Potato & Cheese Stuffed Poblanos


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.


The jalapeno comes from my “garden” as well.


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.


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. 


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


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


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.  


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. 


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


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!




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!


French Green Bean & Roasted Potato Salad


At long last my table is filling with the bounty of locally grown produce.  To celebrate I’m going to make  French Green Bean & Roasted Potato Salad.  The recipe comes from one of my favorite non-profit organizations Local Matters and stars green beans grown in my front yard along with new red potatoes and crispy romaine lettuce from my Great River Organics CSA market bag.

This post will give you a bit of an idea of a few of the things I enjoy besides cooking in my kitchen and writing for this blog, but rest assured they don’t fall far from the tree.

The first is as a volunteer for Local Matters (http://local-matters.org/).  This local non-profit does incredible things in the Columbus community and beyond to positively impact our food system and I’ve been volunteering with them for over 5 years now.  The first thing that got me hooked as a volunteer for them was the fact that they were going into pre-schools  and teaching kids and teachers about  recipes like this that came from various parts of the world.  So fun and rewarding to see food that didn’t come through a drive-through or from a box bring a smile and request for more!

In the time since I first started volunteering with them,  the number and types of programs Local Matters offers has grown dramatically. They literally reach from garden to table  and the impact they have on individual’s food choices and culinary skills among the myriad of other things is truly amazing.   My joy in volunteering for them however doesn’t stop at the important work they do.  It gives me the chance to work alongside  wonderful like-minded individuals such as their executive chef Laura Robertson-Boyd who first shared this recipe with me.

My other main ” volunteer”  gig is as a bag packer for Great River Organics CSA (http://www greatriverfarms.org).  Each week my husband and I get a first  peek at the goodies that will be delivered to a growing number of individuals in the Columbus area who choose to eat produce that  is locally and organically grown by a group of farmers that care about providing superior products, rewarding those in the time-honored profession of farming and respecting our environment.   In the literal sense we work for food because at the end of our shift we go home with some of the best produce to be found in Columbus.   Having grown up on a family farm where most of the food on our table came from our garden and pastures, I love the challenge/opportunity of creating great meals from the things that Great River Organics and I grow.   The other bonus of this gig, like my Local Matters work,  is that it allows me to work with yet another group of amazing people.  One of them is so amazing that she invited us to join a group of her friends on a cultural and culinary adventure to Italy last year.  I’ll save this story for another post(s)!

But back to the subject of this post.  This week I was able to harvest just enough green beans from my front-yard garden (I’m slowly but surely replacing things that are just ornamental with plants that either the bees and I enjoy) to go with the lovely new red potatoes and romaine lettuce from my Great River Organics bag.   Lunch just doesn’t get much better than this – at least until the vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn come along!

As with many great recipes, the list of ingredients is short which means that each one gets to shine and the quality is extra important.  So head to the farmers market or your garden and choose the freshest produce possible.  In my case I only have to step outside my front door for the beans.

New red skin potatoes get a medium dice, a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt. 
Then into a a 425° F oven or 400°F convection oven to roast until just tender and lightly browned.  They will tend to stick a bit to the foil, so use a gentle touch to stir/ flip them about half-way through the cook time.  Resist the temptation to eat them all as soon as they come from the oven.   
While the potatoes are roasting, blanch and shock the green beans.  Don’t forget to salt the blanching water and have your bowl of ice water ready for the shock.  I like to use a salad spinner as my shocking vessel because it allows me to drain the beans easily and give them a spin to remove the excess water.  Beans are ready for the plunge into ice water when they are bright green and tender to the bite.  
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Next the vinaigrette.  Today I’m using a country style Dijon because it’s what I have in the refrigerator.   My personal favorite brand is Maille, probably because I had the good fortune to visit Dijon many years ago and bring home a pot of fresh mustard.  So each time I use this mustard I’m reminded of the beauty and great food to be found in the French country side and the wonderful people I met there.
The process of making a vinaigrette is simple.  Whisk the mustard and vinegar together,  then  slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you continue to whisk.   At end,  season with a little freshly ground black pepper.  
Finely mince a shallot (if you don’t have a shallot some onion will do) and sauté in a bit of olive oil until translucent.
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Toss in the green beans and potatoes and heat until just warm.  Add the fresh tarragon or parsley ( tarragon is definitely the classic flavor for this dish, but try as I might, it is just “not my favorite” so I substitute flat leaf parsley).   Add the vinaigrette and give it another toss to combine. 
Plate on a bed of sturdy lettuce and lunch is served.  
 Bon Appétit and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

