Tue Apr 30, 2013
I mentioned a couple weeks back that even though I stuffed my homemade Mexican chorizo into casings this time around, I rarely actually consume this sausage in link form. The intense spicy and earthy flavor of chorizo can be a little much when eaten alone, which is why, more often than not, it finds its way into tacos, quesadillas, and other dishes that both compliment the sausage as well as lessen its impact. I found one of my favorite uses for it a while back with these chorizo-stuffed poblano peppers.
I've already exalted the virtues of the poblano as a stuffing pepper, but it's probably worth repeating. Unlike the common (and somewhat flavorless) red bell peppers that usually serve as stuffing vessels, poblanos have a great fruity flavor and slight heat that's strong enough to add an extra dimension of flavor to whatever is stuffed inside.
Since the poblano brings a fair amount of flavor to the party, I always put careful thought into what will work best to compliment that slight spice and crisp fruity bite. Chorizo happens to be one of those things that pairs great—its earthiness gets a contrasting boost from the freshness of the pepper.
Of course, an all chorizo stuffing would be a bit overboard, so I devised a mixture that built upon the traditional Mexican influence. This started with sauteing onions and garlic before the chorizo was added in. Once the sausage was cooked through, it was let cool for a bit before adding in rice, tomatoes, cilantro, crema, and cotija cheese.
This was then spooned into halved poblanos, topped with grated pepper jack, and placed on the grill over indirect heat.
About 30 minutes later the cheese was melted and the poblanos had softened to the point where they retained a little crunch and kept their shape when transfered from grill to platter.
These stuffed poblanos really built upon the awesomeness of the chorizo. The filling was a complex mixture that spread across a gamut of flavors and textures: fresh, tangy, creamy, spicy, cheesy, meaty, and more. The poblanos were instrumental in grounding all of these flavors, providing a base for the stuffing both structurally and flavor-wise. They proved to be a worthy use of part of my arsenal of chorizo, and I'm sure would make a great addition to any Cinco de Mayo fiesta.
Chorizo Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Prep Time:
- 30 Minutes
- Cook Time:
- 30 Minutes
- Total Time:
- 1 Hour
- 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 pound raw Mexican chorizo, removed from casings
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white rice
- 2 medium roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup Mexican crema, or sour cream
- 1/4 cup grated cotija cheese
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large poblano peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add in onion and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in chorizo, breaking sausage into small pieces with a wooden spoon, and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
- Add rice, tomatoes, crema, cilantro, and cotija cheese to bowl with meat mixture and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon mixture into cavities of split poblanos and top with pepper jack cheese.
- Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place poblanos on cool side of grill, cover, and cook until cheese has melted and poblanos have softened, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from grill and serve.