One of the things I love about fall in Colorado is the roasted chile vendors who appear, spinning barrels of green chiles over open flames, sending out the most intoxicating scent of charred peppers. The peppers are often from Hatch, New Mexico, the chile capital of the country, but many come from local farms. I enjoy some seriously spicy food, but when it comes to chiles I love the mild, fruity heat of poblanos. Stuff them with vegetables and cheese, and you have a great cool-weather meal.
There was a bag of nice poblanos with the C.S.A. share, and I had a few Fresno peppers on hand (the red ones, down in the corner of the photo–a mild chile that is fairly sweet), so I sliced off the sides, used my fingers to dig out the seeds and the interior ribs, and wedged them into a baking dish. If you use commercial poblanos they will be much larger–these are about half the length of commercially-grown. I would add that this batch was a bit “meaner” in terms of heat, no doubt from our extremely hot and dry summer. You can always taste a hunk of raw pepper to see how much heat you will be consuming.
The filling amounts here worked for ten, smaller peppers–that would likely fill five commercial peppers. You can double the filling for a larger batch.
- About ten smaller poblanos, or 5-6 commercially-grown peppers
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium white onion, chopped (about a cup)
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste (or minced garlic)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
- 4 ounces grated sharp cheddar
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice one side off of each pepper, reserving those pieces for the filling. Pull out the seeds and the internal ribs, and arrange the peppers in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- Chop the reserved pepper pieces into a fine dice. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in onion, chopped pepper, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are soft. Stir in the garlic, salt, and cilantro and cook for 2 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add in the cubed cream cheese, stirring until it has melted into the filling.
- Use a spoon to fill each of the peppers with the mushroom mixture. When all of the peppers are filled, sprinkle on the cheddar to cover each pepper. Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the peppers are cooked to your liking (I like a slight crunch, so I went with 25 minutes).
These would be great football-watching food, if you are into that. I am sooooo not into that (the football part, not the football food part–that I can get behind). Or, as I did, you can take a couple of these out on the deck and enjoy them while the leaves are still hanging on, and the weather is still so pleasant. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Thanks for reading,