Roasted Poblano Chilies Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn and Pecans
Reprinted with permission from Pecans: Recipes & History of an American Nut (Rizzoli, 2019).
Yield: 6 servings
12 large poblano chilies
1 cup tricolor quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
nonstick cooking spray for baking dish
2 tablespoons pecan oil
2 cups corn kernels (from about 3 ears)
1 small white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
Mexican crema for serving
Position oven rack 4 to 6 inches from heat source and heat broiler. On a broiler pan or sheet pan, place poblanos, slip pan under broiler and broil, turning chilies as needed to color evenly, for 8 to 12 minutes, until skins blacken and blister. Remove from broiler, transfer to a heatproof plastic bag, seal closed and let stand for 15 minutes.
Remove chilies from bag and gently peel away blackened skins. Beginning about 1 inch from the stem, cut a lengthwise slit to the bottom of each chili. Gently remove and discard seeds, leaving stem intact and being careful not to tear walls of chilies. Set aside.
In a fine-mesh sieve, place quinoa and rinse under cold running water. Transfer to a saucepan and cook according to package directions, using broth instead of water. Set aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add corn, onion, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Stir in quinoa and cook, stirring often for 2 minutes. Stir in pecans, 1 cup of cheese and cilantro and remove from heat.
Divide quinoa mixture evenly among poblanos, stuffing them gently to avoid tears. Arrange poblanos, cut side up, in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle filling with remaining 1 cup cheese, dividing it evenly. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until filling is heated through and cheese has melted. Serve immediately, garnished with crema and cilantro.
Note: To save time the day of serving, assemble stuffed chilies 1 day ahead and then bake them straight from the refrigerator, adding about 10 minutes to the cooking time. If you cannot find Mexican crema, a slightly soured, lightly thickened cream or creme fraiche can be substituted.
Flavors pairing suggestion: Tecate