Roasted Bean and Cheese 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.

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Makes 4 servings

4 fresh poblano peppers
1-15 ounce can fat free refried beans
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese , shredded
optional topping: homemade or store-bought pico de gallo

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a medium pot filled about half way with water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the whole peppers to the water, and boil the peppers for 10 minutes, using a pair of tongs to turn them once half-way through the boiling time.

Meanwhile, add the beans, chili powder, and garlic powder to a medium bowl and mix to combine.

Remove the peppers from the water, and use a paring knife to make a slit down the top of each pepper from the stem almost to the bottom tip of the pepper (don’t slice all the way through to the bottom of the pepper). Use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of the peppers. You can run them under water to easily remove any additional seeds.

Place the peppers on a baking sheet lined with foil and lightly greased or sprayed with cooking spray.

Add about 1/4 of the bean mixture to each of the peppers, then top each with 1/4 of the cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the peppers are completely tender and the beans and cheese are melted and slightly bubbly.