Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stuffed Poblanos with Cinnamon Rice Pilaf

Mention was made of stuffed poblanos on the Cuisine At Home community website, and after I requested it, Jean was kind enough to post the recipe. It has sat patiently in my notebook since then, waiting for me to remember to buy poblano peppers; when I went to the Strip last week, I picked up a package. They were nice-sized, well-shaped, shiny green, and perfect. And half the price of the ones (in a much sorrier state) which I saw in the grocery store.

I almost never follow a recipe exactly as written. I substitute according to what our tastes are, and what I have on hand so I was fairly surprised to realize that I had followed this recipe almost exactly. It was absolutely delicious!

Broiled, peeled poblanos were stuffed with a very tasty mixture of ground meat, onion, tomatoes, apple, almonds, and spices, then covered with a slightly spicy tomato sauce. These were baked, then served with a drizzle of walnut cream sauce. Good heavens, they were delicious!

The recipe suggested serving with cinnamon rice pilaf, and of course I waited until the peppers were in the oven before realizing that I didn’t have the recipe! So I "googled", and was fortunate to come up with a winning recipe on the first try. From Southern Living, it was a very simple pilaf of rice, shallots, chicken broth, and cinnamon. Very fragrant and a perfect side to the poblanos. I also put together a quick side of diced zucchini, red bell peppers, onion, and corn seasoned with Mexican oregano and lime.

Because of the wonderful fragrance and beautiful colors, Jack was a bit more impatient than usual as I photographed the plate prior to our eating (I tell him to start eating without me, but he doesn’t).

He took his first bite, then another, looked at me and demanded to know just why I had never made these before! :)

A few comments:

The changes which I made were to the stuffed poblanos were:

  • Substitute ground turkey for ground pork, since we do not eat pork
  • Use an equivalent amount of canned, diced tomatoes for fresh (since fresh tomatoes are so abysmally awful at this time of year)
  • Omitted the raisins. Not a fan.

The original recipe called for blistering the peppers then placing in a plastic bag to steam. I never do this because, in my opinion, it is a waste of a plastic bag (who bothers to rinse it, dry, and reuse afterward? And throwing it away after one short use is such a waste.). I place peppers, when I prepare them this way, in a large saucepot and cover it. They steam just fine…

And, for the walnut cream sauce, I used almonds (since there were almonds in the poblano stuffing) and lowfat ingredients (neufatchel cheese, light sour cream, lowfat half-and-half) where I could. This took the total fat per serving from 11g to 7, and saturated fat from 5g to 2, without losing its wonderful, nutty, creamy flavor. Also, the nutritional info is for the stated recipe servings. The next time, I will cut it in half because there was too much sauce left over.

Next time I will make more of the tomato sauce (about 50% more) and less of the walnut (actually, almond-)-cream sauce (also, about 50%)

Oh, and Jack said that there was no way he would eat only one pepper. He had two.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Turkey-Stuffed Poblanos

Recipe adapted from Southern Living

Servings: 8 (but maybe not!)

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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8 large poblano peppers

1 pound ground turkey

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion -- chopped

1 large garlic clove -- minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 large tomatoes -- chopped

1 small apple -- chopped

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup diced almonds -- toasted

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup tomato sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Broil Chile peppers on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet 5 inches from heat about 5 minutes on each side or until peppers look blistered.

Place Chile peppers in a saucepan, cover and let stand 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel peppers. Gently split Chile peppers open lengthwise, keeping stems intact; remove and discard seeds. Set aside.

Cook ground turkey in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Add chopped onion and next 4 ingredients; cook, stirring often, 7 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in tomato and next 4 ingredients. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt.

Stir together tomato sauce and next 3 ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat 5 minutes.

Spoon about 1/2 cup pork mixture into each pepper, and place in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour tomato sauce mixture over peppers.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes.

Top with Walnut Cream Sauce.

Garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired, and serve over Cinnamon Rice Pilaf.

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Per serving: 177 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat; (32% calories from fat); 12g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 45mg Cholesterol; 580mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

* Exported from MasterCook *

Walnut Cream Sauce

Serving Size : 8

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

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3 ounces neufchatel cheese -- softened

1/2 cup walnuts -- toasted

1/2 cup light sour cream

1/4 cup lowfat half & half

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth stopping to scrape down sides.


"1 1/2 cups"

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Per serving: 82 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat (2g saturated); (74% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 9mg Cholesterol; 113mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

For the cinnamon rice pilaf, I eliminated the butter in the original recipe and used butter-flavored cooking spray to sauté the shallots. Because I wasn’t too keen on breaking up vermicelli into ½” pieces (really, do I need to vacuum the kitchen again?!?!), I just added more rice and broth. The recipe called for baking the rice, but I steamed it on top of the stove because I had put the stuffed poblanos in the toaster oven to bake and there was no room for the rice. Again, having all of the recipes on hand and reading them through before starting would have been a good idea. :) But the stovetop method worked just fine.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Cinnamon Rice Pilaf

Recipe adapted from Southern Living

Servings : 4

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

-------- ------------ --------------------------------

2 medium shallots -- minced

1 cup basmati rice

2 ounces vermicelli -- uncooked, broken into 1/2" pieces.

If not used, increase rice to 1-1/4 cups and broth to 2-1/3 cups.

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Spray a skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray. Over medium heat, sauté the shallots for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add rice (and vermicelli, if used) and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth and cinnamon; stir.

Bring to a boil, cover tightly, and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes. Without removing the lid, turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes.

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Per serving: 234 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (4% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 290mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 0 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Voila! The resulting meal:

1 Comment:

Laura said...

This sounds fantastic!