Portobello Fajitas with Chipotle Cashew Cream
Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.
Yield: 4 servings
½ -1 chipotle pepper, rehydrated in hot water, then finely chopped (This obviously depends on how much heat you can handle.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon honey
1 lime, juiced
4 large portobello mushroom caps
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 flour tortillas
For the Chipotle Cashew Cream:
1 cup raw cashews
1¾ cups filtered water, divided
1 chipotle pepper canned in adobo
1½ teaspoons adobo sauce from the chipotle can
¼ teaspoon honey (or agave)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Let’s start with the cashew cream, shall we? Place the cashews in a medium bowl and cover with 1 cup of filtered water. Let the nuts soak for at least 2 hours or overnight. Strain the nuts and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Add ¾ cup filtered water, along with the chipotle, adobo sauce, honey, lime juice and a good pinch of kosher salt. Process for several minutes, scraping down the sides a few time if necessary, until the cream is very smooth. Taste and season with extra salt if you like. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a small bowl, combine the chipotle pepper, garlic, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, salt, honey and lime juice. Briefly set aside.
Clean the mushrooms by wiping each cap with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems, and gently scrape out the dark gills on the underside of each cap with a spoon. Slice each cap into ½-inch pieces.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the portobellos and cook for 7-8 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.
Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When hot, add the bell peppers and onions. Cook for 10-12 minutes until tender (but not mushy!) and lightly charred in places.
Add the portobellos back to the pan along with the prepared spice mixture. Cook for 2 more minute and remove from the heat.
Warm those tortillas! (You can do this by placing each one directly on a burner for 5-10 seconds per side OR simply wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 15-20 seconds.)
Pile the fajita mixture onto the warm tortillas. Top with cashew cream and fresh cilantro if you’re into it.