Tonight’s dinner feature – the poblano pepper

I wonder now why I didn’t take a picture. Too busy I suppose, but it would be nice to show you what tonight’s dinner feature – the poblano pepper – looked like.

Until tonight, I had never eaten a poblano pepper before, so don’t ask me why I chose to grow them this year. I’ve been curious to know what they were like and finally got around to taking action.

The poblano is a pretty pepper…dark forest green, shiny and firm. From what I have read, this Mexican lovely has half the heat of a jalapeño though the intensity can vary. Apparently, the pepper ripens to a deep, near black red. When ripe, the heat is the most intense. A dried poblano takes the term ancho (wide) because the pepper flattens out (widely) and is heart shaped. My next foray will be in preservation. From what I have read, poblanos freeze well. As mentioned above, they commonly are dried. Finally, these peppers can be canned. I hope to try all 3 methods of preserving these beauties.

Now, for tonight’s dinner…I found a recipe online (acouplecooks.com/2010/09/stuffed-poblano-peppers/) for stuffed poblano peppers to which I made some modifications (in parenthesis and italics). Jordan declared it a success. Here are the details:

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
acouplecooks.com/2010/09/stuffed-poblano-peppers/

 Ingredients

  • 4 poblano peppers (I used 6, 2 large and 4 smaller sized peppers)
  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 4 cups of any cooked grain) (my favorite grain is short grain brown rice that I get from Annie Kay’s; I cook the rice in chicken broth in a rice cooker)
  • I browned some ground beef and ground pork (not in original recipe)
  • 1½ cups salsa (didn’t measure; salsa was medium heat)
  • 1 15 oz. can of black bean (didn’t drain)
  • 1½ cups frozen or canned corn kernels (small can of whole kernel corn; drained)
  • 3 green onions (optional) (chopped one red onion)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (didn’t measure)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (did’t have)
  • Cayenne to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Shredded cheese (we used a Mexican blend)
  • Chopped cilantro for serving (optional)
 Directions
  1. Combine 1 cup uncooked rice with 2 cups water (2 cups rice and chicken broth – enough to cover – in rice cooker). Bring to a boil, then simmer according to package instructions. (Or, prepare the rice or grain ahead of time.)
  2. While the rice cooks, prepare the peppers: slice them in half and remove the seeds and ribs. Make sure to wear gloves!
  3. Place the peppers in a baking dish skin side up. Broil about 7 minutes, then flip the peppers and broil 7 minutes more.
  4. Chop the 3 green onions (of course the onion should be included and not option, just my opinion, again I used one red onion chopped), and drain (did not drain) and rinse the black beans.
  5. Brown the ground beef and pork; drain.
  6. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine (instead, to skillet with browned meat I added): beans, onions, 1½ cups salsa, 1½ cups corn, a bit of the shredded cheese, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder (nope), a couple dashes of cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When the rice is finished, combine with the filling (in the skillet it went)
  7. Place the pepper halves skin side down in a baking dish, and spoon the filing into each half. Top with shredded cheese and broil until the cheese is melted, for about 1½ to 2 minutes.
  8. If desired (it was, I had a little cilantro that had not gone to seed and you betcha I picked it), garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with sour cream.
 Notes
Alternative oven method: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Follow Steps 2, 4 and 5 above to prepare the peppers and filling. Then bake until the peppers are tender and browned, around 25 to 30 minutes.

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