"The people who give you their food give you their heart" - Cesar Chavez

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

I have never had a poblano pepper until this meal. I was excited about them because I love the way stuffed vegetables look for dinner. This was part of a Mexican themed Shabbat dinner I was preparing for my Dad and boyfriend. This was the side dish. Filling, healthy, versatile, flavorful and vegetarian. I came across this fantastic recipe on the blog Budget Bytes and adapted it slightly. I can tell you right now that my stuffed poblano peppers do not look as glamorous and picture ready as they do on the blog. Perhaps I over stuffed them? Or the peppers were too soft to hold they shape during their de-seeding and dissection. Regardless of their appearance, the combination is wonderful! I would love to make these again and include chicken or beef, corn or perhaps pineapple pieces. My boyfriend's Mom, Elaine, makes a wonderful salsa that we used in these stuffed poblanos; it has great large chunks of peppers, tomatoes and onions. Because I had leftovers of the stuffing mixture, we just ate it with corn chips. Any leftovers can be used in tortillas, breakfast burritos or quesadillas anyone?

Stuffed Poblano Peppers:
(Makes 4 peppers with extra stuffing)

3/4 cup long grain rice
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
4 medium-large poblano peppers
4 ounces Monterey jack cheese, shredded
3/4 cup salsa
1 can black beans
Olive oil spray

1. Cook the rice with 2 cups of water. Mix in paprika, garlic powder and onion powder with the rice. Set aside when ready. Mix in the black beans to the rice.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and turn the broiler on high. Spray a baking sheet and coat all sides of the poblano peppers with non-stick spray. Place the baking sheet a few inches under the broiler (I use the second rack level) and broil on both sides for 5 minutes.
3. After broiling the peppers, their skin should be blistery and bubbly. Immediately place the peppers in a zip-lock bag and let them steam for about 15 minutes. This will help remove their skin more easily.
4. Cut a slit down each the pepper and carefully remove the seeds and the seed pod.
5. Preheat the oven 350 degrees (bake not broil this time). Gently stuff the peppers with the rice and bean mixture followed by a large dollop of salsa and covered with shredded cheese. Stuff the poblano to the brim and then bake until the cheese is melted, about 20 minutes.

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