It’s poblanos two ways! Towards the back of the market, there is a small, unassuming set-up manned by a husband and wife who just want to sell fresh vegetables from their garden. I stop by Bill’s Produce every week because their prices are reasonable and I haven’t had a single issue with any of the produce I’ve picked from them. This week’s purchase was no different. The had an abundant basket of medium sized poblano peppers so I got 4 for only $2.00 and went off to make this week’s Saturday’s Basket dish.
If you haven’t had a poblano before, the best way to describe them to you is to say they resemble an over-sized jalapeno, both in shape and flavor. Like the jalapeno, they can differ greatly in the heat factor and even of the 4 that I purchased, 2 were significantly less hot that the others. Generally speaking though, they are a milder pepper.
I knew the first thing I wanted to do was make a cream sauce and try it with my new-found favorite grain-like side dish, quinoa. I decided to roast two of the peppers to get that charred skin and soften the flesh. If I had a gas stove, I would have just charred them over the grate but alas, I do not. So, hi broil until all sides were black as night. I let them cool for a quick minute and then chopped the tops off, removed the seeds and whirled them in the blender. While it the peppers continued to sweep around the blade, I added a tbsp of heavy cream and 2 tbsp of Greek yogurt. That’s it! Well, almost – the sauce needs a heavy dose of salt and pepper to really season it up, especially since it will be mixed with quinoa which is a lot like rice or pasta in terms of soaking up the flavors its given.
Creamy Roasted Poblano Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup roasted poblano cream sauce
3 green onions, chopped for garnish
Prepare the quinoa by adding it to a sauce pan with the chicken stock and bringing to a boil. Let simmer for 5 minutes over heat, stirring once. Remove from heat, place a lid over the pot and let it sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in the sauce just prior to serving.
2 medium sized poblanos, halved, seeds and ribs removed
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 small onion, diced
1/4 lb ground beef
1/2 can drained and rinsed black beans
1/2 can drained Rotel diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
juice of 1 lime
shredded cheddar cheese
Add canola oil over medium hi heat and sauté onions until translucent. Add beef to brown thoroughly (drain if necessary) and then add beans, tomatoes, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and the juice of the lime. Combine ingredients and set aside to cool enough to handle. Oven should be set to 325° for baking the peppers. Once the meat mixture can be handled, gently scoop into each pepper half and place upright in a baking dish. Top with a generous amount of shredded cheese and bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the peppers soften.
Mound the prepared quinoa onto the middle of a serving dish and arrange the baked peppers over the top. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with a little sour cream or Greek yogurt to cool things off a bit!