Power Foods-stuffed poblanos in chipotle sauce

Not sure if anyone else gets quite as excited for Monday evenings as I do.  I post on a pretty regular basis  on Monday nights and we've gone over this before, but it's two hours of good radio on my favorite local station and usually it's just Sara and I at home.   This week Greg is home too, and I'm not sure he understands the routine, but he's playing along after we went on a nice bike ride around the neighborhood.  Today, after breathing a deep sigh for surviving the last two weeks I decided it was officially time to start cooking through my new cookbooks.  

So I grabbed "Power Foods" from the editors of "Whole Living Magazine", a Martha Stewart publication pretty much targeted at people who could best be described as:  me.  Sara discovered the book at an amazing foodie shop, Parker and Otis in Durham on our visit to Duke.  I bought poblano peppers last week for fajitas and did not use them which was apparently a stroke of genius rather than just an oversight.  I made a quick trip to Trader Joe's (only $32 worth of TJ goodness, not nearly the damage I usually do) and picked up fresh mushrooms and cilantro, having all of the other ingredients at home.  My big ticket item today was a super easy carne asada beef cut packaged in marinade and ready for the grill (by the way, the beef was really tender and flavorful, try it).  Monday nights are now 3.5 summer tennis team practice nights, so I took the easy route.  Really this dish is a complete meal, but a little beef (or leftover grilled chicken) is a nice side.  Especially after a day that started with a vigorous hot vinyasa class, included a good walk with the husband around the hood after lunch and finished with tennis practice.  Needed a little extra protein.  

Alright, so this dish was simply amazing.  Sara's pepper did not have cheese because she's still unsure of goat cheese.  She'll be so bummed she passed it by all these years.  I love it and it's lower fat than a cheddar or jack which would also be good in this recipe.  So much flavor and the only thing you can call a spice beyond salt and pepper is the one tablespoon of chipotle in adobo sauce.  Layers of flavors and textures.  Mmmmm....  I changed it up a little and charred my peppers on our new grill (loving it) and used pinto beans rather than black beans simply because we like them better.  Bigger and creamier than the little black beans.  We just destroyed them before I could remember to take a picture of them after baking.  Ooops.  They just brown up a bit and the cheese melts in a little.  Hungry yet?

ready for the oven

Stuffed Poblanos in Chipotle Sauce

4 large poblano chiles (note, I just had three so now I have a little dish of extra filling leftover)
1 T chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 C packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 C quinoa
1 T canola or safflower oil
8 oz. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced or quartered
1 C frozen corn kernels (I like roasted sweet corn from TJ's)
15 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (black beans are fine too)
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese (not your thing?  try cheddar or jack but you'll miss the creaminess)

Heat grill to medium high and place whole poblanos directly on grate to char, turning once.  Depending on your grill this might happen in 10 minutes, just check them.  Alternately, you can use a 450 degree oven with your poblanos on a parchment lined baking sheet to do the same thing, it will take 15-20 minutes in the oven.  Remove chiles from the grill or oven and allow to cool until you can handle them (get everything else started and come back to the chiles).  Remove the charred skins using a paper towel. Carefully make a small slit in each chile and carefully cut out the seeds and discard, keeping the stem end intact.  I actually rinsed my peppers after coring them of the seeds to remove the loose seeds which worked fine, but do it gently.  

In a blender (this was the perfect task for my stick blender with it's beaker, a lot easier on the clean-up), combine the chipotle with adobo, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground pepper and 3/4 C water.  Blend until smooth. Add the cilantro and pulse to combine.  This will not be pretty, but it will look better baked and taste amazing.

In a small saucepan bring 2/3 C water to boil.  Add the quinoa (pronounced keen-wa in case you wondered) and return to a boil.  Stir once and cover, reducing heat to a simmer.  Cook until the quinoa is tender and has absorbed all the liquid, about 15 minutes.  The pearly grains will uncoil into little pig-tails and it will look fluffy.

While the quinoa is cooking heat 1 T of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and 1/2 tsp salt and a little freshly ground pepper.  Stir the mushrooms occasionally and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add corn and beans stirring until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Stir in 1/2 cup cheese and the quinoa.

Spray a 2-3 qt baking dish (something that fits the peppers nicely) with non-stick spray.  Pour the chipotle mixture and spread across the bottom.  Place the peppers in the dish and stuff with filling (you will note mine are far from perfect visually, but tasted heavenly).  Dot the stuffed peppers with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese (I used far less, maybe 2 T of cheese).  Bake until browned a bit, 15 to 20 minutes.  You could easily "bake" these in a grill baking dish (I have a square metal one from Cost Plus World Market) on your warm grill and keep your kitchen cool.  


charred peppers on the grill

quinoa starting to simmer, note it's pearl shape

chipotle mixture before pulsing in the cilantro

mushrooms, corn and beans in the skillet

chipotle mixture in the baking dish

removing charred skins with a paper towel

cooked quinoa now in it's spiral/pig tail shape

quinoa stirred in the skillet

time to remove the seeds

skillet mixture avec fromage (I am watching the French Open)
ready to stuff (see top photo for finished product)


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