The Poblano Challenge

Imagine yourself on an ATV driving down a small dirt road in a Mexico. The fields are full of poblano peppers at their peak ripeness, and the air seems to be heavy with the smell. As the strong smell makes you salivate, it’s all you can do to keep on driving. You slow down for a “tope”, or a speed bump, and all of a sudden, you see it.

A truck carrying the poblanos must have had an accident, because the fence is bent out of shape and the road is filled with poblanos. Some have already been crushed by nights “traffic”, vehicles who were less drawn to the magical smell of the poblanos. At this point, there is little you can do to save the already crushed poblanos, but you can insure that it doesn’t happen to them all. So you salvage some poblanos, and head home. Tonight is going to be a good night.

With this preface, I welcome to you the Poblano Challenge. For the Poblano Challenge, we decided to challenge ourselves to make the most delicious poblano dishes we could think of.

We decided to make two different dishes, one a traditional Mexican dish and one more of a creative fusion dish.

Mexican Style Stuffed Poblano Peppers versus Roasted Poblano Mac and Cheese

The first step in both of these recipes was to roast the poblano peppers. Using the gas stove, we rested the peppers on a flame until they were black on one side, and then turned them. Once they were completely black, we took them off the flame.

We then ran them under cold water, and peeled off the skin.

The Roasted Poblano Mac and Cheese

1/3 onion

3 garlic cloves chopped

3 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs butter

1 Tbs paprika

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup chicken stock

3 Tbs flour (we used flour for Horchata to give it a more interesting flavor)

2 poblano peppers

1 cup Queso de Oaxaca

1 cup breadcrumbs (optional)

 

We sauteed the onion and garlic in olive oil and butter first. When they began to soften up, we added the paprika and some salt and pepper.

After this was given some time to saute, we added in the chicken stock and the flour, and allowed the sauce to simmer and thicken. In a separate container, we pureed the roasted poblano peppers using an immersion blender. This was added to the sauce and allowed to simmer. Finally the cheese was added and allowed to melt.

We tossed the pasta (cooked separately in boiling water until al dente) in the sauce and allowed it to sit.

Our final, and optional step, was to cover the pasta with homemade bread crumbs and allow it to bake at 375 F for 10 minutes.

 

The Mexican Style Stuffed Poblano Peppers

two roasted poblano peppers

2 cups rice

2 cups beans

2 diced avocados

2 diced tomatoes

basil

salt and pepper to taste

breadcrumbs (optional)

 

The two poblano peppers were cut in half so that we had 4 halves to fill with the stuffing.

We cooked the rice and beans separately in boiling water, and then combined them in a bowl.

We also separately diced the tomato, avocado, and basil.

We then added these to the bowl of rice and beans.

We used this mixture to stuff the roasted poblano peppers.

We covered them in breadcrumbs, and baked them at 375 F for 15 minutes.

We let them cool and then each took two…

And the Poblamo Challange winner is….

US! Both the Mexican Style Stuffed Poblano Peppers  and the Roasted Poblano Mac and Cheese were delicious and enjoyed by us immensely. We consider the Poblano Challenge won.

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