Thursday, September 2, 2010

Roasted Poblano-Potato Salad with Flaked Tuna

I'll confess, I do little more with tuna at home besides make tuna salad with mayo and relish. And while I'm not willing to give that up any time soon, a more adventurous tuna salad recipe is definitely a welcome change. This light, yet filling, salad comes together quickly; you can get most of the vegetables ready while the poblanos roast under the broiler, although you do have to wait for the potato, onion, and poblano mixture to come to room temperature before adding the cilantro and tuna (I used this time to make an apple crisp, as unlikely a dessert pairing as that might be). I opted not to serve this salad over lettuce, thinking of it more as a main-dish potato salad, although it would also be delicious over greens. If poblanos are too hot for you (I think they're the perfect level of spicy), substitute roasted red bell peppers, which can be purchased already prepared, though I'd strongly recommend roasting them yourself if you have the time.

Roasted Poblano-Potato Salad with Flaked Tuna
from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless
serves 4

2 fresh poblano chiles
4 medium (about 1 pound total) red-skin boiling or Yukon Gold potatoes, each cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/3 c. vegetable or olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 T. mild vinegar (I like rice or champagne vinegar)
1 t. crumbled dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/2 t. ground black pepper
One 7-ounce can or pouch cooked tuna, drained if canned
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
Romaine, Boston/butterhead or Bibb lettuce, for serving

1. Roast the poblanos over an open flame or 4 inches below a broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for the open flame, about 10 minutes for a broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let cool until handleable.

2. Meanwhile, scoop the potatoes into a microwaveable bowl. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 4 to 5 minutes, until completely tender. Leave covered.

3. Rub the blackened skin off the chiles and pull out the stems and seed pods. Rinse the chiles to remove  bits of skin and seeds. Cut into 1/4-inch strips.

4. Heat the oil in a large (10-inch) skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until richly golden but still crunchy, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar, oregano, black pepper, and poblano strips. Stir well, then pour the  mixture over the warm potatoes. Let cool to room temperature, then gently stir in the tuna and cilantro.

5. Arrange the lettuce leaves on dinner plates. Spoon a portion of the salad mixture down or into the center of the leaves. Drizzle any dressing that's collected at the bottom of the bowl over the greens, and serve.

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