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.

 

More mushrooms?

We eat a lot of mushrooms around here. We eat a lot of everything. Eating is good.

And since I’m a good eater, I’m sharing another mushroom recipe. This is a hearty, stick to your ribs, dish. Perfectly suited for those cooler nights. For any night!

Gather your ingredients. I used wheat noodles this time. Sometimes, I use the no-yolk kind.

Strip the thyme off the stems. Chop the shallots. (or like me, spoon them out of the jar) Depending on the size of your mushrooms, either cut them in halves or quarter them. Measure out a cup of the low fat sour cream and cut off 4oz. of the low fat cream cheese. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, melt the butter. Dump in the shallots and the mushrooms. Cook for roughly 5 to 7 minutes, or until the shallots are clear and the mushrooms tender. Add the wine ( I used a delicious Pino Grigio) and swirl it around. Using a spatula, scrape up all the little yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered until the wine has almost cooked off. Give it a stir a couple of times for good measure. Now, scoot all the mushroom mixture to one side of the pan. Add the sour cream & cream cheese.Let it soften a bit, then combine it with the mushrooms. If it seems a little dry, add some hot pasta water. You want it nice and creamy. Plate up some noodles and top with the stroganoff. Eat, enjoy.

Mushroom Stroganoff

Serves: 4   Prep time: 20 min.    Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 whole shallots (sliced)
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 4 oz low-fat cream cheese or neufchatel cheese
  • ½ cups white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 – 12 oz package of wide egg noodles

Preparation Instructions

Prepare egg noodles according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Keep warm.

Trim stems of mushrooms. Cut the mushrooms in halves or quarters depending on size.

Place large sauce pan on stove over medium-high heat.

Add the butter and melt.

Add shallots and the mushrooms. Cook about 5 minutes, or until the shallots are clear and the mushrooms are tender.

Add the wine and stir the pan, scraping up any stuck on bits. Add the thyme and black pepper.

Cook down the wine until the pan is almost dry. Push the mushroom mix to one side of the pan. Add the cream cheese and sour cream. Allow the heat up and soften. Blend together. Cook until hot and bubbly. Add reserved hot pasta water – if necessary – by the tablespoon until desired creaminess is reached.

Enjoy!

Summer’s excesses. Roast Summer Vegetables and Quinoa

If you’re like me, your fridge is full of summers bountiful vegetables. And, if you have neighbors like mine, that means tons of yellow squash and zucchini! My near favoritest was to cook vegetables is by roasting them. This is also an excellent way to clean out the fridge. Use up whatever you have!  

Quinoa is a powerhouse of nutrition. Per serving it has 6 grams of complete protein, made up of all the essential amino acids. It is a cholesterol free and gluten free food and also packs 20% of your USDA required iron! So, why not roast some vegetables and put them on top of some oh, so good for you quinoa.

Get out your bag of quinoa and prepare it according to package directions. Make sure you rinse it, if it’s the kind you have to rinse. My brand is pre-rinsed. Most quinoa cooks at a two to one ratio. Two cups of fluids – water or broth – to one cup of quinoa. I combined two cups of vegetable broth and one cup of quinoa in a medium sauce pan.  Bring it to a boil and simmer until all the liquids are absorbed. Roughly 20 minutes. When done, you can add some butter or olive oil and fluff it up.

Clean out your vegetable bin and pile it all on the counter. Take picture. Remember grape tomatoes. Add to pile and take another picture. I used one zucchini, one yellow squash, one cup of whole mushrooms and the same amount of orange grape tomatoes. I added in an orange bell pepper and half of that red onion. I sliced the scallion on the diagonal and topped the finished plate with it.

Give the vegetables a rough chop. You want the pieces to all be about the same size. Halve the zuke and yellow squash and cut into 1/2 in half moons. Halve the mushrooms, and cut the red onion and pepper into about 1 inch cubes. Leave the tomatoes whole.

Add the prepared veggies – except the tomatoes! – to a bowl and toss with the olive oil and Italian spice. Keep the ‘maters separate.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and layer the veg on it. Spread them out. Not the tomatoes, not yet!

Roast in a 450º. After 15 minutes, remove and flip them all over. Now, you can add the cherry tomatoes. It wouldn’t be pretty if you put them in at first. Exploded tomatoes ALLLL over. Return to the oven and roast an additional 10 minutes, until good and browned. Serve about one cup of quinoa on a plate and top with about the same amount of roasted vegetables. Add the sliced scallions and give it all a nice topping of shaved Parmesan cheese. Oh man, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Cheese……..yum

Roast Summer Vegetables and Quinoa
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • One cup quinoa
  • Two cups vegetable broth
  • ½ half chopped red onion, about 1 cup
  • 1 chopped bell pepper, your choice of colors
  • one zucchini, about 6 inches long, cut into half moons
  • one yellow squash, about 6 inches long, cut into half moons
  • one cup whole mushrooms, cut into halves
  • one cup cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 scallion for garnish
  • Monterey Jack cheese for garnish
Instructions
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions, using the broth to replace the water. Cook time approximately 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 450º. Line a large baking tray with foil.
  3. Chop vegetables into uniform pieces. In a large bowl, combine the chopped vegetables, olive oil and Italian seasoning until evenly coated. Keep the cherry tomatoes separate.
  4. Spread vegetables out on tray and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip pieces. Add the tomatoes at this time. Return to oven and roast an additional 10 minutes.
  5. To serve, place a cup of quinoa on a plate and top with one cup of roast vegetables. Garnish with scallions and monterey cheese. Enjoy!

