Monday, July 13, 2009

Meatless Monday - Stuffed Roasted Poblano Peppers

Near my home is a wonderful little produce market, with some of the freshest, nicest veggies around. Always beckoning to me are the deep green, glossy poblano peppers, which I mostly use as an ingredient in other dishes. This meal, though is all about the poblano:

Plan on two sizeable peppers per person.

First, there is the roasting: After washing the peppers, put them on a broiler pan under your broiler (though fairly far away). You'll want to roast these things until they are a rich, dark brown, but not burnt - so don't even think about doing anything else in the meantime. Turn them as necessary to make sure they are roasting evenly. When they have finished, put them in a zip-top bag and seal; set aside.

For the filling:

1 medium onion (diced)
3 cups cooked medium grain rice (this is a little more sticky than regular, long-grain rice)
1 can (or 1 1/2 Cups cooked, if you cook your own) beans. You can use your favorite beans here: black beans, red beans, white beans, or even something fancy, like adzuki beans.
2 Tablespoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1-3 teaspoons powdered chipotle chile (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
1 Tablespoon oil
salt to taste

2 cups mild cheese (asadero is best, but mozzarella will do in a pinch)

In a sautee pan over medium heat, gently cook the onions with the spices (except the cilantro) until onion is clear. Stir in the beans, turn off the heat, and cover.

Mix remaining ingredients (except cheese) thoroughly in a large bowl. Once the onion/bean mixture has cooled, blend it in as well.

Now it's time to ready the peppers. Now that they've roasted and rested, the skins should slide right off. Rinse in cool water. Remove the tops, slit down the side, and remove the skin and membrane from the inside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay peppers in an oiled baking dish, slit side up, and fill with the mixture from the bowl.

Scatter the cheese over the tops of the stuffed peppers, and bake the whole thng until heated through (about 20-30 minutes).

Serve with: fried plantains, chutney, slices of ripe mango, cucumber salad, plain yogurt or raita.


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