I spend a lot of time shopping for food, and I love making little discoveries along the way. I have a pretty good mental catalog of what to buy where in Austin, but I still occasionally turn up hidden treasures at grocery stores. Recently, H-E-B sent me a gift basket full of things just like this. It was a basket of samples of some of their Primo Picks described as one-of-a kind goods from around the world. There was a bag of Sahale snack mix that Kurt grabbed immediately, and I wasted no time in claiming the bottle of Central Market Citrus Italian Sparkling Soda. We played nice and agreed to share the Central Market Organic chocolate bars, and I fell hard for the almond and Himalayan salt milk chocolate flavor. There were even a couple of bottles of Orchid nail polish which includes no formaldehyde, toluene or DBP just as I prefer in nail polishes. When I saw the bag of Central Market Veggie Chips, my first thought was dip. There was a recipe idling in my to-try stack for a caramelized onion dip with poblanos, and this was reason enough to pull it to the top. It’s from last August’s issue of Living magazine, and the recipe is available online.
Naturally, I made a change or two to the process from the original recipe. The changes made it slightly more complicated, but I was happy with the resulting texture. Rather than cooking the poblanos with diced onion and stirring it all together into the sour cream and cream cheese, I roasted the poblanos under the broiler first. This was for two reasons. First, I really enjoy the flavor of poblanos when they’ve been roasted to a point of blistered skin. The skin is peeled, the seeds are removed, and the chiles are chopped. Second, when I make caramelized onion dip, I prefer to whiz the onions with the dip base in a food processor to finely chop the onions and distribute them in the mix. This is just my personal preference. I always finely chop onions. So, I went about caramelizing chopped onion in olive oil in a large skillet. Meanwhile, I roasted the poblanos under the broiler. Then, I toasted coriander seeds in a small skillet. The caramelized onions were transferred to the food processor with the coriander seeds, sour cream, cream cheese, and lime juice. That was processed until smooth, and I tasted and added salt. Last, I stirred in the skinned, seeded, and chopped roasted poblanos to give the dip with pureed onions some chunky texture and topped it with a sprinkle of cayenne.
Chips and dip are always a dangerous combination, but this mix with roasted poblanos and the light-as-air, crunchy veggie chips was especially so. Who knows what else is hiding in the grocery store waiting to be discovered? I can’t wait to see what gems I find next time I shop and what dishes they inspire.