Sunday, August 23, 2015
Queso Stuffed Pablano Peppers
Inspiration for my stuffed Pablano Peppers came from a fishing trip I took to Mexico in May. This cheesy, meaty, flavorful dish will satisfy all areas of the taste buds. The Pablano's provide a just above mild heat while the flavorful cheeses sooth the taste buds while bringing a smile to your face.
I had heard that the meals provided by this outfitter was 5 star. When we arrived and I set eyes on the kitchen and facilities, I started to wonder. The kitchen was very small and had two large floor standing burners - resembling a crawfish boil setup. There were no oven's that I could see, just a large wok like pot that sat on top of the burners. They had a prep area and a small sink and concrete floors and there is no way that it would even come close to passing a health inspection here in the states.
I asked our gracious host, the only one that could speak English, what was on the menu that first night and he responded, "Mexican Food"! Hmm OK, Tex Mex, or what...."Chili Rellenos"!. Hmm, OK sounds good. Well, it was life changing. This dish was amazing and while I'm not prepared to tackle a Chili Relleno's recipe quite yet, it did insprire my Queso Stuffed Pablano Peppers. I think this will be a decent first cousin to it though.
Ingredients for Stuffed Pablano Peppers
4 large Pablano Peppers
1 lb breakfast sausage
1/2 cup queso fresco cheese
1/ cup white American cheese
1 cup milk or heavy cream
1 tspn Paprika
1 tspn Chili Powder
1 tspn Garlic Powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Planning ahead is best for this dish. I like to have the meat browned and the Pablano Peppers roasted and cooled before starting.
Brown the Breakfast Sausage - I prefer to do it ahead of time.
Brown the breakfast sausage and set aside on a paper towel. Roast the Pablano Peppers on a grill or in the oven (high heat 450 for 10 minutes of so) until scorched and the skin is blistered. Set aside to cool then strip as much of the skin off as you can without tearing the pepper. Set aside.
Char roast the peppers and blister the skin
Once cooled, scrape off the skin.
In a large skillet on medium heat, bring the milk or heavy cream to a slow simmer. Then slowly start adding the cheeses, one small chunk or slice at a time, stirring constantly. Once all the cheese is in and completely melted, start adding the seasonings and stir. Taste and adjust accordingly. Once the cheese sauce is the way that you like it, add the cooked breakfast sausage and stir well. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. If you feel it's too thick at any point, add water a little at a time to thin it out. But it's ok if it's a little thick.
Heat the milk and slowly melt the cheeses then add the cooked sausage.
Heat oven to 400.
Slice open the Pablanos and clean out the veins and seeds. Carefully stuff each pepper with the sauce mixture, it's going to run over and be messy, it's OK...accept it.
Carefully stuff the Pablano Pepper with the cheese sauce, top with grated cheddar and bake on 400 for 15 minutes.
Top with grated cheddar cheese and bake for about 15 minutes.
Remove and garnish with Cilantro, green onions, or chives.