As a topping for the delicious Pork Carnitas Tacos that I wrote about earlier, I decided to do a basic Pico de Gallo and Avocado Crema with Poblano and Jalapeno, a twist on regular sour cream using those giant avocados from (A Guacamole Tree and an Avocado Table). These toppings are pretty simple, but they impart awesome flavor to whole taco experience. I found myself spooning the crema onto every single bite. So much for moderation! Not to toot my own horn or anything, but the whole meal was so good that Andy and I really did keep stuffing ourselves until there was absolutely no room left.
As I mentioned in Lunch Date Lemon Chicken, Andy and I have totally opposite schedules, but Sundays have sort of become our down day where we can make a big meal and enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes “Chocolate” (the roommate prefers not to be named), is there as well and often it becomes a fun communal cooking experience. “Chocolate” and I are both a little competitive when it comes to our cooking chops, so it’s safe to say there’s a bit of a rivalry there. However, that doesn’t deter us from gushing over the other’s culinary creations. Needless to say, I love Sundays.
This Sunday though, “Chocolate” was otherwise occupied, so it was just the two of us –and one very precocious cat who thinks that he should have a place at the table as well. Keeping Scruffy (“Chocolate’s cat, not mine) away from dinner can be a real challenge. Unless you basically set up baby gates to the table top, he’s gonna figure out a way to participate. It’s pretty hilarious.
Anyway, back to the toppings. Both are simple recipes that won’t take you might time at all. Just make sure to do them enough ahead of time so that they can sit and their flavors can meld for an hour or so. If you’re planning on making tacos on a weeknight, these can easily be whipped up the night before so that you’re ready to go. And they’re not just good for pork tacos – you can put them on all sorts of stuff. In fact, I might go home tonight and plop some of the Avocado Crema on a baked potato and see how that tastes!
Avocado Crema with Poblano and Jalapeno
½ to ¾ cup sour cream
½ to ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ of a ripe avocado, scooped out of the skin
1 poblano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
Juice of 1 lime
You can make this sauce in a blender, small food processor, or use an immersion blender. I absolutely love my immersion blender because it makes for fewer dishes.
Start by roasting the peppers. You can do this in a broiler or you can do as I did and put them directly on the flame of your gas stove. Basically, you’re looking to burn their skins until they’re black so that they can be easily sloughed off. When almost the entire surface is blackened (not just blistered, but blackened), remove them from the broiler or the flame, place them on a plate or cutting board, and then cover with tin foil. They will continue to steam and loosen the skins even more. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, wrap a paper towel or two around them and gently start to pull of the skin. Cold running water can help as well.
When the peppers are pretty much skin-free, slice them open and make sure to remove all of the seeds and while membranes (this is where the heat of the pepper really is). Remove the stem and chop the entire poblano pepper. For the jalapeno I recommend starting with ¼ of it and work your way up to ½ or ¾ of the pepper. If you really like spicy things though, by all means, toss the whole thing in!
In you blender, food processor, or a container that you can use your immersion blender with, combine the sour cream, yogurt, avocado, and diced peppers. Blend until smooth. Add the juice of one lime and season with salt. Blend again and taste, adjusting the seasoning if necessary. Let it sit in the fridge for at least one hour before serving.
Pico de Gallo
2 tomatoes, diced
½ to ¾ medium white or sweet onion, diced
½ cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Combine the tomato, onion, and cilantro in a bowl. Season lightly with salt and add the juice of one lime. Stir and let marinate (in the fridge or at room temperature) for one hour before serving.