Mushroom Poblano Tortas

Mushroom Poblano TortasMushroom Motivation
As someone who loves to cook, it doesn’t take too much to get me excited enough about something to give it a try for dinner. Right now I feel like I’ve reached the end of the culinary internet.

I make dinner almost every night—I would say 95% of the time. But, in the past, whenever I felt like I just couldn’t muster the strength, I knew we could hop in the car and go out to eat or to pick something up. In the past almost 5 months, that hasn’t really been an option. Sure, takeout has been available, but that can get pricey quickly. All of this adds up to me having done a lot of cooking. I mean A lot of cooking. And, for the first time that I can remember, I am not very excited about cooking anymore.

My sister is in the same boat and she cooks more than I do. Both of us have cooking fatigue and I am sure we are not the only ones out there feeling this way. The arrival of summer produce has helped. But, it still feels like an ordeal to come up with what to have for dinner—or any other meal. And the other mouths in the house are not always helpful when it comes to ideas.

Over the weekend I made a Mushroom and Poblano Torta recipe that stoked my cooking flame because it was something I never made before; and if you make enough of the filling, you have options for meals the next day. It’s always good to have options. The original recipe called for coriander in the beans, I tried it that way and I also tried it by swapping out the coriander for cumin. I prefer the cumin version. The coriander was just too strong for me…

If you decide to give this a go I would recommend doubling the mushroom poblano and onion mixture. It makes great quesadillas or tacos for lunch or would be super in an omelet or egg scramble for breakfast.

Mushroom Poblano Tortas
Yields 6 servings
Adapted from Milk Street Tuesday Nights by Christopher Kimball

7 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills removed, caps slice to 1/4 inch thickness
2 poblano chilies, stemmed, seeded, quartered, and thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
15-1/2 ounce can pinto beans, drained with 1/4 cup of the liquid reserved
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup drained, sliced pickled jalapeños, chopped plus 1 tablespoon pickling liquid
2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
2 tablespoons lime juice
6 kaiser rolls
6 slices pepper jack cheese

Preheat the oven
Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Cook the mushrooms
In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium, heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil. Add the mushrooms, chilies, onion, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring until the vegetables are light golden brown and have softened (about 8 minutes).

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Cook the beans
Return the same skillet to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil and heat until shimmering. Add the beans and cumin and cook, mashing, until the mixture forms a coarse, dry paste and begins to brown at the edges (about 3 minutes). Stir in the bean liquid and cook, stirring constantly, until the beans are once again dry (about 1 minute).

Turn off the heat and stir in 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, the pickled jalapeños, and pickling liquid. Set aside.

Mash the avocados
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl mash the avocados with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and the lime juice. Set aside.

Toast the rolls
Place the top and bottom halves of the rolls cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bake until crisp and golden brown (about 3 to 5 minutes). Transfer the tops to a large plate and turn the bottom halves cut side up.

Leave the oven on.

Assemble the tortas
Divide the bean mixture evenly among the bottom halves of the rolls. Top with the mushroom mixture, followed by the cheese. Bake until the cheese begins to melt (about 3 to 5 minutes). Remove from the oven.

Spread the avocado mixture on the cut sides of the top halves of the rolls, then place on top of the tortas.

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