Oh. Hell. Yeah.
If you have any Thanksgiving turkey still lurking in the back of your fridge or freezer, this recipe will actually make you excited to eat turkey again. If you have no turkey, any diced or shredded meat (chicken or pork especially) will do just fine.
It’s a bit laborious, no doubt. Several steps and plenty of prep, so not necessarily your Tuesday night go-to dinner. But it’s a great dish for when you have a bit more time or guests or for making ahead and then popping in the oven. If doing the latter, set the stuffed peppers out at room temp for a half hour before putting in the oven.
There’s cheese here, so if you’re not doing dairy, my suggestion would be to steam and purée half the sweet potato and stir into the stuffing mixture when the instructions call for the cheese. This way you’ll have something binding the mixture together.
Be sure to chop and dice everything very fine, as fine as your patience will allow.
8 poblano peppers, rinsed and patted dry
2 Tbsp. butter, lard, or cooking fat of choice
1 onion, diced small
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced small
1 lb. loose chorizo (Mexican style, not the dried Spanish style), or ground meat of choice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups cooked turkey, shredded or diced small
1 cup turkey or chicken broth (bonus points for homemade!)
1 cup raw milk Jack cheese (Organic Valley makes one), shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup hulled and roasted pumpkin seeds (I like Eden brand’s)
salt and pepper, to taste
1) Roast poblanos: You need an open flame, so you can do this on your gas stovetop, under the broiler, or on your grill. For stovetop, just plop those suckers down on the grate right above the flame and turn as needed. For broiler, place the rack 2 inches from the flame and turn peppers as needed. For grill, fire it up and turn the peppers as needed. They will pop a bit as their skin blisters, and the skin will need to blacken so it comes off easily. When peppers are charred all over, place them in a paper bag, close it so they can steam, and set aside.
2) Meanwhile, melt cooking fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sweet potato. When onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes, add chorizo, breaking it up into small chunks with a wooden spoon. Add minced garlic, cumin, and garlic powder, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add turkey and broth, cooking until broth is absorbed, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in cheese, cilantro, and pumpkin seeds, then adjust seasoning to taste with S&P. Remove from heat and set aside.
3) Preheat oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, peel poblano peppers. Remove from bag and using a small knife, brush the skins off into the trash, keeping the tops/stems on. This will be messy and time consuming. I tip my hat to all the poor souls who peel all the poblano peppers for all the chile rellenos consumed in this country. You’ll likely not be able to get every last scrap of skin off, so don’t drive yourself crazy with making them perfect. When they’re all peeled, make a slit in each from top to bottom and carefully remove all the seeds. You can turn them upside down over the trashcan and jostle them around to get the last few out. Do not rub your eyes after dealing with these peppers, and even after a hand-washing or two! Wear gloves if you’re worried about it.
4) Stuff those peppers! Using a spoon and your hands (filling should be cool enough), stuff the peppers as full as you can, and then some. Place the peppers in a shallow baking dish, being careful not to crowd them too much. Pop in the oven, set timer for 25 minutes. Remove from pan and serve.
NOTES: Don’t worry if you have leftover filling. It’s great scrambled into eggs the next morning.