Quinoa-Stuffed Poblano Chiles
A plate of roasted poblano chiles, drizzled with crema and dotted with ruby red pomegranate seeds, causes one of Titas dinner guests to beg for the recipe. The secret is to make it with lots of love, she replies with a smile. Our version is stuffed with goodiesred bell pepper, dried apricots and fresh Mexican cheese. The quinoa
adds a delightful nutty flavor and is packed with protein. Fresh farmer cheese is an acceptable substitute for Mexican queso fresco. Pomegranate seeds are for a color accent only.
- 6 large or 12 medium-sized poblano chiles
- 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
- ½ cup finely diced red onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup dried quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 10 dried apricots, diced
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
- 4 oz. queso fresco or queso blanco, diced
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 cup mild Mexican green or tomatillo salsa
- 6 Tbs. Mexican crema, crème fraîche or sour cream
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
1. Preheat broiler. Cover baking sheet with foil.
2. Put poblano chiles on baking sheet, and place 3 inches from heating element. Broil until charred on all sides. Remove from oven, wrap with foil and let steam 10 minutes. Peel, and slit lengthwise, leaving stems intact. Remove seeds.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
4. Heat vegetable oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic, and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, oregano, salt, and pepper, and sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Gently stir in cooked quinoa, apricots, cilantro, queso fresco, and lime juice. Toss gently to distribute ingredients.
5. Pour green salsa into bottom of 2-qt. baking dish. Stuff each chile with quinoa mixture, gently pressing it into chile with palm of hand. Place chiles on salsa. Bake 30 minutes, or until heated through.
6. To serve, carefully transfer peppers to serving plates. Top with spoonfuls of salsa from the baking dish, and drizzle with crema. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
March 2005 p.82