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Stuffed Poblano Peppers

We found a new favorite dinner! Thank goodness I did not have enough peppers to double the recipe, or we would have had to roll ourselves out of the kitchen after eating them all! Did you ever go to a Mexican restaurant, order a chile relleno and end up with a kinda tasteless mound, filled mostly with rice and covered with soggy, sometimes slightly undercooked batter? Here is a way to avoid all that unpleasantness! A little more effort is needed to fill out the other elements of your own combination platter, but here is some help with enchiladas, salsa, guacamole and rice. Since I was not going to dip these peppers in batter I chose not to char and remove the skins – with all the cooking and liquid the peppers were soft and skin inconsequential. This is a a great recipe for using leftover meat and vegetables. It always works great with other pepper types, like cubanelle, etc…

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

4 Poblano peppers
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups shredded pork or cooked seasoned ground beef
1 cup cabbage, cooked and chopped up (or very finely chopped raw cabbage)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheese
½ cup water
Sour cream and lime wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 400F. Make one slit in each pepper lengthwise. Remove seeds and membrane from inside, careful to leave the stem attached to the pepper. Sprinkle inside of each pepper with salt. In blender or food processor combine tomatoes, oregano, cumin and a dash each of salt and pepper. Puree until you have a smooth tomato sauce. Set aside. Divide cream cheese into four pieces. With the back of your spoon (or your fingers if you don’t mind a little mess) spread the cream cheese around in the cavity off the pepper. In a medium bowl combine the meat and cabbage. Stuff the meat and cabbage mixture in the pepper, making sure the slit does not tear open any more than necessary. Top the meat and cabbage the tomato sauce, making sure it drizzles down within the pepper. Top with the cheese, tucking it in under the edges of the peppers, then gently pushing the pepper edges together as far as you can. In a baking dish just big enough to hold the peppers (9×9 or 8×11) pour in the water, then add the peppers. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20-30 more minutes, until cheese begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for about five minutes before serving. Top with a dollop of sour cream and a lime wedge for drizzling juice over the stuffed pepper.


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