French Green Bean & Roasted Potato Salad

by: M.B. Einerson

Barely adapted from a Local Matters recipe by Chef Laura Robertson-Boyd, Executive Chef 

 Servings: 2 main course or 4 side dish

  • ¾  lb. of redskin potatoes, medium dice
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ lb.  green beans, snapped into ½ inch pieces (haricot vert are classic for the dish but any fresh green bean will be fine)
  • 1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small to medium shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh tarragon leaves or flat leaf parsley (optional)


  • 1 ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly grd. Black pepper
  • 4 cups Romaine or other sturdy lettuce, torn (optional but highly recommended )

Pre-heat oven to 425°F.   Toss diced potatoes with 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt.  Spread in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes or until just tender and lightly browned.   Stir once, half-way through the cooking time.

Blanch green beans in salted boiling water until just tender and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  This is called blanch and shock.

In a bowl, whisk the mustard and vinegar together. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Sauté the shallots in 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil in a skillet that will also hold the beans and potatoes.  When the shallots are translucent, add the cooked beans, roasted potatoes and a pinch of kosher salt.  Heat until just warm.  Add the fresh tarragon or parsley leaves.  Stir in the vinaigrette.  Serve warm or at room temperature on a bed of lettuce.

Bon Appétit

Aunt Mary’s (Grandma Alice’s) Potato Salad


For years this recipe has been in my Tried & Liked recipe file titled Aunt Mary’s Potato Salad.  It wasn’t until I asked permission to use it in this post that I learned that it was actually my mother-in-law’s recipe.  Where she got it will likely go unrecorded, perhaps it was once on the back of a Miracle Whip jar.   What I do know for sure is,  that for my money this is the quintessential American potato salad.  I have many potato salad recipes in my files and while many of them are very good, this is the one I always go back to for picnics, potlucks and when I’m simply craving potato salad.  So on this Memorial Day out came this classic recipe once again.  Thank you Grandma Alice!

Now in the last few years I’ve lightened it up a bit by switching out some of the Miracle Whip for low-fat cultured buttermilk.  I don’t think Alice would disapprove however as she is the daughter of a Land O’ Lakes butter maker and buttermilk Is an ingredient  she loves.  She and her son have been known to drink it by the class full.

I’ve also traded the sweet paprika garnish for the more flavorful smoked Spanish variety.   Other than that it’s the same recipe I’ve been making for going on 30 years.

OK so early on I tried to mess with it.   Our home is one of those split into the Salad Dressing camp and the Mayo camp.  I’m definitely on the Mayo side of the fence in everything but this recipe.  So,  if you are a mayo person as well,  let me save you some trouble-just use the Miracle Whip.  I also tried to get fancy and use Dijon mustard-again great stuff but not in this one, trust me.

The ingredients are mostly pantry/refrigerator staples.


Start by hard boiling the eggs – I always make a few extra for the munchiers in my family.  While I’m making potato salad I usually stir up some tuna salad as well.  Yes ,there are many ways of properly hard boiling eggs-my favorite is the egg timer.  It turns out perfectly cooked eggs every time (just as long as you keep don’t try to do too much multi-tasking and keep an eye on it).  Also note that older eggs are easier to peel than super fresh ones.


