Poblano peppers range in heat level from quite spicy to rather mild, and there's no way to know what you're getting until you take a bite. If your peppers are too hot, cool off with a dollop of sour cream.
8 large poblano peppers
4 dried ancho chiles
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 cups chopped onion
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces 90% lean ground sirloin
4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's Ready Rice)
Place poblanos on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 3 inches from heat 12 minutes or until blackened, turning after 6 minutes. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and discard skins. Cut a lengthwise slit in each pepper; discard seeds and membranes. Set aside.
While poblanos broil, place ancho chiles in a bowl. Cover with boiling water; let stand 10 minutes. Drain.
Reduce oven temperature to 400°.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Reserve half of onion mixture. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and beef; cook 8 minutes or until beef is done, stirring to crumble. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese, stirring until well combined. Stir in rice and half of queso fresco.
Place ancho chiles, reserved onion mixture, juice, cumin, sugar, tomatoes, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender; process until smooth. Pour 1 cup sauce into each of 2 (8-inch) square glass or ceramic baking dishes coated with cooking spray. Open each poblano chile; flatten slightly with hand. Divide beef mixture evenly among chiles (chiles will be very full). Arrange 4 chiles in each dish; top evenly with remaining sauce and queso. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly, or follow freezing instructions. Sprinkle with cilantro after cooking.
TO FREEZE: These do best in a shallow vessel, so follow the recipe instructions to use a standard 8-inch square dish. Cover tightly with heavy-duty foil; freeze up to 2 months.
TO REHEAT: No thawing step is necessary. Remove foil, and cover dish tightly with plastic wrap. Pierce plastic wrap 4 or 5 times. Microwave at HIGH for 14 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. (We tried oven reheating and don't recommend it.)
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These are yummy little peppers! I really didn't find them complicated at all. A few steps, but you can do all of them at the same time! I halved the recipe but used 8 oz of beef instead of 6. I used regular brown rice as i don't like the packaged stuff. (Actually, I made Spanish rice from another recipe and served it on the side rather than stuffing the peppers with rice, but I'm not reviewing based on that.) The reviewer who said this can all be done raw is sort of ridiculous. I'm sure you can do it this way, but you'll be missing out on a lot of great flavor. Broiling the peppers give a delicious, smoky flavor. You need that delicious , browned flavor from cooking the meat and onions and garlic together (not to mention if those onions were raw in the sauce it'd be too sharp a flavor.) I recommend not skipping these steps just to make this dish quicker. Canola oil has a high smoke point. This took an hour and that included making a side of Spanish rice. I added abt a tablespoon of sofrito to the beef mix and it was great, but would be good without too!
As always I followed the recipe the first time I make anything new. Yes, they were labor intensive but so worth it! Different and I love the smoky Mexican taste. You can do most of it ahead of time....even the day before OR you can turn on the radio, roll up your sleeves, pour a glass of wine and just get into it. They were so worth it and I will be making it again and not changing a thing. I had leftover sauce and filling so the next day I made "enchiladas" with flour tortillas. