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Annie Somerville of Greens Restaurant brings the heat with smoky poblano chiles ideal for stuffing. She grills them directly over an open flame until their skins blister and char, and lets them steam in their own heat, so they’re easy to peel. The corn filling gets a spike of jalapenos, but you can also use serrano or other chiles for milder tastes. Serve with fire-roasted salsa for an en fuego finish.
Fire Roasted Poblano Chiles with Corn, Quinoa, and Goat Cheese
1 teaspoon Chipotle Puree (see below)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup water
6 poblano chiles, about 1 1/2 pounds
1/2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/4 large yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 ears of corn, shaved (about 2 cups kernels)
1 or 2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and diced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
2 ounces mild goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
Oil for the baking dish
Variation: If fresh oregano or marjoram and sage aren’t available, increase the cilantro to 1/3 cup.
1. Make the Chipotle Puree.
2. Rinse the quinoa three times in cold water to remove the outer coating and drain.
3. Bring the water to a boil in a small pot; add a pinch of salt and the quinoa. Cover, lower the heat, and cook over low heat about 15 minutes, until tender. Set aside to cool.
4. Grill the chiles directly over an open flame, using metal tongs to turn them until the skins are blistered and charred. Transfer to a bowl, and cover; the chiles will steam as they cool.
5. Peel the chiles, carefully removing the skin around the stems as you go. Make a lengthwise slit in each chili and remove the seeds. Set aside.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
7. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté over medium heat until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
8. Add the corn, jalapenos, and 1/4 cup water to keep the corn mixture from sticking to the pan. Cook over low heat until the corn is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool.
9. Lightly oil a baking dish.
10. Toss the quinoa with the corn mixture and season with the chipotle puree, herbs, pumpkin seeds, cheese, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
11. Stuff each chili with about 3/4 cup filling, depending on their size, being careful to keep the stems in place. The stuffed chiles should be firm, but not overly full.
12. Place them seam side up in the dish, cover, and bake until the filling is heated through and the chiles are puffed, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
This fiery puree of smoked jalapeno chiles is indispensable in the Greens kitchen.
1 can chipotle chiles packed in adobo (a spicy sauce of the chiles, tomatoes, and vinegar)
1. Puree a whole can at a time in a small food processor or blender.
2. Refrigerate in an airtight container. It keeps for weeks in the refrigerator, and you can freeze it, too.
Fire Roasted Salsa
This rustic salsa has a taste that’s smoky and rich. The plum tomatoes are grilled over coals – their firm, dense flesh keeps the salsa from being watery—and cilantro and lime juice keep the flavors bright.
Makes about 2 cups
1 pound plum tomatoes, cored
1/2 medium onion
1 or 2 jalapeno or serrano chiles
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons coarsley chopped cilantro
1. Prepare the grill.
2. Brush the tomato, onion, and chiles with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the coals are ready, grill until the tomatoes and chiles are soft and their skins are blistered and the onion is grilled on all sides. Set aside to cool.
3. Coarsely chop the onion and tomatoes and toss in a bowl.
4. Slice the chili in half lengthwise and remove the stems and seeds. Chop the chili and toss with the tomato mixture, along with 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Season to taste with salt and lime juice, if needed.
5. Toss in the cilantro just before serving.