We Be Grillin' Poblano Peppers and Corn



When you find yourself spending more time in Home Depot than the grocery store, and more time on the patio than in the kitchen, something major and constructive is likely in the works. Our patio currently looks like a construction site, saw dust dispersed amongst soil. It's wildly comforting in a messy kind of way. Brent has taken up woodworking as a hobby, and I am completely jealous. I also share a strong passion for this craft, but with my already lengthy list of hobbies, I'll let him have this one. He has just built a gorgeous planter box for the patio, roughly 5 x 2.5 x 2 feet - big enough for a good urban harvest. Last weekend we filled the box with soil and then I meticulously sowed each seed, in three solid rows. Each day brings more sun, more growth, and more happiness. I am waiting in anticipation like a kid on Christmas morning for the carrots and beets to pop their leaves out of the soil. My tomatoes are thriving, and so are my beans, with their slender stems climbing tall. My chard, which was planted in a separate pot adjacent to the planter, has not been blessed the the same fortune as the others. The leaves are infested with leaf miners, and while I've done my best to prevent their reoccurrence, it is proving to be a challenge. The experience has been trying.


Our next project is to construct a patio table from a few old boards that we picked up from the reuse store. We are still working on the design, trying to lock down a decision for the legs. I prefer a metal base, he prefers wooden legs. In the end we will come to some sort of agreement, and our creation will be brought to life. We will finally have an outside space to enjoy the bounty from our garden and drink way too many mojitos.  I know it's not feasible with our west coast rainy weather, but I'd love to lay down beautiful rugs, deep and rich in color, on top of the cement tiles. I want to pile high as many pillows as will comfortably fit, and I want to live on the patio night and day. I hung up our hammock, and I've already spent way too many hours, avoiding the nuisances, swaying in the breeze. On those days, where the sun peeks out of the clouds and the breeze is light, I love to grab a blanket and a few pillows, cocoon myself in the hammock with a book and get lost for hours. It's my favorite time.


With this bright sun comes warmth and heat, and a rapid transformation of our living space from comfortable to green house. Turning on the oven just accelerates the rate at which we both wilt. Salads have been making a frequent appearance on the menu, and when we are in need of something more substantial, we fire up the grill. Grilled corn is my newest obsession. I just can't get enough of it. All it takes is twenty minutes on the grill, and you are left with perfect juicy crunchy sweet bundles of glory. Black beans and quinoa, a staple in my diet, provide a nice base for this dish. I like to add avocado to most dishes for its beautiful color and creaminess. Lately, I've been experimenting with cilantro as a part of my plan to fall in love. Yes, I am one of those cilantro-haters, who thinks that it tastes mildly close to dish soap. I do however have a deep desire to be a cilantro lover, so I am always trying to work it into sauces or dressings, specifically for meals that contain either avocado, black beans, or tacos, because the flavors compliment each other so nicely. 



Originally I had intended on calling this dish a 'quinoa and black bean bowl', and then I realized that it should probably be in a bowl to warrant that title. I flipped and flopped on a few ideas, and in the end I just wanted to call it 'a plate of awesome'. The more realistic side of me thought that I should be a little more descriptive, and then I found myself torn on the idea of 'grilled corn and poblano peppers, quinoa, back beans, avocado, and tomatoes with a cilantro lime dressing', and then I realized that I was just rhyming off a list of ingredients. In the end, I decided on 'we be grillin'. Sometimes it's best to not over complicate things. 


GRILLED CORN, BLACK BEANS AND QUINOA WITH A CILANTRO LIME DRESSING
serves 6 as a main

INGREDIENTS
1 cup dry blacks beans
2 corn cobs, grilled
1 tsp butter
2 poblano peppers, grilled
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

DRESSING INGREDIENTS
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup plain Greek yogurt or creme fraiche
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lime, squeezed
1 tsp honey
salt to taste
1 tsp Tabasco Green Pepper sauce or any hot sauce

GARNISHES
queso fresco
chopped cilantro
hot sauce
lime juice
salt and pepper





Soak the beans overnight in cold water, or in very warm water for 2 hours. Rinse the beans, and then bring them to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once the beans have begun to boil, reduce the heat to medium and boil for 1 hour. Drain and set to the side. If you want to save time, use canned black beans. Rinse and set to the side.

Shuck the corn, rub with butter, and then wrap in tin foil. Wash the poblano peppers. Turn the barbecue/grill to high. Place the corn on the grill and close the lid. Cook for 15 - 20 minutes. Remove a piece of corn and lift back the tin foil to check for black grill marks. If the corn looks sufficiently cooked, flip, and cook on the opposite side for 10 minutes.

A few minutes before you are ready to remove the corn, place the peppers directly on the grill. Grill until black, rotating every few minutes. Remove the corn and the peppers from the grill. Place the peppers into a plastic bag and seal. Once they have cooled, remove the skins, the center stem and the seeds. Chop the pepper and set to the side. Let the corn cool in the tin foil.

