Yesterday I made some goodies for a family function conmemorating The Day of The Dead (El Dia de Los Muertos), or "Los Fieles Difuntos" as this holiday is known in some areas of Mexico. This is a photo of the ofrenda created by my cousin, the gracious hostess for this gathering (gracias,Hildi). The ofrenda was made in honor of her father, grandparents and deceased cousins.
I made some empanadas de papas con rajas (potato and roasted pepper empanadas), classic guacamole and a refreshing citrus pico de gallo. Today I'm sharing my recipe for the empanada stuffing. Poblano peppers are spicy, but you can use any other pepper you prefer. This filling can be used for tacos, it is great as a tostada topping, and can be used as a side dish by itself. You'll need the following ingredients:
Papas con rajas
- 2 large poblano chiles
- one small white onion, slivered
- 3 white potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
- one clove of garlic
- Olive oil, about two table spoons
- Vegetable broth, or water where you boiled the potatoes. About a quarter of a cup.
Start by making roasted poblano peppers. I roast mine directly on the stove top, but you can also use an outdoor grill. Wash and dry your peppers and place them on the open flame. Using thongs, turn them over often, until the skin is evenly black on all sides. Don't worry about burning the peppers, the inside will remain green and juicy.
Wrap the peppers with a lightly damped towel, a paper towel works fine. Place the wrapped peppers inside a plastic bag and let them "sweat" for about fifteen minutes. Once the peppers are soft and steamed, the skin will fall right off - just take a spoon and start scraping off the charred skin. In order to retain the roasted flavor, wipe the peppers with the moist towel but don't rinse them under water. It is OK if a few black bits and seeds remain behind, they will add flavor.
Cut the peppers in "rajas", or slivers. Cut the top of the peppers off, and slice them lenghtwise. Scrape off the seeds and the veins using a small paring knife, they contain most of the spiciness (I usually do this directly on top of the trash can). You now have roasted pepper "sheets" ready to use. To make the rajas just stack the peppers on top of each other and cut into thin slivers.
Sautee the onions, the chopped garlic and the peppers in olive oil until the onion looks translucent. Add the cooked, cubed potatoes. Sautee for about 5 minutes more on high heat until the potatoes begin to brown. Season with salt and deglaze the pan by adding about a quarter of a cup of broth and cover. Cook for about two more minutes until the liquid is absorved and the potatoes are very soft. They are now ready to serve.
Enjoy some good food with family and friends, and remember your deceased loved ones. Have a great holiday!