Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers
This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.
They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.
One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 chipotle pepper (packed in adobo sauce)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 BellaFina pepper, diced
1 plum tomato, diced
One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons chopped green onions, optional
2 large poblano peppers (4 if small)
1/2 cup grated reduced-fat pepper jack cheese
Avocado Cream Sauce, recipe follows
Diced tomatoes, for garnish, optional
Green onions, sliced, for garnish, optional
Avocado Cream Sauce:
1 large ripe avocado
1/2 cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Yield: 2 for dinner or 4 as sides
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Add the whole tomatoes, garlic and chipotle to a blender and puree until smooth. Add to a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and BellaFina peppers and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the plum tomatoes and cook until it breaks down, another 3 minutes. Stir in the beans, quinoa and chili powder. Turn off the heat and fold in the chopped green onions if using.
Split the poblano peppers in half and remove the seeds. Stuff the peppers with the quinoa mixture. Ladle about half of the tomato sauce into a 13- by 9-inch casserole dish. Place the peppers on top and ladle over the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the peppers with the cheese, cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil from the top and cook until the peppers are very soft, another 5 minutes. Top with Avocado Cream Sauce, diced tomatoes and sliced green onions if desired.
Avocado Cream Sauce:
Slice the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh into a food processor and add the yogurt, lime juice and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.