Stuffed Poblano Peppers

On Sunday we didn’t feel like going grocery shopping so we decided to improvise a dinner using the ingredients that we had in the fridge.  It just so happened that we had poblano peppers and turkey chorizo sausage, so we created this yummy Tex-Mex style recipe for peppers stuffed with sausage, beans and rice!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Poblano Peppers Stuffed with Chorizo, Beans, and Rice

You will need…
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Jalapeño Pepper, seeds discarded and finely chopped
2 fresh Chorizo Sausages, casings removed
10 oz. cooked White Rice
10 oz. (about 2/3 can) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup Frozen Corn
1/2 teaspoon Chile Powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
Salt and Pepper to Taste
3-4 Poblano Peppers, halved lengthwise with seeds and ribs removed
Shredded Cheese (we used a mixture of Mexican blend and Mozzarella)
Sliced Green Onion, for garnish
Chopped Cilantro, for garnish (we didn’t have any but it would be a nice addition!)

Directions:
Heat the Olive Oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add in the onion and jalapeño and saute until the onion softens slightly, about 2 minutes.  Use a spatula to push the onion mixture to the sides of the pan, then add the sausage and saute until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Stir the sausage while it cooks to break it up into crumbled bits.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the rice, beans, and corn.  Sprinkle in the seasonings (chile powder thru salt and pepper) and stir well to combine.  Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning to taste if desired.

Meanwhile, cook the poblano pepper halves in the oven or on a grill. (Although we did not do this when we made the recipe, we later concluded that softening the peppers slightly before stuffing them would improve their taste and texture in the final dish.)  To do this in the oven, place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil until the flesh softens but still holds its shape (it’s OK if black spots appear).  To do this on a grill, place the peppers over direct medium heat and grill until the flesh softens but still holds its shape  Place the cooked peppers on a baking sheet and spoon the rice and sausage mixture into each pepper.  Top liberally with shredded cheese, then bake in a 375°F oven for 20 minutes or until the cheese begins to brown.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers before melting

Transfer the baked peppers to a serving dish and garnish with green onion and cilantro.  Enjoy!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Mexican Tortas with Chorizo and Black Beans

This recipe for tasty tortas comes from our Mexican Everyday cookbook by Rick Bayless.  A torta is a Mexican-sandwich that features a smear of mashed beans and a wide variety of toppings including cheese, lettuce, sour cream, or salsa.  For these tortas we garnished our sandwiches with Queso Fresco, avocado, and Cholula hot sauce.  The resulting tortas contained the perfect combination of warm beans, spicy chorizo, and savory cheese and avocado, all nestled between golden-brown pieces of crusty bread.

Tortas de Chorizo y Frijoles Negros (from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless)

You will need…
8 oz. Chorizo Sausage, removed from casing
Olive Oil
2 – 15 oz. cans Black Beans, undrained
Salt, to taste
2-3 Crusty Rolls, approx. 6 inches long (we used a French Baguette and cut it into three 6″ sections)
6 oz. Queso Fresco cheese, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 ripe Avocado, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Cholula Hot Sauce, or other bottled sauce or hot salsa

Directions:
Brown the chorizo and break it up in a large skillet over medium heat.  After the chorizo is completely cooked through, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the black beans.  Bring the beans to a simmer and mash them with the back of a large spoon.  (You can also use a bean masher or potato masher if you have one but the spoon worked fine for us.)  Continue to cook the bean mixture, stirring almost constantly, for about 10 minutes.  Taste the mixture and add salt if needed.  Cover the beans and leave on the stove over low heat.

Meanwhile, slice each roll in half lengthwise.  Use your fingers to pull out some of the soft bread in the center to make room for the bean mixture.  Use a spoon or brush to spread approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil onto the inside faces of each roll.  Place the rolls face-down on a preheated heavy-bottomed skillet and toast the bread until it turns golden brown.  We had to do this in batches since only one roll could fit in our skillet.  Press the rolls down as they cook so that they toast evenly.

To assemble your torta, spread a liberal amount of the chorizo-bean mixture along the bottom half of each roll.  Top with the sliced queso fresco and avocados, then add a few drops (or many drops… your choice!) of hot sauce.  Cut the torta in half and enjoy!