Poblano-and-Cheddar-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

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.

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2 poblano chiles
4 jumbo portobello mushrooms, stemmed
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cilantro


Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Roast the poblanos over the grill or under the broiler, turning, until blackened, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the chiles to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until they cool. Peel, core and seed the poblanos then finely chop them.

Brush the portobello mushrooms with 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the mushrooms over high heat, turning, until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate, stem side down, to let them drain and cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and add the onion. Cook over moderate heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the baby spinach and cook until the leaves wilt, about 1 minute. Transfer the spinach to a sieve and press out the liquid.

In a bowl, mix the spinach with the rice, cheese, cilantro and poblanos and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Season the mushroom caps with salt and pepper and spoon some of the rice mixture into the mushrooms, mounding it slightly. Transfer the mushrooms to a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the tops are lightly browned. Serve them warm or at room temperature.

Yields 2 servings.

Recipe from Food and Wine Magazine, January, 1996.