Poblanos are often refered to as the Mexican Bell Pepper. “Poblano” is also the word for an inhabitant of Puebla, Mexico, so be sure not to mix up the definition with this recipe. The outcome will be very different indeed!
Poblanos are not as sweet as bell peppers, but do carry a bit more spice to them which is in the range of mild to medium heat. It should be noted here that you may encounter a poblano pepper with significant heat and the peppers from the same plant can vary as well. The heat level is not exact.
They are usually dark green and 4 to 5 inches long and about 2 to 3 inches across. If you let them ripen more to a reddish-brown color they will be even sweeter than the bell pepper and their heat will have kicked up as well. The great thing about this recipe is that it is very open to your imagination. Remember when you cut out the little opening to stuff the pepper, be sure to either save the bit you cut out or chop it up and put it in the stuffing. If you save it, I suggest chopping it up and freezing it. Then when you want to add some flavor to your morning eggs or another dish, you have them handy and they don’t go to waste.
Speaking of waste. I found that made a bit too much of the stuffing. I had gone to my favorite sasuage maker and gotten four rather large sasuages. Two named “Diablo” and two that were bacon and cheese flavor. Both home made sausages and very tasty! So what to do with the extra? My partner said or joked…not sure which, but he said very enthusiastically, “empanadas!” Now I love those little pockets of goodness myself – but I did not want the hassle of making the dough. So what’s a boy to do? I thought of Pillsbury and those little wonders in that familiar pop and fresh can. Here in Canada they sell hot dog wraps to make what we used to call, “Covered Wagons” in grade school. So I bought some of those and will wrap some stuffing in those – bake and Ta Da! A nice, easy empanada type food. I’m making them tonight, so I’ll let ya know how they worked. Well, on to the recipe. I doubled up on it when I made it since we found a nice basket of peppers at the market. Too tasty to pass up! As a side, I sauteed some mini squash from the market with a slightly spicy seasoning.
This recipe was inspired by the one I found here. I made only a few slight changes.
4 small/medium sized poblano peppers
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 links chicken sausage (I used a spicy hand made pork sausage from a local market – two types)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup corn
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper
1 oz. manchego cheese, shredded (I thought a nice smoked cheese would do well here – I used a smoked Gouda; however I would suggest a stronger flavored cheese that is smoked)
1. Preheat the oven to 400.
2. Heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat, and saute the onion until tender. Add the garlic, and cook for an additional minute. Crumble in the chicken sausage, and cook until the sausage starts to brown. Add the salsa, corn, and cumin. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer over low for a few minutes.
3. Lay the poblanos flat, and cut a T-shaped slit into the top of the poblano. Pry the slit apart, and remove all of the seeds.
4. Stuff the sausage mixture into the peppers. Top each pepper with some of the manchego cheese.
5. Bake until the poblano is tender and browned around the edges, about 25 minutes. I did 25, then turned the oven off and let them sit another 10 minutes as the lager peppers needed a little more time.