Huitlacoche is a Mexican dish. North of the border, people consider “corn smut” (the invasive fungus that turns corn into this) as ruining the crop. I heard about it, saw some pictures and thought “ew”. Recently, I decided to try a huitlacoche quesadilla from La Parilla Grill at Polk and Washington here in San Francisco. This instantly made me want to find my own way to cook it so it wouldn’t be so expensive. This is a recipe for it. You can find canned huitlacoche at any hispanic grocery. If you like mushrooms, you’ll love this.
By the way, La Parilla Grill rules.
3 tablespoons safflower oil
2 tablespoons white onions, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 poblano chiles
1 1/2 lbs huitlacoche (about 6 cups)
1 dash sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons epazote leaves, roughly chopped
36 minutes 15 mins prep
1. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
2. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until translucent – about 3 minutes.
3. Add the chile strips and fry for 1 minute more.
4. Add the cuitlacoche and salt, cover the pan and cook over medium heat, shaking the pan from time to time for about 15 minutes. The fungus should be tender, retaining some moisture, but not soft and mushy.
5. Stir in the epazote and cook, uncovered, for another 2 minutes.
6. NOTE: If the cuitlacoche is rather dry, sprinkle on 1/4 cup water before covering; if it is too juicy, remove the lid before the end of the cooking time and reduce over higher heat.
I have eaten things that look worse than this stuff. I liked it so much I wanted to find out how to make it myself, rather than pay $15 for a quesadilla with a tablespoon of this on it. A can of it is rather cheap.