Stuffed Poblano’s With Red Sauce

I don’t know what’s wrong with restaurants these days but I am so tired of paying for bland mediocre food. Twice now we went to a Mexican restaurant where I ordered what was supposed to be authentOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAic Mexican food… first time I ordered a Chili Relleno and got a cold burnt poblano with a burnt red sauce that cost me over $10. The second time I ordered and trio of enchiladas with various filings and sauces, what I got was a soggy bland enchilada that tasted the same no matter what type of sauce or filling I ordered.

The sad thing is both of the places came highly recommended! So either I have become a food snob or people just stopped appreciating truly good food.

So to get past my rant, I was in the mood for some good Mexican food and decided to make my version of a fried stuffed poblano. Let’s just say despite the extra work, it was much better than anything I have gotten in a Mexican restaurant in a while and I live in Arizona……….SAD!

Check out www.cookingwithcaveman.com for more recipes and info

What you will need:

  • 4 Poblano peppers
  • 2 Cups red sauce (store bought or see recipe below)
  • 3-4 cups chicken mixture (see below)
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • Frying Oil (peanut or other high temp oil)
  • EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper

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Red Sauce

  • 6 Dried Ancho peppers, stems cut (I use dried peppers because they store in the pantry for along time)
  • 10 Dried Arbol peppers, stems cut
  • ½ White onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 ½ cups of the water from rehydrating the peppers

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Filling

  • 1 Cooked chicken breast (grilled or baked with Mexican spices)
  • ½ white onion chopped
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can black beans with liquid
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese shredded

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Heat up your grill to medium high heat. (you can substitute the grill for the broiler if needed) While you are heating up the grill lightly coat the poblano’s with EVOO and season your chicken. Once the grill is good and hot place the poblano’s and the chicken on the grill.

Caveman Tip*** You are just looking to soften the poblano peppers on the grill and give them a little char without burning them, you want to give them that grilled flavor and get the skin loose so you can remove it.

Red Sauce Prep

Caveman Tip*** I like to put my dried peppers on the grill for a few minutes before I soak them in water, gives them a little extra smokiness.

After the dried peppers are toasted you will need to soak them covered in hot water at least 20-30 minutes to re-constitute them.Place your hydrated peppers and the remainder of the red sauce ingredients into a blender or food processer and blend until smooth. Put the sauce into a small pan and simmer under medium heat.

Caveman Tip*** I wanted the sauce to reduce, that way it would concentrate those flavors give it a thicker consistency and that little bit of pop. That’s up to you, just taste it, add S&P or more vinegar to your liking, but I would recommend that you reduce it. Then just let it sit on the stove keeping it warm unit you are ready to use it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stuffed Poblano Prep

Once the peppers are soft and the skin starts to fall off pull them from the grill and let them cool. Continue to cook the chicken until its done and pull it off the grill. Just let it rest long enough so that you can shred it without burning your fingers.Once the poblano’s have cooled peel the skin off and then cut a small slit in the side of the pepper. Reach in and pull out the seeds.

Cook

Take your onions and mushrooms for the filling and sauté with some EVOO under medium heat; don’t forget to add a little salt and pepper. Once they are soft add the remainder of the filing ingredients and cook under medium heat until warm. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes giving the spices time to incorporate into the mixture and the chicken time to absorb some of that black bean flavor.

While your mixture is cooking get a pan heated up with your frying oil. You only need about 2 inches of oil at the bottom of the pan. If you have a candy thermometer it works best, you want to get your oil up to about 350 degrees. There are other tricks if you don’t have a thermometer using the base of a wooden spoon. Just give it a Google search and it will come up.

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Stuff the poblano’s with the mixture I use cheese them chicken mixture and them cheese again. Don’t over stuff them just enough so you can still close them. Next you will want to roll them in the egg wash and then liberally coat them with the panko bread crumbs.

Now, carefully lay them in the oil and roll them so that they fry on all the edges. You will want to dry them on a paper towel and then serve immediately with your red sauce.

