My step daughter Lauren has been a vegetarian for many years. She is grown up and away at veterinary school now, but I love when she visits us so I can cook vegetarian extravaganzas. This is one of those favorites that even our 3 (meat-eating) sons love.
When you are able to find good sized poblano peppers in the market buy some (6) and try these. There are literally hundreds of recipes online for stuffed poblanos. Everytime I make these they are just a little different depending on what ingredients I have in the house.
This recipe is inspired from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook (see my recommended list of books to the right): Chickpea stuffed poblano peppers. The overall flavor of this dish is mildly spicy from the poblanos and the mashed potato-like neutral texture of the filling give them an overall satisfying feeling making you want the last bite to never come.
What is cool is that the chickpeas are mushed up in a bowl first (I use one of those pastry cutters or you could put them in a food processor and pulse a few times to get a coarse texture.) Mix with a couple of cheeses and some chopped cilantro, salt and pepper and there you have it, a versatile non-meat stuffing! The original recipe specifies 3 oz of goat cheese but I regularly have feta in the fridge so use that then about 12 oz of shredded Monterey jack. These melting type cheeses help to bind the stuffing when placed in the oven.
Roast your poblanos first:
Put them on a cookie sheet; sometimes a little non-stick cooking spray on the pan will keep them from sticking but it is not necessary. Put them under the broiler and let them blister on the top, then using tongs, turn them over till they are mostly blistered. Take them out of the oven and place a bowl over them so that they steam. This will allow the skins to easily peel off.
Peel off the skins once cool enough to handle. Handle them gently as they are delicate. Take a small knife and slit one side from stem end to the tip and carefully invert so you can pull the seeds and fibers out. It is OK if they split in a few places..this happens. Not to worry.
Take your filling and divide it among the poblanos, molding them around the 1/3 cup filling for each. Lay on a plate. Now Bobby's recipe makes a beer batter and cornmeal coating then fries them in peanut oil. I have done them this way and they are just wonderful.
If you do not want to mess with the oil and batter, then simplify by using similar ingredients (aka corn meal and corn tortilla chips, crushed) to make a layered effect in a 9x13" casserole dish. On the bottom place a layer of crushed tortilla chips, then pour a cup of a good tomato based sauce (recipe to follow) over the chips.
Roll each of your stuffed poblanos in about 3/4 cup of medium ground cornmeal and lay in the casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese (can be Monterey jack, cheddar, fontina, or a combination of similar cheeses. Top with more crushed tortilla chips (or corn chips). If you have some shredded parmesan cheese, sprinkle a little on the top.
Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 25 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Yes, they are just wonderful! Slice half of a perfectly ripe avocado onto your plate for the perfect balance.
[Note: I have adapted this recipe with a few time saving steps. I encourage you to find a copy of Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill cookbook and cook from it. The recipes are those you will return to often.]
Chickpea stuffed poblanos with tomato salsa
recipe adapted & inspired from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook
6 poblano peppers
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 cups of shredded Monterey Jack, fontina, cheddar (any combination of these)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
1 jar of your favorite salsa (you could use a red or green salsa)
2-3 cups crushed tortilla chips or corn chips
3/4 cup medium ground cornmeal
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar, fontina cheeses or a combination of similar cheeses.
Grated parmesan for the top
1. Roast poblanos under the broiler on a cookie sheet until blistered all over; remove from oven and cover with foil or a bowl so they can steam for easier peeling. Peel off and discard skins. When cool enough to handle, slit one side of each pepper and pull out seed and inner fibers leaving stem intact. It is OK if they split apart in the process.
2. Make stuffing: Mash chickpeas in a bowl or lightly pulse in a food processor so they are like very course breadcrumbs. Add cheeses, cilantro and salt & pepper.
3. Fill each poblano with about 1/3 cup of the filling and mold the pepper around the filling; roll each stuffed pepper in cornmeal and set aside.
4. In a 9x13" casserole dish spread half of the crushed corn chips in the bottom and top with 3/4 cup of the salsa. [Note: Using salsa is a step saver in this recipe. You can use any mexican inspired tomato based sauce for this recipe and the results will still be similar. Lay the stuffed poblanos on top of the corn chips and then top with the cheese and more corn chips. Finish off with some grated parmesan and place in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Cool for ten minutes then serve with sliced avocado or a side of salad.
This recipe provides full nutritional value with the protein found in chickpeas and at least 4 kinds of vegetables ( tomatoes, peppers, onions, corn).
Another variation on this recipe used crumbled cornbread in place of the crushed corn chips layered as the bottom layer.
I used to collect recipes and filed them away until a few years ago. Now I cook and cook and try what was filed away. My cookbooks are well used with notes on the pages. Cookbooks are meant to be used, right?!
You are encouraged to pull out those filed away recipes and start to make them. Make a shopping list from your recipe and start trying them instead of dreaming about how good they are.
Cook everyday for your family. Make great food. The secret ingredient is the care you take in the food you make. Engage your family in the cooking process by inviting them to join you in the kitchen then at the table. It is a lost tradition that is starting to come back..
Let's bring it back.
Thank you for visiting my new blog. I hope you will be inspired to try recipes I post here and that you will come back and post your comments and experiences.