Need an easy dish to share at a summertime patio party? These peppers were a cinch to make and travelled nicely to the pool party we hung at over the weekend. The colors are great in this dish. I didn't photograph the finished dish, as we all know what a cheesy topping looks like, but at this point in the prep, I had to snap a photo because the peppers were so pretty and perfect.
The original recipe in Cooking Light suggested that this dish be microwaved from start to finish, but I ask you, can you imagine microwaving peppers instead of broiling them to blacken the skins and start that distinctive build to maximum Tex-Mex flavour ? I couldn't either, so I blackened the skins under the broiler and then turned them to stuff them up with a spicy blend of re-fried beans, rice, and spices. Once stuffed, the peppers get a drizzle more of picante sauce and a four-cheese queso topping. Covered and baked for about half an hour, they have are soft mounds of spicy flavour. A nice way to get your veg, don't you think?
Delish! We had them with cold drinks, chips and salsa, burgers hot from the grill and a big bowl of potato salad. Couldn't be more perfect for hanging in the sunshine and dangling one's feet in the swimming pool! Happy Summertime!
Re-Fried Bean Stuffed Poblanos with Queso
Slightly adapted from a Cooking Light Magazine recipe
Serves 12 as an appetizer or 6 as a main dish
6 large poblano chiles, halved and seeded
24 oz. refried beans (about 1 ½ - 16 oz. cans)
9 oz. basmati rice, washed, steamed, and left to cool in the covered pan
¾ c. picante sauce ( Pace brand medium spiciness picante is my choice)
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 large handful cilantro leaves and stems, washed and coarsely chopped
4 green scallions, tipped, whites and greens sliced, some greens reserved for topping
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 – 3 tsp. cider vinegar
1 ½ c. more picante sauce for nestling around the stuffed peppers before baking
grated Mexican queso cheese bland for sprinkling atop the peppers before baking
Making the Dish:
- Cook the rice and let it cool.
- Prepare the peppers and lay them skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet.
- Place an oven rack in the upper half of the oven and turn on the broiler.
- Run the peppers under the broiler, turning the pan every now and then until the skins are blackened and puffed.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the peppers sit until you can handle them.
- Meanwhile, turn the rice and refried beans into a deep mixing bowl.
- Add the picante sauce, jalapeno pepper, most of the cilantro and scallions, the spices and vinegar.
- Fold everything together, trying not to mush the rice grains.
- Taste the mixture to judge the spiciness and add more of whatever you prefer. The mixture should have just a slight tang from the vinegar.
- Using a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, drizzle some of the other measure of picante sauce over the bottom of the casserole. Spoon some of the bean/rice mix into each pepper and lay the peppers gently into the pan.
- Drizzle the rest of the picante sauce over the stuffed poblanos and place some cheese atop each pepper mound.
- Sprinkle on the rest of the cilantro and scallion greens.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake in a 350° F oven for about 35 minutes or until the cheese and sauce is bubbly.
- Serve piping hot from the oven.