Mesa Grill Menu Prep - Roasting Things

Corn Salad a picture to entertain us; not especially related to today's blog entry

corn salad

Getting ready for that dinner last Saturday took a few hours of preparation, which I did a couple of days before. The menu had quite a few components, several of which it was essential (or, simply, `best´) to prepare in advance.

The menu and its assorted preparations was (¿were?):

  • Jalapeño Pretzels
    • requiring roasted garlic
    • and roasted poblano chiles
  • Black Bean Soup
    • requiring the beans presoaked
    • and Enriched Chicken Stock
    • roasted jalepeño chiles
    • roasted poblano chiles and with
    • Tomato – Serrano Relish
    • Avocado – Tomatillo Relish
    • Toasted Cumin Crema
  • 18 Hour Bread
  • Frisee Salad
    • with Chorizo
    • and Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
    • which required roasted garlic
  • Red Chile Pesto Mussels
    • requiring Red Chile Pesto
  • Spice Crusted New York Strip
    • requiring a Spice Rub
    • and Steak Sauce
  • Twice Baked Horseradish Potatoes
  • Corn with Roasted Chiles
    • requiring roasted red peppers
    • roasted poblano chile
    • roasted jalepeño chile
    • roasted serrano chile
  • Vanilla – Lime Crème Brulee

Each line was a distinct item to prepare but it's less daunting than at first glance since a couple of the roasted chiles are repeated in the list. The 15 italicized ones I did, in fact, do in advance. I was planning to do four relishes ahead of time as well but got tired towards the end and decided that they were simple enough to do in the day itself.

The prep of these 15 things only amounted to about 2-3 hours of pretty low key kitchen activity; mostly it was roasting things in the oven and then peeling them. I'll write about the other, none-roasted, preparation items later.

Roast Chiles and Peppers


  1. Oven to 375 F [190 C]
  2. Put all the chiles and peppers on baking sheets with sides (low roasting pans, whatever)
    • do the poblanos, jalepeños, serranos & red peppers
    • Do not roast the garlic yet
  3. Pour over some olive oil, turn to coat roughly and sprinkle with kosher salt
  4. Into the over for 30 minutes
    • on the Convection setting if you have one
    • turn to roast them evenly
  5. Remove once the skin has blackened unevenly
  6. Place into a big bowl and cover with plastic wrap
    • wait 15 minutes (to cool and it loosens the thin outside paper-skin)
  7. Retrieve, remove seeds and the thin skin of the outside
    • Especially the red peppers and the poblanos have that thin external skin

Roast Garlic


  1. Oven at 375 F [190 C] as well
  2. I separated the cloves individually
  3. Spread them on the roasting pan
  4. Oiled them up (zip salt)
  5. Roasted until real soft (tossing a couple of times) - about 15 minutes
  6. I should have covered the cloves with foil paper to prevent the roasting/toasting/bursting cloves from spattering the inside of the oven with garlic bits
    • Live and learn
  7. When they're good and soft - remove the cloves, allow to cool and skin each clove (it's easy enough if you don't mind garlicy fingers)

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