In Defense of Poblano Peppers: Floyd Cardoz’s Flavorwalla
Photograph copyright © 2016 by Lauren Volo.
From time to time we run guest blog posts from my fellow authors at Workman Publishing. If you love skirt steak as much as I do, you’ll go crazy for this fire-seared beef with poblano chiles and horseradish from Indian-born chef Floyd Cardoz’s fantastic new book Flavorwalla.
Mexican food is a lot like Indian food: generally easy to prepare and based on very appealing flavors. Mexican cooking also boasts a pleasing alternative to the green pepper: poblano peppers. I don’t like green bell peppers, and I love that I can get that grassy flavor from an ingredient that also lends interest and character, without any of the brassy underripe taste green bell peppers can have. I now use poblanos in many places where others might use green peppers. They are assertive but not overwhelming, so they lend themselves to lots of dishes. For instance, in my recipe for Grilled Skirt Steak you could use chicken thighs in place of the steak without having to worry that the pepper accompaniment will overpower the meat. And you can add great smoky flavor to ripe poblanos by fire-roasting them on the grill.
You can grill the onion slices in this recipe directly on the grill; they’re thick enough that they can stand up to being flipped once. If you have a grill basket, though, it’s a great tool for grilling onions and other small ingredients. I use mine all the time. Put it empty on the grill so it’s piping hot and then you can “grill/stir-fry” all sorts of vegetables. I use it for beans, snap peas, sliced zucchini, and even corn cut off the cob. Finally, many recipes instruct to cut steak against the grain, but I prefer to slice skirt steak thin and with the grain because this brings out its wonderful texture.