I am really excited to tell you guys about this recipe for two reasons: it’s so stinkin’ delicious AND it is filled with veggies. I’m on a mission to overcome my childhood fear of green veg. It has apparently followed me into adulthood, and I refuse to give in to my tendency to avoid all things vegetable. I used to think stuffed peppers were just relics from back in The Day, wherein also lie the remains of “Hey, vegetables in cold gelatin is good idea, especially if it’s shaped like something!” and also “Canned food: if you put parsley on it, it’s fancy.“ I mean, have you seen some of these recipes? Shudder. I wonder, will people 50 years from now look back and think, “Oh my god, they put bacon in everything!” or maybe, “What is the deal with the sriracha?” I have to believe that our tastes have advanced as a culture enough that such a thing will not happen. (Everyone knows bacon and sriracha SHOULD GO ON EVERYTHING.)
Anyway, that what was quite a fun Google tangent. Yay, image search! The bottom line here, what I’m really trying to say, is that these stuffed peppers are not weird-looking, scary, or unappetizing. They are DUHLISHUS. And homemade too. No scary Jenga-with-canned-food here. (see what I did there? Because Jenga is a game where you stack a bunch of identical things on top of each other, and some of those old recipes look like just piling up variations of processed corn/soy/meat by-product on top of….oh, if I have to explain it, it’s not funny.)
These are yummy, smokey, spicy, cheesey, crunchy. They’re easy to make, if a bit time-consuming; the recipe makes up for that by making a lot of filling, so you won’t have to make it again for awhile. Another Macheesmo win, for sure. I ate a whole poblano pepper, without mushing it up and trying to hide it (my usual trick with veggie consumption). And, this makes a hefty amount of filling, so you can either make up a whole bunch of peppers and freeze them, or use the filling for tacos, omelets, whatever. At roughly 450 calories per two filled halves, you can’t beat this dish for comfort-food satisfaction without the subsequent guilt. The point is, make these. Soon.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Adapted from Macheesmo
Makes about 5 cups of filling, enough for 5 whole peppers (10 halves)
1 Tbs canola oil
1 small vidalia onion, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup brown rice or wild rice mix
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/3 cup salsa
1 can black beans
Kernals from 2 ears sweet corn (about 1 heaping cup kernals)
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping (about 1/4 cup extra total per 6 pepper halves)
Poblano peppers (1 pepper per person)
Garnishes: sour cream, lime juice, avocado, taco sauce, hot sauce, etc.
In large skillet with a lid, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to let the onion brown, or it will taste bitter. Add in the cumin, paprika, and crushed red pepper, and cook about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Stir in the rice and cook about 3 minutes, stirring very frequently to toast evenly. Stir in diced tomato and salsa, and add the amount of water directed for the type of rice you are using. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat and cook for the amount of time directed for your rice variety. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Allow to cool a bit. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375F and line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Rinse your peppers and slice each in half lengthwise to form two “boats.” Leave the stem end on so the filling does not leak out the ends. Line up your peppers in the prepared pan, open side up. Once your filling is cooled off a bit, stir in 2 cups of the cheese until evely distributed. Scoop your filling mixture into the pepper cups, packing in well and leaving the tops slightly heaped. Sprinkle filled peppers with a little extra cheese, if using. Bake in preheated oven 20-25 minutes, or until peppers are just beginning to soften (filling will be bubbly and the cheese will be melted). Serve immediately with garnishes as desired.
Any extra filling can be refrigerated for a couple of days, or frozen for longer storage.