Stuffed with potatoes, more peppers, and topped with tomatoes, this dish could be a study in nightshades!
When I visited the farmers market last week, I found the most beautiful poblano peppers I think I’ve ever seen. Deep green, smooth, and large, I knew they would be the center of a meal, more than likely stuffed.
Let’s forget the rice and beans, just for a day
I love poblanos. They are a little erratic in how much heat they hold, but their deep pepper flavor is always there, making them one of my favorites. My go-to stuffing for peppers usually includes rice and beans, so I wanted to avoid both and do something different. Also at the market, I found some lovely all-blue potatoes, and local shiitake mushrooms, so these became part of the plan. Of course, corn is beautiful right now, and I found some new garlic and little leeks that asked to be included in the party.
My Amish paste tomatoes are just starting to ripen, so I chose to go with a can of whole peeled tomatoes, sauce already made. In another couple of weeks, I would use my local tomatoes, diced up rather than the canned, but if your tomatoes are nice, use them of course.
Serve as a main dish, or side
This comes together fairly quickly once everything is chopped and diced, and is a good weeknight meal or side dish.
This vegetarian dish can easily be made vegan by omitting the eggs and using vegan cheese in the stuffing. You could also use silken tofu run though a food processor to use as a binder. The vegan Parmesan substitute is quite tasty, or substitute nutritional yeast.
And, of course, you could always add rice and beans if that is what you really love, but I’m glad I used the potatoes and corn for a change!
Makes eight stuffed peppers.
Potato and Corn Stuffed Poblano Peppers
4 large poblano peppers
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups potatoes, small dice
1 small leek or 1 small onion, diced
6 ounces mushrooms, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 cup corn cut from the cob
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika, divided
2 eggs, optional
4 ounces sharp Cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, grated, optional
1 14-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes, chopped*
1/4 cup panko or fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
2 tbsp. olive oil
Slice the poblanos in half lengthwise along the thinest sides. Remove the rib and seeds, but leave the stem on; it will help to keep the pepper from going completely flat.
Place the peppers on a baking sheet in a hot oven, 450 degrees, for 15 minutes or so. You want them to soften a bit, and start to get a little char on the bottom, but you don’t want them cooked through. When ready, place in a baking or casserole dish, and reduce the oven heat to 350.
While the peppers are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium/high and add the olive oil, when shimmering, add the potatoes. Reduce the heat a bit and cook until the potatoes are just starting to get tender. You don’t want the completely cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan, add a bit more oil along with the leek, mushroom, and red pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until the leeks are translucent and the mushrooms softened, then add the corn, garlic, and 1 tsp. of the smoked paprika. Mix well and return the reserved potatoes to the pan. Once the garlic is fragrant, season with salt and pepper. Taste and correct the seasoning if it needs more. Pour into a bowl and let cool.
While the vegetables are cooling, mix together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, remaining 1/2 tsp. paprika, and olive oil.
Once the vegetables are at room temperature, add the grated cheese and the eggs if using and mix together well.
Divide the mixture among the eight pepper halves, and top with the cut-up tomatoes. If there are any tomato pieces or juice left over, just add to the pan.
Top with some of the breadcrumbs, and drizzle a little more olive oil over all.
Bake for 30 minutes, then place under the broiler to give the top a final crisping up. If you want to be naughty, add a little more cheese before popping under the broiler, but it really isn’t even necessary here.
Nutritional information: Each pepper has 10 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 215 calories, and is a good source of vitamins A, C, calcium, potassium, and iron.
* A friend asked me why I always use canned whole tomatoes and cut them up rather than simply buying canned diced tomatoes. I prefer to use canned whole tomatoes and cut them up myself for a few reasons. First of all, the best premium tomatoes are chosen to be packed whole, not that I’m in any way opposed to “ugly” vegetables, so called, but because the firm, whole tomatoes are probably a better quality before being packed, they taste better! Additionally, the diced tomatoes, which still have their skins, have calcium chloride added which is supposed to help them keep them shape, but sometimes they get unpleasant hard skins, not a texture I’m looking for. Since the whole tomatoes and diced tomatoes of the brand I buy go on sale for exactly the same price, my money is on the whole.
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