Poblano, Poblano. A Tale Of Two Stuffings
The four, dark green poblanos continually called out to me from their reclined, lazy position on the plate. I got them from the local farmers market with the intent on stuffing them with something, but whatever I came up with just didn’t get me excited. So the days went by, with those peppers taunting me, daring me to come up with something delicious to cram into their cavities. Over the days, their dark green creases and wrinkling curled edges made it appear as if they were smiling at me, in a sinister way. It would be a good feeling to take the knife and slice them open, then meticulously clean, prep, and stuff them for a delicious meal.
And I did.
Two of the poblanos were stuffed with pork chorizo and riced cauliflower, and the other two with a buffalo chicken concoction. Once grilled over the smoky sweetness of pecan wood and topped with cheese, these beauties were just as I had hoped, and I hope you’ll like them too. Onward.
The peppers were sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed, and laid out flat forming 8 poblano boats.
Set aside, they would wait until the stuffing was ready, as a hot, hardwood fire was started and used to indirectly grill about a pound of chicken tenderloin for the buffalo chicken stuffing. Previously rubbed with greek yogurt and seasoned with Code Three Spices Grunt Rub, they’ll grill up tender and tasty. When done, go ahead and shred those tenders so you end up with a plate of pulled chicken.
Now preheat a cast iron skillet over the direct heat. Add 4 slices of butter until it’s melted and sizzling, and then add half to three-quarters of a large onion, diced. When they get tender, add in two decent sized cloves of garlic, minced. Oh the smells…
Add in the shredded chicken when the onion and garlic are transparent and aromatic, and then get about a half cup of your favorite hot sauce to dump in. I used the old standby, Frank’s Red Hot.
Mix well, as if I had to tell ya.
And that’s it for this stuffing. Remove from the pan and set aside for now, because I don’t have a cleanup staff, or a kitchen crew, so I have to clean my dishes and get ready for the chorizo stuffing portion of this meal. That means you can take a break while I do that, grab a cold beverage, and I’ll be back in a flash. (Jeopardy music starts…)
Ok, we are ready.
The chorizo stuffing I used was loosely based on the one you can find at Serious Eats but instead of white rice, I went with riced cauliflower, and I really like how that turned out. For this mixture, I used just about a pound of raw pork chorizo, olive oil, a regular sized onion mixed with shallots (no particular reason-just saw it sitting there, and thought, why not?), 2 diced and cleaned Roma tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups of riced cauliflower, 1/3 cup of sour cream, 1/4 cup of Colby-jack cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
But starting out, that cast iron pan was heated over the fire with just a bit of olive oil. The onion shallot mix and diced garlic were added in appropriately, just as above, until translucent and aromatic.
About a pound of raw pork chorizo was added in, browned and chopped up to get a finer texture on it, better for stuffing.
Remove all this from the heat when the chorizo is cooked. Put it into a large mixing bowl, where you’ll add in the other ingredients you’re wanting to use. Dump the remaining ingredients in with the hot chorizo, onion and garlic mix.
Thoroughly mix that concoction up into a hot mess, then clean up and bring on the poblano pepper boats. Show time!
You can cook the peppers directly on the grill, but for ease of movement, I put them in a perforated grill pan. Less moving around means less chance of losing some of the stuffing mix. Scoop the stuffing mixes into the boats, shoving and cramming the mix into all the little nooks and crannies of those peppers. Mound it up, pack it in, and make it an experience.
Cheese topping will make a cap on these beauties, keeping the stuffing where it’s supposed to be, in the pepper boats. For the chorizo stuffed peppers, I used a mix of Gruyère and Asiago. For the buffalo chicken stuffed, I chose a good melty jack cheese.
Now off to the grill. We’ll be using the indirect side of the grill now, finishing off these stuffed poblano boats by roasting them. Set them in, cover them up and take a break, because you’re almost there!
Total time will be somewhere in the 25 – 35 minute range, enough for the peppers to roast and the cheese to melt and form a cap over the top of the peppers. Yum! So it would be great if you would rotate that pan at about 15 minutes in, just for balance and consistency.
What you end up with is a delectable looking stuffed pepper tray with a base of roasted, not too spicy poblanos, stuffed with flavorful ingredients that will make your mouth happy and your belly satisfied.
Appetizer worthy? Absolutely, but once you start eating these stuffed peppers, you may decide that you’ve found just what you want for dinner as well. So sprinkle with some chopped scallions, pass the plate and let’s taste the fruits of all our prep work, shall we?
Because Life Is Better Wood Fired