Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

“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 — how I never learn my lesson with frying. 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.

Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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!

Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Chorizo, Black Bean + Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Published September 27, 2018 by
   Print This Recipe

Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 60 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 8 poblano peppers
  • 1/2 pound ground chorizo
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen and thawed or fresh)
  • 1 16-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

  • Directions:

    1. 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.)
    2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
    3. 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.
    4. Once the meat is browned, add the corn and black beans to the pan. Stir so everything is evenly distributed. Turn off heat.
    5. 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.
    6. Prepare your baking dish: spread the enchilada sauce in an even layer on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    7. 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.
    8. Bake for 35 minutes, and then top with shredded cheese. Bake for 5 minutes more and then remove from oven and serve hot.

    2 Comments

    Citrus Cumin Mojo Chicken with Peppers

     It’s like a trip back in time. Old roads, old cars, and old buildings. The walls of the Cuban houses in Viñales crumble but no one seems to notice. Or they do, but it’s all they know. It’s a part of this country, a part of life. The adobe on churches—which haven’t hosted a mass since the Cuban Revolution- has been chipping off for more then a decade, and they continue to go un-repaired. In town, the good roads have cobblestone laid down from before the war, and the big interstate is a two-lane paved road. The other roads are just dirt. Regardless, people smile and dance and enjoy life.

               When the sun shines in Viñales, Cuba it hits the crops of the local farms and the animals bathe in its warmth. The farmers that tend these small chunks of land still use classic horsepower (that is, horses and oxen) to turn the land and pull the hoes. Barns are full of drying tobacco, which is regulated through the government, along with anything else produced in the country. Wage is rations. 

                Despite the heavy regulations, there is plenty of tobacco enjoyed on the streets. In the evenings, especially during a feriado (holiday), the air is think with it: smokey, sweet, unmistakable. I don’t much enjoy it, but for how very Cuban it is. 

    Citrus Cumin Mojo Chicken with Peppers

                I’d like to tell you Cuban food was just as distinct: full of Caribbean flavor, fresh from the sea. I’d like to tell you that tables were covered in a cornucopia, as a continuation of the beautiful scene laid out above, but that isn’t always the case. Tourists may get that experience: I myself was treated to some mighty fine and generous meals, but it was hospitality and should not be mistaken for habit. Lunch was the hardest thing to track down— I remember lunching on personal sized pizzas, if you could even call it that (the cheese was off, the sauce not quite right, and they were served folded in half, like a plump taco). There was also a rather memorable ice cream cone, filled with the best scoop of chocolate ice cream I have had (fifteen years later and I haven’t found one that comes close). And here were two feasts, on one Christmas Eve and one on New Years Eve. But in between, we knew we were eating like tourists.

             I say all of this to explain that while Citrus Cumin Mojo Sauce is considered something of a Cuban classic, it’s is not a dish I experienced while in the country. Rather, it’s a marinade I started experimenting with years later. I say all of this to keep it real, and also to remember. It’s far to easy to day dream about beaches and pine coladas made with local rum; it’s far to easy to forget how things were as time moves on. 

               This marinade is bright and cheery, sunny and fresh. This recipe calls for chicken, but you could use the sauce with shrimp too. 

    Want more from the Caribbean? Try this 30-minute ropa vieja.


    Citrus Cumin Mojo Chicken with Peppers

    Published June 12, 2018 by
       |     Print This Recipe

    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 45 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken breast cutlets
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

  • For marinade:
  • Juice 1 orange
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon high mineral sea salt

  • For serving:
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • Optional: lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. In a 8-ounce jar, combine orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cumin, oregano, oil, and salt. Place lid on jar and shake to combine.
    2. Place chicken in an air-tight container and pour marinade over chicken. Place in fridge and allow to marinate for 8-12 hours.
    3. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 450°F. Slice red onion and bell pepper into strips, and dice sweet potato into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread out on a baking sheet (optionally, line baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat. (affiliate link!)). Drizzle oil over veggies. Now, using tongs, pull each piece of chicken from the marinade, letting access drip off. Place chicken on sheet pan with veggies.
    4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, brushing extra marinade over chicken every 5 minutes or so, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F and potatoes are cooked through. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve hot with a lime wedge.

    3 Comments

    Arugula, Peach & Piquillo Pepper Salad with Goat Cheese

    Arugula, Peach, Piquillo Pepper Salad
    Arugula, Peach, Piquillo Pepper Salad

    This time of year, just walking by the peaches at the market is enough to get my mouth watering, their sweet scent wafting yards away. Their flesh is tender -- almost too tender, you can't pack them away- and their juice is sweeter than pie. My favorite peaches are those grown on the Western Slope of Colorado. Palisade Peaches are worth every penny and the wait all summer for their peak season. 

    Have you heard the saying "what grows together goes together?" This salad is further proof it's true: peppers are also a late-summer crop, and in this salad piquillo peppers are a perfect "pop" of flavor. Piquillo peppers are a little bit sweet but with a smokey, spicy edge. They match the brightness of peaches, with out overshadowing them. 

    Arugula, Peach, Piquillo Pepper Salad

    The combination of peaches and sweet peppers is pretty much begging for a bed of arugula. Arugula is a tad bitter, which balances out the other sweet ingredients. It keeps this salad from getting too sweet. It's delicate and leafy.

    The final touch is goat cheese, which adds a streak of richness that makes this salad oh so satisfying. It's soft enough that it just barely begins to melt away as you pour the dressing in, emulsifying and cream-ify-ing the entire thing. It also cuts through the pepperiness of the arugula, and is the ingredient in this salad that brings it all together. 

    Arugula, Peach, Piquillo Pepper Salad

    Arugula, Peach & Piquillo Pepper Salad with Goat Cheese

    Published August 24, 2015 by
       |     Print This Recipe

    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 pound baby arugula
  • 2 ripe peaches, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup roasted piquillo peppers, diced (find these with the olives & pickles in the store)
  • 1/3 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • Creamy Balsamic Dressing (try this recipe)

  • Directions:

    1. In a large salad, bowl, combine arugula, sliced peaches, peppers, and onion. Sprinkle goat cheese over top.
    2. Just before serving, drizzle with balsamic dressing to taste.

    2 Comments