It’s a bit much for a weeknight recipe but definitely worth the work! This dish goes great with my Spanish Rice

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Memphis Style Ribs

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIBS

  • I prefer St Louis Style Pork Ribs because all of the fat and excess has been trimmed
  • The purpose of the Memphis rib rub is to give the ribs flavor without coating them in sauce.  By coating the ribs in a rub and letting them rest overnight – the strong flavors can penetrate the meat – making it a mouth-watering experience your friends & family will never forget!

 

Now let’s build the rub…

MEMPHIS RIB RUB

  • 6 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp powered garlic
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Morton’s kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp celery powder
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried crushed thyme
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar

 

Combine all the above ingredients and mix well, store in airtight container until ready to use.

You can always double the ingredients, and store it for next time!

RIB MOP –What’s this for, and why do I need to make it if I have BBQ sauce?

The mop will help the rub penetrate the meat and stop the ribs from drying out during the long cooking process.

  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • ½ Beer  any beer your preference
  • ¼ cup rub seasoning from above

Combine all ingredients and stir well, refrigerate until ready to use.  You will need to use a good basting brush to mop the liquid onto the ribs.

 

BBQ SAUCE

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp table salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • ½ cup yellow ballpark style mustard
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup  lime juice
  • ¼ cup A1 steak sauce
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • ¼ cup Agave nectar or regular honey
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (or light if that’s all you have)
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp Memphis Rub (from above)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (can omit or try a hot sauce if you like)
  • 1 tbsp red pepper chili flakes (can omit if you don’t like that much heat)

Combine all ingredients cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

I prefer to prepare the Memphis Rub, the rib mop and the BBQ sauce the night before as it allows all the flavors ample time to blend, and the rub seasoning to really season the ribs

 

Apply the Memphis Rub to the Ribs

Prep the ribs by removing the membrane (I prefer a butter knife and dig in there)

The membrane is the white skin like coating on the back of the rib. If you don’t remove it the seasoning will not penetrate the ribs  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generously coat the ribs with the rub (using your hands massage it all over the ribs, front and back)

Cover and store in fridge over night

 

Time to start the grill….

I prefer a slow hickory smoke when making ribs, but there are a number of options when grilling.

Here are Caveman’s tips for the best results:   

Get the BBQ ready.  I prefer charcoal but gas BBQ’s will work.  They are easier to set a temperature but in my opinion, the smoke pouches don’t work as well.

I also prefer to use the indirect heat method along with a water bath under the ribs.  It sounds harder than it is!  Simply have the heat source off to the side and put a tin of water or liquid directly under the ribs.  This allows steam from the water bath to penetrate the ribs and help keep them moist.

If you want to get really adventurous add flavor to the water bath. Apple chunks or any kind of aromatic ingredient (onions, celery, etc).

Example

The BBQ should heat up to about 225⁰F to let the ribs cook thoroughly.  If your BBQ doesn’t have a temperature gauge, get yourself a good BBQ (Oven) thermometer.   They can be purchased at most grocery stores for a few bucks.

 

 While the grill is heating up….

Pull the ribs from the fridge before you put them on the grill so they can come up to room temperature.

Keep the BBQ about 225⁰F and put ribs on, bone side down.   They need to cook for 4-6 hours * Be sure to check coals or temp every now and again.   

I like to baste the ribs with the mopping liquid at least once an hour.  Do not turn the ribs over! Let them cook bone side down the entire time.  Pouring your mopping liquid on the ribs every hour will allow the vinegar and beer to help break down the meat and keep it tender.

 

Additional Tips from the Caveman:

The longer you cook the ribs, the more tender and mouth-watering they will be. You be the judge.

Now, I prefer the Memphis Style Ribs dry, and having the BBQ sauce on the side.  This allows everyone to enjoy ribs as they choose, BBQ sauce or not!  For those that want the sauce, warm it up on a medium heat prior to serving.