 

 

Mushrooms Galore

There’s a knock on the door. On the other side is our neighbor with a gift.                             He’s giving us one dozen, eight ounce packages of baby bella mushrooms.

That’s SIX POUNDS! I thank him and stash the ‘shrooms in the fridge. Boy, am I really grateful that we have an extra fridge in the garage. Then, I sit down to think. What am I going to do with six pounds of mushrooms? Fried mushrooms, sautéed mushrooms, mushroom kabobs, creole mushrooms, mushroom gumbo, coconut mushrooms, mushroom stew, mushroom po-boy, wait, wait a minute! How about the Burgundy Mushroom recipe from the pioneer woman’s website! Great idea. I go over and look the recipe over. Hmm, there’s worcestershire, chicken and beef bouillon in there, so that’s gotta change. Easy enough to do, so I did it. Then I took the hints and put it all in a crock pot.

Here are the results – Delicious! A thumbs up from everyone.

Vegetarian Burgundy Mushrooms

First, get your plethora of fungi out of the fridge. This is about the only time that I’ll dump them in a colander and hose them off. Mushrooms are like little sponges and they suck up water like crazy. Since we’ll be using these right away, I figure I’ll save some time here. Otherwise, (when I’m not doing so many) I’d just wipe them off.

Gather the rest of your ingredients. I cut the mushroom stems off flush with the caps. Also, for being “Baby” Bellas, some of these were quite big. I think they were “Teenage” Bellas. Those larger ones, I cut up, trying to keep a uniform size.

Pile all your mushrooms into your very large, crock pot. Turn the crock pot on, so it gets to preheating. It will only be a few minutes, so it will be ok. Now, you’ll need a large stock pot. Not crazy big, just enough to hold six cups of fluids easily. Get your two sticks of butter out and cut them into little cubes. It will melt faster that way. Take your garlic and crush it with the flat of your knife and give it a rough chop. After you remove the paper-like skin. Be sure to do that. Strip the thyme and dump them all in the pot. Add in the soy sauce. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Measure out two cups of vegetable broth and pour it in.

Then, get out the wine. This is a very good wine from a local vineyard.Southern Red Get a red wine that you’ll like, because it will take all of one bottle and a little of another. You’ll need four cups of wine. 

Pour it into the stock pot. Heat it all over medium heat until it just simmers and the butter is all melted. Now, carefully, pour all the liquids over the mushrooms in your crock pot. This is why you need a very large crock pot! If possible, give the mushrooms a little stir to distribute the spices evenly.  This is why you’ve heated up all the other ingredients. They are already blended up and you’re not waiting for your butter to melt in the crock pot.

Cover it up and cook on high for nine hours. My crock pot kept it at a good, slight boil, so I used high for the entire time. Low gave me no simmer at all. If your crock pot seem to be boiling all the liquid out, turn it to low after four or five hours. This is a peek after four hours.We really need Smell-O-Vision! The aroma was out standing. My guys said it actually reminded them of a pizzeria. They even smelled pepperoni!

While it’s cooking, either run to the store and get a loaf of crusty bread for soppin’ up the juice or make your favorite bread. I make a rosemary focaccia. It was so good.

Recipe adapted from : the pioneer woman

5.0 from 1 reviews
Mushrooms Galore
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 - 8
 
Vegetarian Burgundy Mushrooms
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds of baby bella mushrooms
  • ½ pound of butter or 2 sticks
  • 4 cups burgundy (red) wine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • Pinch of salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat crock pot.
  2. Rinse mushrooms and trim off stems.
  3. Cut butter into cubes and place into stock pot.
  4. Add in the soy sauce, garlic, thyme, salt & pepper.
  5. Pour in the stock and wine.
  6. Heat over medium until just reaching a boil.
  7. Carefully, pour hot stock mixture over mushrooms in crock pot.
  8. Give a gentle stir. Cover and cook on high for nine hours.
  9. Check and stir after 4 hours. Reduce heat to low if necessary. You don't want it to boil dry.
Notes
You can make this vegan by using a soy spread or a coconut oil product. I haven't been able to find a veg version of worcestershire, so I used Tamari soy sauce.

I served the mushrooms with a rosemary focaccia and some oven roasted rosemary potatoes. Yum!