I have been waited on hand and foot for almost two weeks now. Despite what fairy tale princesses might have you believe, it’s B-O-R-I-N-G.
I appreciate everything he’s lovingly done and still doing for me. Very much. But I’m antsy to get back into routine, to flex my creative kitchen muscles (or any muscles), to say: “I can do that,” instead of mumbling sheepishly: “Can you do this for me”.
Let’s talk boredom for a minute. It’s a funny emotion. It can drive you to do things you know you shouldn’t — overeat, spend money, jump on the couch and break it, or worse. I once read that a man committed robbery because he couldn’t think of anything better to do. I wasn’t quite that bored; only so inspired to make stuffed poblanos.
He initially thought he’d be home by mid-morning, so I planned for him to help with the recipe (i.e., do most of the work for me). He left a message saying he wouldn’t be home until 11:45 or so, and that I should serve leftovers instead of the peppers. Ha! Common sense was overruled by boredom and stubbornness: I wanted to prove I was capable.
The prep-heavy endeavor required much strength and willpower. Literally every last ounce, but I succeeded. Not that I deserve a pat on the back for it, though. Ultimately it was a dumb idea, probably a backward step toward healing. My shoulder, elbow and wrist screamed the rest of the day and into the next. I should’ve known better.
In spite of everything, I was still mildly proud. My stuffed poblanos were not only presentable looking, but also really, really great. Like a quick, hearty tamale in an edible husk with a spicy-sweet sauce.
It’s a time-intensive recipe that’s worth the work (at least for those not on the mend). Want to the have this for lunch or supper, but are strapped for time? You could easily make it a day in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake. Problem solved!
If you decide to taste test, tell me what you think! And if I don’t see you back here before Thursday, I wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving!
Stuffed Poblanos [serves 4, or 2 with leftovers]
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes in puree
1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, minced
2 small onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves — 2 left whole, 1 minced
coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 can (19 oz) or 1 1/3 c freshly cooked black eyed peas, rinsed and well-drained
1 c corn kernels
1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1 c shredded Pepperjack cheese (Jarlsberg is a tasty swap)
1 t ground cumin
4 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise (stems left intact), ribs and seeds removed
1/2 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
sour cream, for serving (optional)
chopped cilantro leaves, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 425° F.
In a blender, combine tomatoes in puree, jalapeño, half the onions and the 2 whole garlic cloves; puree. Taste and season with salt. Pour sauce into a 9 x 13″ baking dish; set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine black eyed peas, corn, cornmeal, 1/2 c cheese, remaining onions, the minced garlic, cumin and 1/2 c water; season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Dividing evenly, stuff poblano halves with filling mixture; nestle into sauce in the baking dish. Sprinkle poblanos with remaining 1/2 c cheese. Cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake until poblanos are tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover, and continue to cook until sauce is thickened slightly and cheese is browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool down 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm with lime wedges and, if desired, sour cream and/or cilantro.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Everyday Food