This recipe first came about when I was trying to come up with a menu plan for our Candlemas dinner. I initially thought of making stuffed portobello mushrooms, but remembered that not everyone loves mushrooms, so decided on stuffing roasted poblanos instead. I also wanted something that wasn’t going to be too spicy; poblanos are traditionally on the mild side, although some can sometimes surprise you and can be a little spicy.
What I love most about this recipe is that it’s actually a very light and healthy recipe. We live in Colorado and I love to cook with bison ground beef which makes this recipe surprisingly healthy. Ground bison has less fat, calories, and cholesterol compared to beef, chicken, pork, and salmon. Plus, it has more iron per unit weight than ground beef. And if you want to lighten this dish even more you can easily substitute the cheese with a low calorie reduced fat or fat-free cheese.
This recipe is also very simple and can be made in stages. You can roast the chiles and make the sauce and picadillo the day before then assemble and bake while your guests are mingling or eating appetizers. And if you have a guest who does not like spice, stuff a portobello mushroom instead and eliminate the sauce.
Poblanos Stuffed with Picadillo
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
½ cup chopped onion
1 jalapeno, stemmed, and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground bison or lean ground beef
4 bell peppers, chopped (recommend red, green, yellow, and orange for color)
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 large fresh poblano chile peppers, roasted, halved, seeded, and stemmed
1 ½ cups Oaxaca or asadero cheese, shredded
Roasting Chile Peppers:
Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles for roasting.
Rinse thoroughly to remove dust particles.
Pierce each chile pepper with a knife.
Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. .
Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 3 to 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black.
Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, close the bag to lock in the moisture, and cover with a wet kitchen towel. When cool, peel off blackened skin.
Slit pepper in half lengthwise, careful not to cut the pepper in half, you want to create a pocket for stuffing. Pull out the seeds and leave the stem on.
For the Sauce:
In a blender, combine tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic, and salt. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour sauce into a 3-quart rectangular baking dish.
For the Picadillo:
In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes until translucent.
Add ground beef or ground bison and brown. Using a potato masher and mash meat so you have small pieces of meat and not big chunks.
Add bell peppers, tomatoes, and cilantro. Season to taste.
Cook for about 25 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
Stuff each poblano half with about ½ cup of picadillo mixture. Place filled poblanos on top of the sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle cheese over each poblano.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes uncovered until cheese is melted.
Written by Yvette / Photos by Yvette