Rinse the quinoa a few times, thoroughly removing any of the bitter flavor. Place the quinoa and 2 cups of stock into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat and simmer until all of the water has evaporated. Fluff with a fork.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the dressing by pureeing the chopped cilantro into a food processor with the yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, honey, salt, and Tabasco. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Remove the corn from the tin foil, and slice off the kernels.

In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, poblano peppers, quinoa, avocado and tomatoes and toss. Either add the dressing to the bowl, or plate and then drizzle the dressing on top. If you want to keep it in the fridge for leftovers, it is probably best to drizzle the dressing just before you are about to eat, otherwise it may get soggy. Add queso fresco, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, and lime juice as a garnish.


34 comments:

  1. I was about to take a bite of my plain breakfast grits when I opened this and I swear, I froze and a chorus of angels sounded! Isn't this glorious?!? Every part of this sings to my soul - Thank you for the lovely photos and exquisite recipe!!

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  2. I like this kinds of projects. We made a big wooden table to work on lately, it was amazing to seat next to it for the first time. It will pay back :)

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  3. I can't possibly explain how much I want this dish!! GAH! It's like my dinner dream!

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  4. Yum! I made a similar recipe last year, but as tostadas: Corn, Tomato and Black Bean Tostadas with Creamy Cilantro Dressing.

    I love the idea of making it more as a salad with quinoa though. And avocados!

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    1. Thanks Anjali. Tostadas also sound amazing.

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  5. Summeriest salad ever! This makes me want to rush home and break out the grill immediately. :)

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  6. It's bed time adn you've got me craving grilled corn!
    Janie x

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  7. Anonymous09 June, 2013

    I made this for dinner today. I have a feeling the leftovers are going to be even better! Great recipe.

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  8. Isn't the taste for (or against) cilantro a gene? I'm pretty sure I have the cilantro-tastes-like-soap gene. It will be interesting to see if you can change your liking for it! Also this looks perfect - I love grilled and charred corn, even if it's just on the gas stovetop!

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    1. Is it a gene? I need to look into this in a bit more detail. I would hate to be wasting my time with this whole cilantro thing.

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  9. What an amazing looking salad, can’t wait to try it! and your patio sounds divine! Hope you share photos of your veggie planter soon

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    1. I'll be sure to share photos as soon as things begin to sprout.

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  10. I made this for dinner last night, great recipe!!! Delicious, thank you :)

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Glad you enjoyed!

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  11. Good Lord does that look good - avocado, tomato, corn, queso fresco - amahzing. Great photos too - can't wait to try this!

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  12. It's late and I'm tired.....can you tell me if this is a hot or cold dish please?

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    1. I would recommend eating it warm, but I have eaten it as leftovers cold, and it was still delicious.

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  13. Plate of awesome, indeed! This looks SOOO good..

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  14. I made this today & LOVED it. I'd like it without any grains at all, or with millet, or brown rice. I used the oven instead of the grill (broiler). The dressing is to die for. I'm inspired to try it with basil, crumbled blue cheese...the smokiness with the spice and lime and cool taste of the veggies are just a wonderful combination.

    The idea of making it into tostadas sounds delicious, or into nachos or a burrito (add lettuce). If you're not vegetarian, having it on top of grilled chicken sounds good too. So many variations to try!

    Blog On
    Janet

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  15. I made this salad for dinner last night and it was excellent. I added a clove of garlic to the dressing to give it that extra little zip. I paired it with a beanie panzanella salad, which was a great compliment. Thanks for posting this, I'm a new reader and look forward to trying more of your tasty looking recipes!

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  16. I made this for dinner tonight, served over butter lettuce with grilled steak. It was so delicious! Thanks!

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  17. Thanks for this delicious recipe! I wrote about it on my blog at http://www.ashleymarieskitchen.com/2013/08/quinoa-with-peppers-corn-and-beans.html

    It turned out great! Thanks again :)

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  18. As delicious as the recipe looks, I also love the plates. Can you share your source for the dishes?

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  19. Thanks ever so much for this - I made it this evening and it was scrumptious. I didn't have any poblano peppers, so substituted a red pepper, and threw in some grilled chicken. Super easy and very very yummy!

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  20. I made a version of this today for Sunday lunch and it was delicious. I had to substitute a few ingredients, but I served it with a herbed roast chicken and it was loved by all! Anne Marie @ TFD

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  21. I made this to take for lunch yesterday. It was fantabulous! I am always looking for ways to serve grains.

    To Bryn: Yes, you can change your taste for cilantro. Simply start by using less than called for in a recipe and gradually increase the amount you use. I did thst and now prefer cilantro to the innocuous parsley.

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