If you prefer a wet rib, just pull the water bath, stoke up the flames, coat the ribs with the sauce and give them a few minutes on each side for the sauce to caramelize and thicken up on the exterior of the rib.

 

Cut and serve, with your favorite side, I prefer my homemade potato salad with a recipe to follow

 

 

Caveman’s Homemade Potato Salad – get ready for brilliant!

What you will need:Potato Salad

  • 8 red potatoes
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 5 hardboiled eggs
  • ¼ cup sweet relish or pickles (taste and add to your liking)
  • 3 dill pickles, chopped
  • Fresh Dill
  • Fresh Parsley
  • 4 Green onions, chopped
  • Chopped Chives (optional)
  • 4-5 slices of bacon, rendered, crispy (save the grease for later)
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • Paprika (to sprinkle)
  • 1½ cups mayo
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard (optional) I am not a fan of the mustard in my country potato salad
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

In a heavy stock pot, fill with salted water and boil all 8 potatoes until soft.  Use a fork to poke the potatoes until it easily penetrates to the middle of the potato. Most people prefer the potato to be somewhat firm for the salad but I prefer it a little softer almost to the point of being able to mash them. It makes a world of a difference in the salad.

Remove from heat and cool.

Hardboil the eggs, remove from heat and cool.  Once cool, remove shells from eggs and chop.  Set aside.   Panfry the bacon, render fat, until crispy. Set aside and let cool.  Save bacon grease!

In a large bowl, slice the potatoes into cubes (if you are using the caveman method and the potatoes are soft – be careful not to manhandle them and break them down). Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Use leftover bacon grease and slowly coat the potatoes. It gives the potatoes a little depth of flavor.  Gently, so you do not break the potatoes into mash, begin to fold in ingredients.  Fold in the mayonnaise, egg, pickles, relish, black olives, red onion, chopped celery, chopped bacon, green onion, and a few sprinkles of paprika. Taste and adjust ingredients, adding salt & pepper as necessary.

Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.  Just before serving gently mix in fresh parsley and dill then sprinkle a little additional paprika over the top.

I can’t stress this enough, taste your food throughout the process, you will be able to add and remove things to your liking.

Dutch Oven Basic Heat Source

Dutch Oven Basics

Food that requires baking such as biscuits, breads and cakes, needs most of the heat on the top.  Coals should be placed under the oven and on the lid at a 1 to 3 ratio with more on the lid.  For roasting, the heat should be equal with the same number of coals on top as underneath.  For frying, boiling, simmering and stewing, heat should come from the bottom only.  To keep biscuits and other baked food from burning on the bottom, remove the bottom heat after two-thirds of the total cooking time.

To share heat and serve dishes that are similar in cooking time, ovens can be stacked.  This technique requires careful watching to ensure that the bottom oven does not overcook.  [singlepic id=6 w=320 h=240 float=]

Depending on the size of the Dutch oven, each briquette adds between 10 and 20 degrees of heat.  Placement of briquettes is also important, because heat is more evenly distributed if placed in a circular pattern on the bottom and in a checkerboard fashion on the lid.  [singlepic id=5 w=320 h=240 float=]

Remember that it is much easier to raise the heat in a cast-iron oven than to lower the temperature.  Also, temperatures inside the oven will vary according to altitude.  Rotating the oven every ten minutes will also help distribute the heat in a more uniform way.  The lid can also be rotated a third of a turn in the opposite direction every ten minutes.

Basic Briquette Temperature Control Guidelines

Oven Size           Number of Briquettes on Top            Number of Briquettes on Bottom

10 inch                               10 to 12                                                                  8 to 10

12 inch                                12 to 14                                                                10 to 12

14 inch                                14 to 16                                                                12 to 14

16 inch                                16 to 18                                                                14 to 16

Cooking with Caveman, thats me, Dan and welcome to my world.

The first question for my new blog is why do cooking shows and recipes always have ingredients that no average person in the world keeps in the kitchen pantry.  Hell most cavemen don’t even have a pantry, they have cupboards.