I didn't use Bobby’s exact recipe, but ever since watching him make a version of these Stuffed Poblano Peppers, I knew it was only a matter of time. Actually, when it comes to Bobby's shows... I'm really very easy. I need only see a glimpse of that audacious culinary smile to instantly crave the myriad flavors associated with American Southwestern cuisine.
I swear there have been times I've been so mesmerized by one of Bobby's shows, I find myself in the pepper section of the supermarket having no recollection of how I got there. The next thing I know, I'm blindly handing money over to a woman behind a conveyor belt full of beans, cheese, hot peppers, mustard, spices, honey, chips and two dozen limes. (What on earth does a girl need with two dozen limes?!)
At last, I'm purchasing a six-pack of Negro Modelo, large bag of ice, Blue Agave Tequila... and like a wet noodle to the face....twenty-four limes make perfect sense! I spend the entire trip back euphorically daydreaming that Bobby's at home prepping our kitchen, anxiously waiting my arrival. (I truly am in love with my husband, he's aware of my crush and knows that to love me... means acceptance.)
These Poblano peppers 'snugly' stuffed with basmati rice, cotija cheese, black beans, tomatoes, scallion, and chorizo were exquisite! Lightly charred on the outside, easy to bite into and a cheesy bean explosion in the center - I loved them even more than I expected! My first one was especially spicy, so be sure when cleaning out the inside of the poblano, you do your due diligence in removing the seeds. My second one was perfect, hot and spicy, but not overly so. The red sauce (an afterthought by my husband the "hot saucier") truly made the dish come together. (Recipe follows) Last, while we incorporated 4 oz. chorizo sausage, which certainly added that extra little something, these stuffed poblano peppers would be equally delicious and obviously healthier - left vegetarian.
Stuffed Poblanos with Black Beans and Cheese
By Kate Ramos, on CHOWHOUND.com
•1 cup uncooked basmati rice
•1 1/2 cups water
•3 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
•6 medium poblano peppers
•1 cup cooked black beans
We also added 4oz. cooked and crumbled chorizo sausage
•1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
We did this but am sure 1 tsp cumin powder would work too
•3/4 cup sour cream
•3/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (about 4 ounces)
We used closer to 1 cup cotija. (Monterey jack would make a fine substitution)
•1/2 cup chopped cilantro (about 1/2 bunch)
•1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (about 2 small tomatoes)
We used 1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes instead
•2/3 cup chopped scallions (about 1/2 bunch)
•1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Place rice in a colander or a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Combine rice, water, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low; cook until water has been completely absorbed, about 10 minutes (rice will be slightly undercooked). Remove the lid and set the pan aside to let rice cool.
*We cooked our basmati in the microwave and it comes out perfect every time! Place 1 cup rice and 2 cups water in a microwave safe round 2 quart bowl with lid. Cook covered on high for 5 minutes. Reduce power setting to 50% and cook an additional 15 minutes. Let sit a few minutes, then remove lid and fluff with fork. Done.
2.To prepare peppers for stuffing, use a paring knife to cut a wide circle around each stem (like when carving a jack-o’-lantern), so you end up with a cap that can be replaced once you have stuffed the peppers. Be careful not to puncture or rip the peppers. Clean any seeds and membranes from the cap and from the interior of each pepper; set aside.
3.Place beans in a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or the back of a fork, lightly mash them (some whole beans will remain).
4.Stir cumin, sour cream, Cotija, cilantro, tomatoes, scallions, pepper, and remaining salt into mashed beans and mix until evenly combined. Gently mix in cooled rice. Taste mixture and, if necessary, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Note that the filling should be quite salty to compensate for there being no salt on the peppers.)
5.Divide rice mixture into 6 equal portions. Stuff each pepper with the filling and replace each cap, pressing caps into the stuffing so the peppers remain closed while on the grill; set aside until ready to cook. (If you’re stuffing the peppers more than 30 minutes before grilling, cover and refrigerate them. Let peppers sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before grilling so that they cook faster and more evenly.)
6.Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium heat (about 350°F). Once the grill is heated, place stuffed peppers on their sides and close the lid. Roll each pepper a quarter turn every 7 minutes or so to cook all four sides. The peppers are finished once the filling is hot, the skins are well-charred, and the flesh is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. If serving as a side dish, slice peppers in half lengthwise
Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:
In a small sauce pan he added one chopped tomato (seeds and all), 1 tablespoon of cilantro, 3 pinches kosher salt, 1 pinch black pepper, 1 T white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Brought it to a boil for about 4 to 5 minutes. Next he seeded and chopped up a medium red bell pepper. Last he added the heated tomato mixture and the raw red pepper to a blender and pureed until smooth. S&P to taste. Pour on the bottom of the plate and place stuffed poblano on top. Enjoy!