Roasted Poblano Relish

I love tacos. They are a go-to stand-by in my house. From the standard chicken or beef to roasted cauliflower, my family has seen (and tasted) the whole spectrum of these little build-your-own-adventures in eating.

In preparing an homage to the humble yet mighty taco for the Bennett’s special last week, I created something using one of my favorite peppers, the poblano. To make it more interesting than just regular roasted bits, I upped the ante to come up with this relish with a little bit of heat and a lot of flavor.
Roasted Poblano Relish
6 poblano peppers
2 habanero peppers halved and seeded
2 cloves fresh garlic
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp Salt

Roast the whole poblano peppers over a grill or open flame, at the equivalent of medium-high heat. Turn the peppers occasionally (using tongs) to get an even blistered char on the skin. (Alternatively, the chilis can be roasted under the broiler at high heat.)

Remove them from the heat and place in a covered dish or paper bag to cool and sweat the skins. Once cooled, rub off most of charred skin, cut off the tops, and remove the seeds. Reserve the peppers.

In a food processor add the oil, vinegar, garlic and seeded habañeros. Process until garlic and peppers are fully chopped. Add the reserved roasted poblanos, the honey, and the salt. Pulse until rough chopped. Season to taste.

At Bennett's, We served this salsa with handmade corn tortillas, guacamole made from some of our kitchen staff's family recipe, some Flagship cheese, cilantro & red cabbage slaw, steak, chicken, and shrimp. What are your favorite taco toppings? Where else would you use this condiment? Tell me in the comments!

Duck Fat-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Today’s recipe was kind of like a Brussels sprouts migration. I had first come across it at Barbacco in San Francisco, where I tried their signature Brussels sprouts fried in duck fat with capers, anchovy, and red wine vinaigrette. Inspired, I threw together a recipe to bring up on a ski trip to Crystal Mountain, to test it out on some of my friends. With a little tweaking, I introduced it to The Cellar at Beecher’s in New York, adding Marco Polo cheese, some breadcrumbs, and a hanger steak. When I brought it to Bennett’s, in honor of the recent release of Beecher’s “World’s Best” Gluten Free Mac & Cheese, I turned it into a gluten free version, replacing the breadcrumbs with slightly crisped wild rice.

Duck Fat-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4 (as a side dish)
1 cup wild rice
2 cups chicken stock or water
pinch of salt
1 lb Brussels sprouts
¼ cup duck fat
1/2 cup Marco Polo cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
pinch of black pepper
pinch of salt

Prepare the rice beforehand, boiling it in two cups of chicken stock (or water) for about 45 minutes to an hour. Once soft, remove the rice and reserve.

Cut the Brussels sprouts into halves while bringing a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the sprouts in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then remove them and put them in an ice bath for an hour. Remove them from the ice bath and let them dry for about an hour. Make sure they are dry, because if they are still wet when you toss them in the sautée pan, the excess water will cause the fat to splatter and will make them harder to caramelize.

While the sprouts are drying, grate the Marco Polo with the largest setting possibly on your cheese grater. Pieces should be 2 inches by 1/4 inch.

Once dry, heat the duck fat in a large sauce pan until nearly smoking and add the Brussels sprouts, cooking for about 5 to 6 minutes, until caramelized with a little crispiness. About a minute before they’re ready, add all the other ingredients and stir together, including the rice and the cheese. Season to taste, finishing to caramelization of the Brussels sprouts and a slight crispiness in the rice.

At Bennett's, we served it atop a red pepper puree with a big hanger steak.
 What would you serve this with? How would you tweak it to serve it to YOUR friends and family? Let me know by commenting below!
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Lover of big ideas and bold flavors. Food should be like family and friends: honest, fun, and fulfilling.

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