 Next start cooking the potatoes.  For potato salad you need a waxy potato that will hold it’s shape when cubed.  I like red-skinned, but Yukon Gold’s work well also.  They are a bit less waxy than red skinned potatoes but have an excellent flavor.

The important cooking technique is to start them in cold water.  If you put potatoes into hot or boiling water, the outside will turn to mush before the inside is cooked.  Add the salt either at the beginning or after the water comes to a boil.


The eggs are done when the “timer” turns completely dark-so you do have to keep a watchful eye on it.


Immediately pour off the hot water and add cold water from the tap until the eggs are cool to the touch (the egg timer will help you out here as well).  Then peel the eggs by tapping them against the side of the pot under water.  The water going into the shell will aid you in achieving a beautiful smooth egg.


The potatoes are done when you can easily slide a sharp knife into the center with little resistance.


Pour the potatoes into a colander and cool under cold running water. 


While the potatoes are cooling you can start to chop the veggies.  The size of the dice is up to you.  Some people like the celery in bigger chunks so it is easier to pick out!  I usually slice the stalk in half lengthwise and then cut into pieces about 1/4 inch wide.


Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cube into bite size chunks.  The original recipe calls for peeling them as well, but I like the flavor, fiber and ease of leaving the peeling on.


The original recipe also says the onions are optional, but I almost always add green onions/scallions.  The relish for this one is sweet (I’ve tried to use dill because I love it in other dishes, but it doesn’t work in this one).


Gently mix the celery, onion and relish with the potatoes.


Mix the Miracle Whip, Buttermilk (optional), Yellow Mustard, Salt and Pepper.  


Pour the “dressing” over the potato mixture and add the sliced or chopped eggs.  Yep, I love gadgets that work and like my egg timer an egg slicer does a fine job here.  I leave the slices whole and let them break up as I stir them in.  Don’t forget to save one or two for the garnish.


The dill in my “garden” is going great guns at the moment so I’ve added a bit of that for a bit of fresh flavor.  


Like the dill,  my chives are also in abundance so instead of parsley (which the bunnies and chipmunks have lunched upon) they become the extra bit of green on top to contrast the red of the paprika.


Coming soon –  Brisket a great side to the potato salad!


Thanks again Grandma Alice for sharing this one.


Aunt Mary’s (Grandma Alice’s) Potato Salad

by: M.B. Einerson

 Adapted from the original by Alice Einerson and perhaps her mother before her!

 Servings: 6 to 8 large

  • 7-8 medium red skinned potatoes
  • 2 tsp. salt for cooking potatoes
  • 5-6 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
  • Onion, finely chopped – yellow or green-optional (not – it always goes in mine)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped as you like it – some would consider this ingredient optional!
  • ½ cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 ½ cups Miracle Whip – in recent years I’ve started to go with a 50/50 blend of Miracle Whip and cultured Low fat buttermilk but no substitutes for the Miracle Whip!
  • 2 Tbsp. Yellow prepared mustard
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh dill, chopped (optional)
  • Fresh chives or parsley, minced or snipped
  • Sweet or Smoked Paprika

Place potatoes in a pot large enough to hold potatoes and cover with an inch or so of cold water.  Add 2 tsp salt and bring to a boil.  Boil 30-35 minutes until just tender.  You can check by poking a paring knife into the potato.  If it goes to the center with just a little resistance, they are done.  Pour the potatoes into a colander and run cold water over them to stop the cooking.  To peel or not to peel?  The original recipe specifies peeling, but I like the flavor, fiber and other nutrients that come from the peel, so I save a bit of work and leave it on.  When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cube into the size you prefer.  I leave it on the chunky side because that’s the way I like it.

Add the onion, celery and pickle relish and mix gently.

Combine the Miracle Whip, (buttermilk if you’re using it), mustard, salt, dill and pepper.  Pour over the potatoes.  Add the eggs, reserving some for garnish.  Mix gently.  Garnish with additional dill, chives or parsley, paprika and reserved eggs.