Potato & Cheese Stuffed Poblanos

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Potato & Cheese Stuffed Poblanos -oh yum!  It’s been an unusual growing season here in central Ohio. By this time in the season I’m usually roasting Poblano Peppers to freeze and searching for yet another recipe to add to my growing collection. This year I’ve waited and watched my plants develop a few peppers and have just finally  harvested enough of my favorite peppers to make one dish. Now the dilemma, which one will it be?? In the end it’s determined by another favorite vegetables  – the potato and of course the potatoes will come from my CSA bag.

My earlier post on Crema de Chile Poblano taught you how to roast peppers on a gas range.  Today I’m taking the speed approach and using our gas grill.  It has an additional time-saving element because it’s a task that my husband is great at.  So,  while I do the rest of the prep, he’s out on the deck roasting my precious peppers.

The recipe originates from a February 2011 Cuisine magazine article on Meatless and Delicious and that it certainly is.  In the article the stuffed peppers are paired with a Black Bean Sauté which is also delicious but for tonight’s meal I’m pairing them with some simply grilled boneless, skinless chicken thighs and fresh off the vine cherry and grape tomatoes.  Our dog looks sooo sad because he knows that although he can enjoy the aromas, he won’t be getting a bite!

So finally I get to pick some peppers!  Certainly not a peck but enough for dinner.

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The jalapeno comes from my “garden” as well.

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The peppers go on the grill while I take care of the remaining tasks-so sad that there are so few of them.  Usually the grill is filled.

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I’m using a combo of “red” skinned (Blue Gold from Wayward Seed Farms)  and white potatoes (Kennebec from Dangling Carrot Farms),  but in this recipe most any type of potato will work.  But,  remember the better quality the ingredients, the better the dish. So if at all possible look for some high quality potatoes at your local farmers market.  

 When I’m making mashed potatoes, I usually want a russet like variety, but in this recipe they will be more of a smash, so even potatoes that are of the waxy variety will be fine.  It’s a dice for  the potatoes and a slice for the onion. 

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Into a pot of salted water they go.  Always start potatoes in cold water so the will cook evenly.

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The charred peppers go into a bowl and get covered with plastic wrap to steam.  This loosens the skins, making them easy to peel.

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While the peppers are steaming, slice the scallions and grate the cheese.  Check out those beautiful purple scallions from Clay Hill Farms.   Use both the white/purple part and the green stems.   I forgot the shot for mincing the jalapeno, but you should be doing this now as well.

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When the potatoes are tender, drain and return to the pot over high heat just for 30 seconds or so to evaporate the excess moisture.

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The peppers should be cool enough to handle after 10 minutes.  So pull the blackened skin off (remember not to rinse the peppers, you want all of that lovely roasted flavor to remain), cut a slit on one side and remove the seeds and tough veins and set aside.  

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Add approximately 3/4 of the shredded cheese, the scallions, jalapeno, cream cheese, sour cream, garlic powder and cumin and mash/smash.  I like mine on the chunky side but if you like smooth just keep on mashing until you get the texture you like. Taste and season with salt and pepper and lime juice if you like.  If you salted the potato water well you shouldn’t need any additional salt. 

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Generously fill the peppers and place them on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.  Top each one with some additional shredded cheese. 

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Bake for 20 minutes or so until the the cheese is melted and golden brown.

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Because a couple of my peppers were pretty small I had some leftover potato ( ya hoo-a start for tomorrow nights dinner).  So I oiled a small baking dish, filled it with the potatoes, topped it with some cheese, covered it with plastic wrap and into the refrigerator it went.  An alternative would be to make little mounds of potato on the sheet pan with the potatoes, top with cheese and bake.

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If you’re having a meatless day, a side of Black Beans (there’s a very nice recipe for Black Bean Sauté that accompanied the original recipe in Cuisine) is all you need for the center of the plate.  Tonight I’m pairing mine with a grilled boneless, skinless chicken thigh and a handful of cherry (Sun Gold) and grape tomatoes from my CSA and garden.  And of course a glass of wine!  The flavors here are bold enough for a light red.  The contrast of the warm, earthy stuffed peppers and the bright fresh flavors of the cherry tomatoes (no need for any embellishment on them) makes for a fine late summer meal.

Buen apitito!

M.B.

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Potato & Cheese Stuffed Poblanos

by: M.B. Einerson

Adapted from Cuisine- Potato-Stuffed Poblanos with Monterey Jack Cheese February 2011 

Servings: 4 (plus some potential leftover potatoes for another meal)

  • 4 large poblano chiles
  • 24 oz. potatoes, cubed, about 2 cups
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • ½ cup scallions-white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 6 Tbsp. ( 3 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. jalapeno chili, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 to 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 4 tsp. lime juice (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 425° F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

Roast poblanos over a gas burner or on grill until skins blacken.  Alternative if you only have an electric stove to work with is to roast the peppers under the broiler until they are charred and blistered.

Transfer the roasted peppers to a glass bowl, cover them with plastic wrap and let them steam for 10 minutes or so.  Once they are steamed enough to loosen the skins and they are cool enough to handle.  Peel the blackened skin off (don’t rinse), cut a slit along one side of the pepper and remove the seeds and any tough veins.  Set aside.

Put the cubed potatoes and sliced onion in a pot of salted cold water, bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender.  Drain and return them to the pot to allow the moisture to evaporate.

Add approximately ¾ of the shredded cheese, scallions, cream cheese, jalapeno, sour cream, garlic powder and cumin to the pan with the potatoes and mash to the consistency you prefer.  Stir in lime juice if you like and then taste and season with salt and pepper (if you salted the potato cooking water well, you shouldn’t need any additional salt.)

Fill the prepared poblanos with some of the potato mixture, top with shredded cheese and place on the baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes or so until the cheese is melted and golden brown.  If you have extra potatoes that you can’t fit into the poblanos, put them into an oiled baking dish, top with cheese and plastic wrap and refrigerate for tomorrow night’s dinner.  Alternative would be to spoon the potatoes into little mounds on the same baking sheet with the poblanos, top with cheese and bake alongside the peppers.

Buen apetito!

M.B.

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