Poblano Chilies Stuffed with Rice and Vegetables

Poblano Peppers Stuffed w/ Wild Rice, Cranberries and Vegetables
Poblano Peppers Stuffed w/ Wild Rice, Cranberries and Vegetables

Few things smell better to me than roasting chilies—and among my favorites are poblanos. You can fill the peppers with a variety of vegetables, plus rice, beans, avocado and topped with cheese like the picture on the right. My kids tend to like the wild rice-filled peppers that are covered with salsa the best. This recipe takes a bit of preparation, but smells so good I particularly like to work on this one.

To Prepare Your Peppers

There are several ways to roast and peel your 6 large poblano peppers:

1. For those with no access to a flame: place the peppers on a cookie sheet in one layer and put into your pre-heated 450-degree oven for about 10-15 minutes (sometimes less), or until you see the skin has blistered. Watch closely to make sure they don’t burn. When blistered, remove from oven. Then go to the orange instruction section below.

2. Use a small blow torch to blister the skin—just be sure you don’t blister your own. Wear gloves.

3. Lay chilies over the grate on your backyard grill and let the flames roast them—turn often to make sure they don’t burn too much. (some people like their roasted until they turn black)

4. Lay chilies over a small grill that stands over your inside oventop burner. This works with a gas oven.

5. Roast on the stove top using tongs to turn. You can do this on a flat-top electric range.

6 . Buy chilies already roasted from a farmer’s market (many stores feature large “twirling” roasters to handle pounds of chilies at once).

Most recipes recommend that you put the peppers into a plastic bag to steam and further loosen the skin. But because of growing concerns over using plastics in food preparation, you can instead put the chilies into an empty crock pot or on a clean cotton towel or in a paper bag and close the lid for about 15 minutes. Then remove the chilies and gently peel the skin off. If the skin won’t come off easily, run it under cool water. Place the chilies on a cookie sheet and cover.

The Stuffing for the Peppers

I use these recipes:

Vegetable Saute (run through a food processor or blender to chop finely)

Wild Rice and Cranberries (the sweetness of the berries goes especially well with the earthiness of the peppers)

Black Beans

Carefully slit the peppers down the middle and remove the seeds. The stem may come out with the seeds, so if you want a pretty presentation, save the stem and replace it after you stuff the peppers.

Using a spoon, place the stuffing ingredients inside the peppers. I like to mix all the above stuffing options together.

After stuffing the peppers, cover the pan with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

If you desire grated cheese on top, add some before baking.

When the peppers are done, carefully remove them with a large spatula from the pan to a plate.