Liddie’s Traditional New Mexican Dishes: Roasted Tomato Stuffed Poblanos

 

How to make roasted tomato stuffed poblanos. Video by Liddie Martinez

By LIDDIE MARTINEZ
Española Valley

Poblano chile is a new pepper variety on our farm. We tested them this year and had about a dozen plants on the far edge of the field near the Big Jims. They are originally from Puebla, Mexico and were cultivated thousands of years ago long before the Spanish arrived. They are a beautiful dark green and their shape is wide and flat making them ideal for stuffing.

I first fell in love with them when I was frequently traveling to Mexico while working on the establishment of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro as a National Historic Trail. I was on the board representing the US and we had several additional members representing Mexico. We worked on this historic trail for a decade rotating meeting spots between countries and I made many wonderful friends as we worked to document the history of this trail. During a conference held in Durango, Mexico the board was invited to the Governor’s Palace for dinner, and he served Chiles en Nogada, a very famous and traditional chile relleno dish made with poblanos, a nutty cream sauce and pomegranate seeds. I will share that wonderful recipe with you another time. I discovered that the poblano is a very meaty chile that will hold up to stuffing and the flavor is exceptional without an overpowering level of heat. It is mild, very versatile, and ideal for stuffing.

This recipe is meatless, but you could easily add tiny shrimp or finely chopped pork, chicken, or beef.

8 Poblanos roasted and peeled
5-6 Roma tomatoes
1 head garlic
olive oil
4 ounces cream cheese softened
¼ cup cream
½ cup long grain rice
¾ cup water
2 teaspoons butter
Sea salt
Ground black pepper

Slit each chile from stem to tip and remove seed pod leaving stem intact. You can rinse gentle under a cool running water to completely remove seeds. Drain on paper towels. Keep the best 4 for stuffing and remove the stems of the others to use in the cream sauce.

Preheat oven to 425°. Slice top off head of garlic and place in center of cast iron skillet. Split tomatoes in half and arrange around garlic cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes then reduce oven to 350° and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from oven and uncover to cool for a few minutes before handling. Remove garlic from head and set aside.

In a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid combine rice, water and butter and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 25 minutes. Turn flame off and allow rice to rest for 5-8 minutes before removing lid and fluffing with a fork. Using a spoon remove all visible tomato seeds. Scrape pulp into a small dish then chop finely and stir into rice. Season with salt and pepper.

In a blender place cleaned and stemmed poblanos, cream cheese, cream and all the roasted garlic. Add a pinch of salt and blend until smooth. You can add a few drops of additional cream until the desired consistency is reached. Empty into a container and set aside.

Prepare plates by smearing 2-3 Tablespoons of the poblano cream on the bottom of each plate. Place poblano in left hand and gently fill with rice using a teaspoon then lay gently on plate with cream sauce. Garnish with cilantro leaf if desired.

Serves 2-4 people depending on portions.

Editor’s note: Liddie Martinez is the author of the popular award winning Chile Line Cookbook: Historic Recipes of Northern New Mexico, which is available online at www.pajaritopress.com.

Roasted tomato stuffed poblanos. Photo by Liddie Martinez

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