STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS

When I was a kid my mom made stuffed green peppers. I always like the filling but hated the actual pepper. It was green, tough and had a horrible flavor. When I started cooking I found a decent recipe in the classic Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.  I learned a few tricks  like parboil your peppers before you stuff them and don’t top with red sauce, just use grated cheese. I also figured out that the red and yellow peppers were far superior to green peppers.

Then, while watching “Like water for Chocolate”  I saw the ultimate way to make this classic.  The stuffed poblano pepper.  There was no rice. Just meat, veggies and cheese. So I made the switch.  The following recipe is a huge staple in our house, because they taste great straight out of the oven or as leftovers.  I’ve been working on this recipe for awhile but I can share it with you. Yes! The WOYP  official taste tester, Bryan, gives it 2 thumbs up.

4 -5 Medium poblano peppers, seeded and  halved lengthwise
2 TBSP Olive oil
1 pound Hot Italian sausage- turkey or pork (opt. if you don’t eat meat of any sort)
4-5 Medium White Mushrooms, chopped
2 Green onions
2 med.  or 1 large Garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Dried thyme
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
1/2-1 tsp. Chile powder
1/4 tsp. Ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
15 oz. Frozen chopped spinach (1 1/2 bags) cooked according to package directions
1 15 oz can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz. Goat cheese
2 Tbsp. Sour cream
Worcestershire sauce (for bottom of baking dish)
2 Tbsp.  Water (for bottom of baking dish)
1/2 – 3/4 C. Shredded gruyere or white cheddar cheese

STEP 1:
Heat oven to 350°F. Fill an 8-quart stock pot halfway to top with water, bring to boil. Add peppers, cook for 4-5  minutes.  Remove peppers from water, turn upside-down on a cooling rack covered with paper towel. When peppers are drained flip over and sprinkle insides with a little salt.

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STEP 2:
In a large frying pan heat 1 Tbsp oil until shimmering.  Add sausage and brown.  Remove from pan and set aside to cool.  It’s super important to leave the drippings, you want the flavor of the sausage to meld with the rest of the ingredients. Next, add the remaining oil, mushrooms and onions. Cook until both are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Next add garlic and all spices and herbs. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Set aside.  Next wrap spinach in 2-3 paper towels and squeeze  out as much liquid as possible.  Add spinach, beans and cooked sausage to the mushroom mixture. Reheat about 2-3 minutes. Next stir in goat cheese and sour cream until well blended.

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STEP 3:
It’s time to fill the peppers. Cover the bottom of a shallow baking dish Worcestershire Sauce and water.  Place peppers skin side down in the baking dish.  Generously stuff each pepper with the filling. Top with grated cheese and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Let the cheese brown, because it the best way to eat cheese. Once you remove from oven, let cool about 5 minutes or so.  Then Eat.  Leftovers can frozen.

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