Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chipotle Sauce
Recipe from Natalie of OnceUponACuttingBoard.com & Real-Life Notes from Jenn Hobby
4 large poblano peppers (Note 1)
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1/3 cup vegetable stock (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile in adobo sauce (Note 2)
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed (or fresh cooked corn from the cob) (Note 3)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 roma tomatoes, diced
4 ounces goat cheese (Note 4)
Preheat oven to 475°F. Rub poblano peppers with two teaspoons of vegetable oil and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven until soft and slightly blackened in spots, about 15-20 minutes, flipping once. Let cool.
Meanwhile, bring 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup vegetable stock to a boil in a medium saucepan (Natalie says: I like to use part vegetable stock for quinoa to infuse extra flavour, but it’s not necessary if you don’t have any open vegetable stock, you can use 2/3 cup water instead). Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low to simmer. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes, then remove lid and fluff with a fork.
While peppers and quinoa are cooking, prepare the chipotle sauce in a blender. Combine chipotle chile, garlic, 3/4 cup water, and a dash each of salt and pepper in the blender and blend until smooth. Add 1/2 cup cilantro and pulse a few times to combine. Set aside.
In a large saucepan or deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add corn, black beans, tomato, and cooked quinoa and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add 2 ounces goat cheese and stir until it's melted and completely mixed in. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Make a small slit down the length of one side of each pepper, being careful not to cut through to the other side. Carefully remove seeds, leaving stem end intact. (Note 5) Spoon quinoa mixture into each pepper to fill them.
Pour chipotle sauce into a 9x13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffed peppers to the dish, and dot with remaining 2 ounces goat cheese. Bake until cheese is golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes and serve warm, sprinkled with additional chopped cilantro if desired.
1. Poblanos are a mild chili pepper and make great "boats" for this recipe. When you are shopping for your poblano peppers, be sure to select ones that are not too thin… you are stuffing them after all!
2. Easy cowboy! These chipotle peppers can take your dish over-the-top hot, so follow carefully here. Just a tablespoon is PLENTY. If you have a finicky eater in your house, you may want to scale back a little. As always, taste and smell as you go, especially with heat. I have learned from experience… I recently ruined a HUGE pot of chili by adding too many chopped chipotle peppers.
3. Take the extra time and go with fresh corn. It's a noticeable difference.
4. A good substitute for goat cheese here would be queso fresco.
5. Removing the seeds can be tricky. If you wear gloves, you can use your fingers to carefully pull out the seeds and veins. If you don't use gloves, you can plan on a burning sensation on your skin all day… and please do not touch your eyes! You can also use a small pairing knife to cut out the inner veins and seeds. Just be careful, the seeds store most of the heat in their oils and they can get you!
Enjoy! Hope this will spice up your Valentine and put you both in the mood! ;) With love, Jenn