“Disaster” is not the right word for how poorly my chile rellenos con queso turned out, but it didn’t go well. I harvested six Big Jim peppers from the garden and stuffed them with corn, onions and cheese. They got battered and tossed into a pan to deep fry. Sounds good so far, right?
The problem is with what comes next — with how I never learn my lesson. With frying, you can’t skimp by using just one inch of oil in a skillet. You have to go all out. You have to commit to a full pot of blazing hot oil which you’ll likely have to toss afterwards. Otherwise, whatever you were frying will touch the bottom of the pan and stick (Yes, even to that ceramic-enamel “non stick” pan you have… Trust me, I would know).
The results is typically a pile of whatever you were frying (i.e., peppers) and several hunks of fried batter stuck to the bottom of the pan. I usually try to scrape that batter up. By this time it has turned brown, crispy and greasy. And that will be that: a pile of peppers, and a pile of fried batter bits. It’s delicious, so I suppose it’s not a complete failure. It just isn’t what it’s supposed to be.
This recipe for stuffed poblanos avoids that conundrum all together. The peppers aren’t even battered, which might initially seem like a disappointment until it’s Thursday at 5:30pm and you’re the one cooking dinner. One less dish, no sputtering pot of oil, and hey — maybe your arteries will thank you, too. 😉
Stuffed with chorizo, corn, and black beans, these peppers feel like harvest. Whether you make your own enchilada sauce or not, the dish comes out of the oven looking vibrant and artisan, even after you pile on the grated pepper jack. That’s what I call success!
Serves: 8 | Active Time: 60 minutes
- Before you begin: Whenever you are cooking with peppers or chilies, remember that their oils will stay on your fingers. Avoid touching your face (an especially your eyes!) until you are done cooking and have thoroughly washed your hands with soap and water. (Some choose to wear gloves while working with chilies. I find poblanos are not so hot that I need this — but do whatever is best for you.)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Brown the meat: heat a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring to brown all sides and breaking into small crumbles with a spatula. Add the garlic while the meat is cooking.
- Once the meat is browned, add the corn and black beans to the pan. Stir so everything is evenly distributed. Turn off heat.
- Prepare peppers: cut a vertical slice down each pepper, from the stem to the tip. Near the top of each pepper, cut a 2-3 inch horizontal slice, creating a T-shape. If you would like, use a paring knife to remove the seeds and white pith from the pepper now. This will help tone down the spice of the pepper. We leave them in.
- Prepare your baking dish: spread the enchilada sauce in an even layer on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Stuff the peppers: gently stuff the chorizo mixture into each pepper, and then place the peppers in the baking dish. Be careful, the mixture may still be hot! If so, let it cool down so you can handle it with out burning yourself.
- Bake for 35 minutes, and then top with shredded cheese. Bake for 5 minutes more and then remove from oven and serve hot.