Spicy Sofritas Veggie Bowls
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.
For the Veggie Bowls
1½ cups uncooked white long grain rice
2 huge handfuls of fresh cilantro
16 ounces extra firm tofu
1 14 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup minced red onion
For the Sofritas Sauce
1 roasted poblano pepper (see notes)
4 individual chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
2-3 cloves garlic
½ cup fresh tomato salsa
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon salt
a pinch of sugar (cuts the spicyness a bit)
Roast your Poblano Pepper: Hold it over the flame of a gas range or roast in the oven. See notes.
Make the rice: Cook the rice according to package directions, adding the juice of 2 limes. After cooking, fluff and toss with a handful of fresh chopped cilantro and a pinch of salt..
Make the sofritas sauce: Roast the poblano pepper until it’s softened, about 10 minutes (see notes). Remove stem and place in a blender or food processor with the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, salsa, oil, salt, and sugar. Pulse until a mostly smooth paste forms.
Make the tofu: Slice the tofu and press with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Heat a drizzle of oil over medium high heat and stir fry the tofu until it’s starting to get just golden and crispy. Scramble the tofu into small bits with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add the sofritas sauce, ½ cup water, and pinto beans. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding more water as necessary.
Make the guacamole: Mash the avocados. Stir in the red onion, cilantro, and juice of 2 limes. Season generously with salt.
Assemble the bowls: Layer the cilantro lime rice with the sofritas mixture and a thwap of guacamole on the side.
To roast your poblano, you can either hold it over the flame on a gas range until it’s hot and blistery (that’s what I did) or turn your oven to the broil setting, coat with oil, place on a baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes at a time until it’s soft and blistered. I did not remove the skins of my poblanos and it was still delicious. If you are in a pinch for time, I would suggest subbing one or two small cans of diced green chiles.