This time of year our garden is an untamed jungle. Heat and humidity have taken their toll on our summer vegetables, and the weed Gods have blessed the foot high grasses, and welcomed the natural pests of the vegetable garden. As we hack our way through the garden standing tall and proud are the poblano peppers, vibrant and thriving in the heat. An under appreciated mild smoky pepper often found in Mexican and American Southwest cuisine. These peppers can range in flavor intensity (occasionally these peppers can provide a surprise heat) but, mostly they deliver mild heat with a smoky almost sweet flavor. Ideal for roasting, baking and stuffing.
A favorite dish using poblano peppers is Chile Rellenos. In this dish turkey is used instead of beef and the poblanos are roasted in the oven before stuffing and baking. This dish can be made in about an hour and serves as a delicious weeknight meal. Also freezes well to enjoy later.
Baked Turkey Chiles Rellenos
Adapted from Hello Fresh
4 poblano peppers
1 -1/2 lbs. ground turkey
1-1/2 tablespoons chicken based concentrate or 1 cup chicken stock
1 cup jasmine or basmati rice
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 jalapeños, seeded and minced
2 Tablespoons good quality southwest spice blend
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon Chipotle spice
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add chicken stock concentrate (note: If using chicken stock use in lieu of water). Halve the poblano peppers lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Roast until soft. About 20-25 minutes.
Add rice to boiling stock. Cover, simmer, and cook until tender (15-20 minutes).
In a separate large skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and jalapeño. Cook until soft. Add Southwest seasoning and turkey (breaking up the meat as it cooks). Cook until the turkey is no longer pink. Season withs alt and pepper. Remove from heat.
In a small saucepan, stir together crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup water. Add more Southwest seasoning and Chipotle spice. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
When the rice is done cooking, add to the pan with filling. Season with salt and pepper. Add additional chipotle and southwest seasoning, if desired. If your pan is not ovenproof transfer mixture to a small baking dish. Stuff poblanos with as much filling as possible. Return to pan, nestling in remaining unused filling.
Add sauce over stuffed poblanos. Cover with cheese. Bake in oven until cheese melts. Serve.