Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Manchego Cheese Sauce
This year when we planned our pepper garden I had one goal in mind: poblano peppers to make this recipe with my own poblanos… I didn’t want to use store bought, I wanted the freshest most delicious peppers I could get.
I love this recipe. In fact everyone at my house loves this recipe. I found the original idea on one of Rachael Ray‘s shows back in ’08. The only reason I changed it up a little is because hers is somewhat time consuming and I wanted it to be a recipe I could throw together pretty quickly, especially on a week night (even in the summer our week nights seem to be super busy!)
Rachael Ray gives directions for a side of black beans with roasted garlic. Honestly they are very good black beans but at the end of the day serve it with what ever beans, salad or even guacamole and chips your heart desires. It’s that simple: pick a side! The magic really is the amazing filling and the mind blowing manchego cheese sauce.
Note: the Poblano peppers are delicious in this recipe but don’t get stuck on them, just change to any peppers you like. Poblanos are slightly spicy so I always use a couple bell peppers for my kids or anyone who doesn’t like spicy food. I also had to improvise since I didn’t have that many Poblanos ready when I could no longer wait and HAD to make this recipe. ;)
8 large poblano peppers (you may need more depending on size or kind you select)
2 pounds ground beef (or chicken or pork)
1/2 cup cooked white rice
1 tablespoon cumin
1 can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes (15 ounces)
1 1/2 cup cilantro roughly chopped, plus more for serving
4-5 scallions, white and green parts finely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (about 1 teaspoon each)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided (1/4 cup is for peppers)
1 3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups grated manchego* cheese
Hot sauce, to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
To prepare the peppers for stuffing, lay them down on their sides (move them around to find the best way to lay them) and take a thin slice off one of the sides leaving both the stem end and the bottom of the pepper intact. Finely chop up the removed slices and reserve in a large mixing bowl. With a small spoon, scrape out and remove the seeds and guts from each pepper and discard.
peppers with their tops off….oh my! ;)
To the bowl with the reserved chopped pieces of pepper, add your ground beef/meat, rice, cumin, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions, lime juice, salt and pepper. With your hands or a spoon, combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
Using a spoon or your hands, stuff each of your pepper boats with the meat mixture. Once they’re filled, arrange the peppers in your prepared casserole dish, alternating stem end and bottom end so that they all fit snugly in the pan. Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock to the pan and cover with tin foil. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake 45-50 minutes. Remove foil and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until nicely brown and cooked through.
About 10 or 15 minutes before the peppers come out of the oven, make your cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook for one minute. Whisk in 1 1/4 cup of chicken stock and the milk, and bring up to a bubble. Cook until thickened. Season with some salt and pepper, turn the heat down to low and stir in the cheese until melted. Reserve until ready to serve.
the lovely cheese sauce….which may or may not be totally awesome with bread sticks….just sayin’
Remove your peppers from the oven. To serve, cover the bottom of four serving plates with a little of the cheese sauce, then place one or two of the roasted peppers in the middle of the plate. Top with some more cheese sauce and cilantro.
I wish you could have been here with me to enjoy this awesome dish! YUMMY!
*Note: Manchego cheese is quite expensive, you could substitute with extra sharp white cheddar or half cheddar/half manchego.
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Peace and Mind Blowing,