not? Now is as good a time as any."

As it turns out, this dish is a form of au gratin potatoes with green chiles. I LOVE au gratin potatoes, and I am now a big fan of green potatoes. You will be, too! Here's the recipe, straight from the book:

PAPAS VERDES

Ingredients:
  • 1 kilo papas cocidas (2 pounds potatoes, cooked until almost done)
  • 5 chiles poblanos asados (5 roasted poblano chiles)
  • 1/4 litro de crema (I used about 1 Cup half-and-half)
  • 1 cebolla rebanada (1 sliced onion)
  • 8 rebanadas de queso amarillo (8 slices yellow cheese)
  • 1 cucharada de consomé en polvo (1 Cup chicken broth or consommé)
  • margarina, sal y pimienta (margarine, salt and pepper)
Directions:
Rebanar las papas: licuar los chiles, la crema y el consomé.
Colocar en un recipiente refractario capas sucesivas de papas, sal, pimienta, trocitos de margarina, rebanadas de cebolla, queso y los chiles licuados.
Hornear durante veinte minutos y servir.
Rinde 8 raciones.

In English, my way: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the cooked potatoes. Place the chiles, cream and consommé in a blender and puree it. Set aside.

Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with about 1 tablespoon of softened butter or margarine. In successive layers, place potatoes, salt & pepper, small pats of butter or margarine, thin onion slices, cheese slices and the chile puree, finishing with the chile puree mixture. (Instead of cheese slices, I used a mixture of grated cheddar and jack cheese that came in a bag, and I really piled it on!) Dot with more butter and bake for about 1/2 hour, or until the top is brown and bubbling.

Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Note that I used about a tsp. of salt; you might want more, as the potatoes really soak it up!

Buen provecho!

If you have a favorite recipe for a Mexican or Mexican-inspired dish, I'd love to add it to our recipe box! email lahuerita2@gmail.com (and put "recipe" in the subject box so I'll know what it's about)