This is the first Tasty Tuesday post where I wish I had/could use a camera to document the recipe. It's also the first recipe I've posted that's really "mine" as opposed to an adaptation or credited pass through. But we had it for dinner last night, and it was too good not to share!
Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers (serves 6-8)
(This is not a version of the classic Mexican Chiles Rellenos, but a south-of-the-border take on the one-dish meal Mom used to make.)
6 large dark green fresh poblano peppers -- choose "fat" ones if possible. People who aren't used to much spice can use small green bell peppers. But the poblanos are much tastier
For the filling:
1# ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning (or whatever you normally use to season tacos)
1 cup raw rice
1 t. salt
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh or canned (heat lovers can use a drained can of Ro-Tel)
For the topping:
1 cup (4 ounces) cheese, shredded ( PLEASE shred the cheese yourself. And it should be something that will melt, like queso chihuahua, Monterey jack, or cheddar)
1 cup crushed plain tortilla chips, like Tostitos
1 cup salsa or picante sauce. Your choice of heat, but the sauce should be runny rather than chunky.
1. Wash the poblanos, then broil them whole 3-4 inches from the heat. Turn them often with tongs until they are blistered and lightly browned over most of their surface. Remove them from the oven and place them in a gallon-sized zipper bag, close the bag, and let them steam for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
2. Combine the meat and onion in a large skillet that has a tight-fitting lid. Cook over medium heat until the meat is browned and the onion is soft. Drain any fat. To the meat and onion, add the taco-seasoning mix (dry), rice, salt, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat (stirring a few times.) Give a final stir, cover, turn the heat as low as possible, and do not peek for 20 minutes. When the time is up and water is absorbed, remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes.
3. During the 20 minutes you are not peeking at the rice, clean the peppers. With your fingers or paper towels, pull off the loosened skin. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise (from stem to tip) trying to get the halves deeper rather than flatter. Carefully trim out the stems, and remove and discard the seeds and any pith. Lightly rinse and drain the pepper halves.
4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the salsa or picante sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. (Glass is pretty, but metal is fine.) Shake the pan so the sauce covers the whole bottom. When the filling is cool enough to handle, fill each pepper half with the mixture, rounding it up as much as needed. Place halves alternately (thin end, then fat end...) in the prepared dish, setting them on the salsa. Carefully mound any extra filling evenly on the pepper halves. Top each with cheese, then with crushed chips. Cover with foil. ( At this point they may be refrigerated up to 24 hours. Increase baking time to 45-60 minutes) Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, uncovering for the last ten minutes, until filling is hot, cheese is bubbly, and crumbs are slightly browned. Serve with sour cream.
OH, yeah: As you would any time you work with hot peppers, PLEASE wash your hands thoroughly with soap after touching them. Or you might regret it when you rub your eye. I'm just saying...