I first tasted this amazingly flavorful recipe while camping a few years back. Our dearest friends made this as their contribution to the group menu, and everyone loved them! The chiles are medium-spicy, the filling is rich and delicious, and the sauce adds a depth that is really amazing. As you can see below, presented well, it makes a lovely dish for entertaining, but isn’t too complicated for every night dining.
I served the peppers with Mexican rice (make your own, or buy a good store-available brand like Farmhouse) and spiced up black beans (with garlic, white onion, a chopped jalapeno, canned Rotel tomatoes with green chile, cilantro, cumin, salt & pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice).
The recipe for the stuffed chiles comes from an old Bon Appetit issue (Dec 2002), but I’ve modified it slightly. Delicious!
Shrimp Stuffed Poblano Chiles with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
6 large fresh poblano chilies (also called Pasillas)
8 ounces peeled deveined cooked shrimp, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup soft fresh goat cheese (about 4 ounces), room temperature
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped shallot
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and finely mincedFor the sauce:
2 medium red bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chopped shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chili or jalapeño chili, seeded, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
Char the poblano chiles and the red bell peppers over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in a paper or plastic bag for 10 minutes, then peel them by simply pulling off the charred skin (use gloves to avoid the heat from the chiles burning your hands). Put the red bell peppers aside for the sauce. Take the poblanos and, using a small knife, carefully cut a slit down the length of the chiles on one side. Carefully remove the interior seeds but leave the stems attached.
Mix shrimp and all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill chilies with shrimp mixture, dividing equally. Pull up sides of chilies to enclose filling. Place stuffed chilies on a lightly oiled baking sheet. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Make the sauce: Coarsely chop the roasted red bell peppers and place in a blender. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and the chili and sauté until the shallots are tender (about 5 mins). Cool slightly. Add the shallot mixture the mixture to the peppers in the blender, and add 1/4 cup of the chicken broth. Puree until smooth. The sauce should be thick enough to hold its place on the plate, but not so thick that you can’t easily spoon it onto the plate. Add a bit more chicken broth if needed to get the right consistency, then season with salt & pepper.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake chilies uncovered until heated through and cheeses melt, about 20 minutes. Divide the red bell pepper sauce onto 8 plates, spooning the sauce onto the desired location of the plate (center, corner or side). Place 1 stuffed chili atop sauce on each plate. Serve with selected side dishes.
Please share how it comes out if you try it, or share your own favorite stuffed pepper recipe as a blog comment!