Thursday, August 30, 2007

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

The pepper population in the City Market has expanded rapidly as summer winds down, so we decided it was time to try to do something with them. We attended a party a couple of weeks ago where the "scientists" tried an experiment where they stuffed a jalapeno with a fig and cream cheese, then grilled it until the skin on the pepper popped. Magically, the cream cheese stayed in place and did not ooze out of the pepper and onto the grill. So, with the help of our friends, we identified our primary stuffing ingredient. The pleased pepper partakers tell me they were amazing. My husband enjoys heat...and I mean the red faced, sweat rolling down your forehead heat. I do not. My pepper experience has been that stuffed poblano peppers are not as hot as some of the jalapenos and others I've tried. So, we came home from the City Market with poblanos for me and poblanos and jalapenos for him.
Many recipes call for meat and/or rice stuffing with cheese and vegetables for poblanos, but I decided just to go for the cheese. I marinated a flank steak, which I recently learned from my former boss, is one of the leanest cuts of beef. He's a beef guy, he should know. My husband grilled the steak and his jalapenos and I warmed some tortilla, whipped up a fresh pico and stuffed and fried the poblanos. All around, it was an excellent meal. The grilled jalapenos would be great as an appetizer, or a side dish.

Stuffed poblanos and jalapenos
6 poblano peppers
6 jalapeno peppers
4 oz cream cheese, softened (I used low fat)
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack and Cheddar cheese mixed
1/2 cup flour
3 egg whites
2 - 3 Tablespoons oil
Roast the poblano peppers under a broiler or over a flame until the skin jumps off the peppers all around. Place roasted peppers in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap for about 10 minutes or until cooled.
In a small bowl, mix the cheeses into a smooth, soft consistency.
Once cool, remove the skin from the peppers and cut a small opening in the side of the pepper to pull out the veins and seeds. (Since I don't like heat so much, I rinse the peppers with water to make sure I get out all of the HOT seeds.) Gently stuff peppers with enough cheese to fill, but not overfill.
Mix the egg whites with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium, dredge poblanos in flour and then egg whites. Fry on all sides about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel.

Cut the very top and stem off the jalapenos, gently cut out the seeds and veins out of the pepper and stuff with cheese mixture. Grill outside on gas or charcoal over medium heat until skin is charred and cheese melts, but magically does not run out of pepper!

Flank steak
1 lb (ish) flank steak
1/4 cup beer
1/4 cup tequila
juice of 1 lime
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
glug of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried cilantro
pinch of salt and cracked black pepper
Mix marinade ingredients together, whisking in a small bowl. Pour over flank steak in a large Ziploc bag. Set in refrigerator overnight, turning a couple of times.
Drain and dispose of marinade. Grill flank steak 8 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. Let steak sit for a few minutes then slice thinly for steak tacos, or fajitas, or a wrap, or over a crisp green salad.

No comments: