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Mushrooms and Nopales: A Great Combination

I was watching Bobby Flay's weird TV program, Throwdown. What's the point of competitive cooking? I don't get any thrills out of it. This episode had two brothers in Los Angeles who made chile rellenos with nopales and mushrooms and they looked great. Flay "challenged" them to a throwdown to see who could make the better chile relleno. Flay came up with a vomit-inducing eggplant filled relleno with a cornmeal batter and a sauce with balsamic vinegar. His version looks and sounds vile. I think if he left off the sauce and used a bell pepper instead of a poblano, maybe I'd take a bite, but his thing sounds a hot mess.


Food Network published the Flay relleno but not the authentic Mexican one. I didn't watch the whole show so I didn't know who won or how it was made but I did start humming a happy samba at the thought of nopales and mushrooms. So I improvised a batch. Along with sauteed onions and garlic, I added a chopped nopal (prickly pear paddle) and a bunch of chopped crimini mushrooms. Finally a chopped Roma tomato and a serrano chile and salt. When it was all cooked, I chopped about 2 spoonfuls of epazote and added it to the pan.


That night I stuffed the mixture into peeled poblano chiles and added some cotija cheese before heating it in my toaster oven. The next morning the mixture made its way into an omelet. Both dishes were great and worthy of your experimentation.

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