Finally Poblanos!

What was going to be a simple supper, turned into an ordeal. Right after I got started with preparations, we were hit with a humongous thunder storm! The rapid fire lightening and thunder gave us quite a show. It also cause me to have multiple, short, power outages. That makes cooking a bunch of fun! Plus, take one very storm frightened dog and you get double your fun. A calming pill, his thunder shirt, and his dad protecting him got us through. It was, to say the least, a very long night.

But, enough of that, it’s FOOD TIME!

What we have here is, roasted stuffed poblanos with polenta topped with a black bean hummus & guacamole.

Do ahead: Turn your oven to high broil. Take the washed and dried poblanos, spray them with oil and put on a foil lined baking sheet.  You’ll want to adjust the oven racks so that the top of your tallest pepper is 2 to 3 inches away from the heat. Place your tray of peppers under the broiler. As the skins start to cook, you’ll hear them popping. Don’t be afraid, that’s what it’s supposed to do. Now, you know your oven better than I do, so times will be approximate. Check them after a few minutes. If you have some nicely blistered skin, flip them over and do the other side. You want a nice char on the poblanos, Not a flambé. Do not let them catch fire. Your night will be even worse than mine. When both sides are charred,  remove tray and turn oven off. Place the peppers into paper bags. If you don’t have any bags, you can put them into a heat proof bowl and cover it. You want to let the poblanos steam the skins loose. So, bag or bowl them and walk away. Come back in 30 minutes and check to see it they are cool enough to handle. Time to peel off all that blistered pepper skin. Now the bags can multi task. It’s a good place to pile all the skin that you peel off the peppers. The skin should come off easily. If you have some tough spots, don’t fret about it. Leave them on.  The next step is to open the peppers up and remove the seed cap. I use scissors for this. I just find that it’s easier. Cut half way across the cap at the top, then cut down, lengthwise of the pepper, almost to the end. You are making a T shaped cut. Open up the pepper, trimming the side wall veins as needed. Cut the seed pod off at the stem. Leave the stem part. Set them in a greased 9 x 13 pan and get ready for the next step.

Gather your ingredients. Most people stuff their poblanos with beans, jalapeños, tomatoes and onions. I say – Hey, all stuff is in this handy, dandy can of hoppin’ John. So, I use them. Open and drain the canned beans. Toss them into a bowl with the cumin, cilantro and lime juice.  Mix it up.

Open the pack of Queso Blanco. This is a soft white cheese that won’t melt. If you like fried cheese, this will hold up to the heat. I like the soft cheese and not the melty kind for this. If you want melty cheese, use quesadilla cheese or monterey jack. Cut the cheese into strips. Lay a couple of strips on the bottom of the open pepper. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the hoppin John mix. Don’t over pack the peppers. Fold the sides of the peppers closed and add a couple of the cheese slices.

Fire up the broiler again on high. Broil the poblanos a couple of inches away from the heat, until the cheese is browned. Remember, it won’t melt. The peppers cooked when you blistered them, so all you want to do is heat the food and brown the cheese.

Now, we move onto the polenta rounds topped with black bean hummus and guacamole.

The ingredients for this dish. Rinse and drain the black beans, reserving 1/4 cup of bean liquid. Put beans into the work bowl of a food processor. Add in the chopped cilantro, diced garlic, olive oil, the chipotle pepper from the adobo sauce, cumin and lime juice. Hummus recipes call for tahini, a sesame seed paste. That stuff is expensive and hard to find around here so I do what my son taught me. I use peanut butter. I can’t tell the difference. Add the peanut butter in, too.Process the mixture into a moist paste. If it seems to dry to you, add some of the reserved bean liquid. You want it to have a soft, moist dip like quality. Scoop it into a bowl and garnish with some chopped cilantro.

My produce co-op offers these tubes of prepared polenta in different flavor varieties. I get them because they’re convenient and easy to use. Open it over a dish because they’re water packed. Remove wrapper and slice the tube into 1/2 inch slices.  Place the slices into a fry pan coated with 1 tablespoon of oil. Fry over med-high heat until browned, flip and fry the other side. Drain on paper towels.

Plating time. Place a poblano on the plate and put two polenta rounds beside it. Top with some black bean hummus and a scoop of guacamole. Yum!

Roast Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Serves: 4 Prep time: 30 min Cook time: 5 min

Ingredients:

  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • 2 cans of Margaret Holmes Hoppin’ John, drained.
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • juice of one lime

Directions:

Coat poblanos with cooking spray, place on tray and broil until skin is charred all over. Remove and place in paper bags to steam. When cool, peel away outer skin and cut pepper open. Start with a T cut across the top and continue lengthwise until almost the bottom tip of the pepper. Cut off seed pod, leaving top intact. Set pepper aside in a greased 9 x 13 backing dish.

Put drained hoppin’ John in a bowl. Add in the chopped cilantro, cumin and lime juice. Mix well.

Open and slice Queso Blanco cheese into strips. Place two strips of cheese into the bottom of each opened poblano. Fill pepper with hoppin John mixture, careful to not overfill. Fold poblano sides up and top with two more cheese slices.

Turn oven on to Hi-broil. Place peppers into oven a couple of inches from heat source. Broil Five minutes or until cheese is browned. It will not melt. Serve and enjoy.

Black Bean Hummus

Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 15 ounce cans black beans, drained, reserving 1/4 cup of liquid
  • 3 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 pepper from a can of chipotle poppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons diced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • the juice of one lime

Directions:

Place drained black beans into the work bowl of a food processor. Add in the peanut butter, cilantro, chipotle pepper, garlic, cumin and lime juice. Process until smooth. If too dry, add in the reserved bean liquid. Salt and pepper to taste.

Simple Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 scallion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon diced garlic
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Slice avocados in half, removing and discarding pit. Holding avocado, run a knife tip lengthwise and then across – without cutting through the peel – dividing it into little cubes. Using a spoon, scoop the cubes out into a bowl. Repeat with remaining halves. Using a fork or masher, give the avocados a rough mash. Leave some cubes whole.

Add remaining ingredients into the bowl. Mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

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