Colorful Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Ode to Latin Cuisine
I love Latin food! I love going to grocery stores or farmers markets where they are stocked with produce from all types of international cuisines. Tomatillos, yucca, plantains, jicama, nopal…. They are so colorful, visual and beautiful. I wanted to make my next blog an ode to Latin cuisine. I tried to think of a colorful way to make a satisfying lunch on this particularly hot day in Pennsylvania.
I have a male friend from Costa Rica who claims that he is not a cook, but he knows how to make plantains like it’s his full time job. He taught me how to make them and I’m going to share this with all of you. If you aren’t familiar with a plantain, let me tell you a few things. Don’t treat it like a banana…you will be shocked…dismayed…confused and probably never want to eat it again. Before you try a new ingredient, research the best ways to make it, find out what other ingredients will compliment it…then try to make it. All of the beautiful, colorful ingredients in the world deserve our respect and we need to give them their chance by having a better understanding of them. Plantains are very starchy and are difficult to eat raw. I fry them in some coconut oil until golden, smash them with a glass, then fry them again smashed until golden on both sides. I add a little sea salt when they are still hot for additional flavor. It’s important to treat them like potatoes, rather than a fruit. I sometimes will make them for breakfast instead of hash browns along with a spaghetti frittata or other breakfast food and they work really well together.
If you don’t have all of the ingredients…don’t fret…I put in some substitutions that will work just fine…and have the queen’s approval.
I was in the mood for a spicy, savory lunch with some crunch of corn, creamy cheese and a zing of citrus. Here is my recipe for stuffed poblano peppers…spicy chorizo sausage, creamy queso fresco, a zing of lemon (or lime..which I didn’t have in the pantry ;))…and a fresh bite of cilantro. All of these flavors are rich, savory with a clean finish of the lemon. Enjoy!
Colorfully Stuffed Poblano Peppers
2 poblano peppers (sliced in half, seeded with the stems intact)
2 oz quesco fresco (or cheddar to substitute, which I did today ;))
2 ears of corn (outer layers and silk removed and corn kernels removed and placed in a bowl)
2 oz chorizo
2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
2 plantains (sliced in inch coins)
½ cup virgin coconut oil (if you wish to fry on high heat, use refined coconut oil)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the poblano peppers in half, seed them and keep the stems intact. Put aside.
In a hot pan, place virgin coconut oil on medium heat (if you want high heat, you can use refined coconut oil). Add sea salt to pan and watch for it to sizzle. Cut the plantains into inch coins and place in the hot oil and let it sizzle until both sides are golden brown (about two minutes on each side). Place on a paper towel and let drain for a moment. Keep the pan hot on the stove. Take the bottom of a glass and smash each plantain, and place each one back in the hot oil. Let it get golden brown again on both sides and place back on paper towel and let it drain. Set aside.
In a sauté pan, place the chorizo in a hot pan (medium to high heat) and cook until it is golden brown on all sides (about 5-7 minutes).
In a bowl, remove outer husk of corn, wash it and cut the kernels into a bowl. Add queso fresco (or cheddar), cooked chorizo, salt and pepper and put aside.
Fill each empty poblano pepper with the chorizo mixture and place in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the poblano pepper looks blistered on the outside. Sprinkle the top with cilantro and squeeze in the lemon (or lime) for an extra burst of flavor. #queensapproval