Pork-Stuffed Poblanos with Walnut Cream Sauce
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.
8 large poblano chile peppers
1 lb ground pork
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 small apple, chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup diced almonds, toasted
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper
Garnish: cinnamon sticks
For the Walnut Cream Sauce:
1 (3-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Broil chile peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet 5 inches from heat about 5 minutes on each side or until peppers look blistered.
Place chile peppers in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag. Seal and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel peppers. Gently split chile peppers open lengthwise, keeping stems intact. Remove and discard seeds. Set aside.
Cook pork in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Add chopped onion and next 4 ingredients. Cook, stirring often, 7 minutes or until onion is tender.
Stir in tomato and next 4 ingredients. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt.
Stir together tomato sauce and next 3 ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat 5 minutes.
Spoon about 1/2 cup pork mixture into each pepper, and place in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour tomato sauce mixture over peppers.
Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Top with Walnut Cream Sauce. Garnish, if desired, and serve over Cinnamon Rice Pilaf.
Note: Small green bell peppers may be substituted for poblanos chile peppers. (Do not roast.) Proceed as directed. Bake 45 minutes or until peppers are tender.
Makes 8 servings.
Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2001.