Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mexi-Healthy Stuffed Peppers

Most of my cooking comes from a spark of interest in foods I find at farmers markets.  Foods I've either tried in one way or another, knowing if I look at them again in a different light that the taste may not be the same. Canned food vs fresh cooked food provides two very different footprints on your palette in many cases. So to clarify my cooking fashion, I find food I'd like to make or have interest in  then scour the web briefly for inspiration into what I'd like to make.

Tonight's dinner was no exception. One of the local markets which we really enjoy shopping at was closing down for the rest of winter (this is normal) so I scuttled up there on the last night to get the deals I could and to help out the local business. In my trip I found two very lonely pablano peppers keeping themselves company in a basket.  By lonely I mean this kid from Texas was walking by as they were yelling and whistling at me in Spanish. So I kindly picked them both up as there are 2 in my household, and placed them in my basket.  In this trip I also acquired a bag of sweet peppers (the long kind not bells) for $0.50 so I couldn't turn that down either.  I'll reveal the rest of the shopping experience in adventure cliffs to come.

So back to the peppers, I found the bag of sweets on the counter this morning starting to go bad, and knew that if my bargain was not going to go to waste it had to be used.  So this brought on tonight's dinner, that and the timing for me to cook for the wife was good tonight.

I found a link for Stuffed Pablano Peppers on elly says opa!. Like I mentioned before I take these as inspiration. I'm not always the type to measure ingredients and just kind of throw things together. The wife hates this as the next time it may not turn out the same, but...thats me.

So here is the recipe as I made it (approximately)

2 large poblano peppers + a few sweet peppers
little canola oil for skillet
1 small onion - diced
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 links Italian chicken sausage - (I used one spicy and one regular from Whole Foods)
1/2 cup salsa (I bought a garden salsa in one of those plastic containers)
1 cup corn (I like corn and had a 1/2 ziploc full in the freezer I wanted to use up / 1 can would also work)
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1 oz. manchego cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup), divided
(this is one of those cheeses you find in the imported vacuum packed hard cheese section I just bought the smallest one they had it was $6 or so and just used the whole thing, we like good cheese)

  • dice onion
  • mince garlic
  • shred cheese
  • Peppers - slice, wash, and deseed (I like to slice mine either by a t slit or on small sweets just slice along the side to expose a cavity (parallel to the pepper))
  • Preheat oven to 375-400 (most ovens are not accurate, I'll discuss this more later)
  • Figure out side dish and prep that too (I'm bad about prepping so this is less stressful

 1. in cast iron skillet over medium heat cook oil until warm then sweat the onions and garlic
 2. cut the casings off the sausage and add the sausage to skillet (cook till onion is translucent and sausage is browned)
 3. Add corn, salsa, and cumin stir and simmer over low heat to mix flavors
 4. stir in some of the cheese
 5. When ready spray a baking dish to avoid sticking, I like to use a corningware dish with a tight fitting lid so when there are leftovers I can just put it in the fridge and not have to transfer dishes
 6. Stuff peppers with the mixture and place in baking dish with mixture face up.
 7. Top with more cheese and bake for 30-45 minutes to soften peppers and melt cheese.

Serve with Mexican rice and beans. Delicious!

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