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

 PrepOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Mexican Pizza

Playoff Pizza – Mexican Style

This last weekend was a tough one for the Cavewoman; her beloved Colts lost their playoff game. So to perk up her spirits I made her favorite foods, Mexican and Taco Bell. First off will be the Mexican Pizza, which I have to say, one off my favorites as well. Check out the 7 layer dip I will be posting tomorrow…it’s not too shabby either.

What you will need: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • ½ of 1red onion chopped (I reserved the other half to top the pizza with) 4 tbsp.
  • Taco Seasoning (recipe to follow, or use package)
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese 8 (12″) Thin Flour Tortillas
  • 1 cup Shredded Lettuce
  • 1 cup of tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno Sliced (optional)
  • 1 Can Refried Beans (Caveman Version)
  • 1 Cup Salsa or taco sauce.
  • 2 Green Onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives

Taco SeasoningOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp. cumin
  • 1.5 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cilantro
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning
  • Dash red pepper flakes
  • Dash cayenne pepper

 Prep

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Caveman Tip*** I make the taco meat and beans early in the day, and then store them in the fridge until I am ready to use them. This way I don’t have to rush to put them together and it gives the mixtures time to marry together for better flavor. Then when I am ready just reheat it quickly on the stove.

In a heavy bottom skillet under medium heat, drizzle EVOO and add the onions. You will want to sauté them till soft and then turn it up to medium high and add the meat. Once the meat is browned, drain the fat & reduce to medium low heat. Add the taco seasoning to the meat in the pan along with a splash of chicken or beef stock. (2 tbsp. or so) You will want to simmer on low heat until the liquid is absorbed.

Place the refried beans in a separate pan and heat to medium low.

Caveman Tip*** I use refried beans a lot, in either dishes and just don’t have the time to make them from scratch but I do like to doctor them up a bit. Sauté a 1/3 cup onion (I use a lot of onions so I always have some in the fridge half used from earlier that day or the day before) 2-3 baby bell peppers until soft. Add your beans small can 10 oz. rotell tomatoes, 2 tbsp. salsa, 2 tbsp. cayenne, 2 tbsp. cumin and heat under medium low.

Take your flour tortillas and lightly coat with EVOO then place on a backing sheet and put in the oven. After a few minutes I like to turn the heat up to broil to really crisp up those shells, but be careful they will burn quickly.

Assembly

Take your tortilla and apply a thin layer of beans on it, then add a thin layer of ground meat and top it with shredded cheddar cheese. Next, add your second tortilla to the top and then put a thin layer of salsa on it followed by a layer of the Monterey jack cheese.

Cook.

Put the pizza in the oven, middle rack at 400 degrees until all the cheese is melted, it will take 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the pizza and your oven. Once all the cheese is melted remove it from the oven and finish the assembly.

 Final Assembly

Top the melted cheese with the shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, olives, and jalapenos and olives.  Don’t forget your sour cream!

This will definitely be on the repeat list.

Spanish Rice

What you will need:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, shredded or diced
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (To coat the pan)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 packet Goyo Sazon Mexican seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (you can substitute with 1tbsp tomato paste or 1 cup strained canned tomatoes)
  • 2 cups medium or long grain white rice
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth or 3 1/2 cups water and chicken flavoring  (I  like to use Knorr Home-style concentrate or Swanson’s Flavor Boost you can keep them in the pantry and use single packets as necessary)
  • Hot sauce (always optional, but I love it!)

Prepare:

Under medium heat, sauté the onions, celery, carrots and garlic in a medium stock pan with EVOO for a couple of minutes. (This is called a Mira Pois and is a classic French technique to add flavor to soups, stews or any slow cooked meal.)

Then add rice, butter, chili powder, and cumin and continue to sauté for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  All the vegetables should be soft by now. Let the ingredients marry together. Your house should smell good at this point.

Add:

Add 3 1/2 cups of the chicken broth (or water and chicken flavoring). Then, add the tomatoes and Goyo Sazon seasoning packet, salt and bring to a boil.

Now, taste the liquid at this point…it will give you a good idea of what the rice will taste like. Add salt if necessary (I also like to add a couple of dashes of hot sauce to bring some heat to the rice!)

Give it one final stir and then put a lid on your pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.

**DO NOT remove the lid at any time during the cooking process. Just keep an eye out until all the water is absorbed.  This is the most important thing to remember about rice!

Once the water is absorbed (this could take about 15-20 minutes), remove from heat and let stand with lid on, for about 5 minutes. This allows any of the liquid on the bottom to absorb into the rice, without burning it.

Remove the lid and let stand for about 5 more minutes, and then fluff with fork.  Enjoy.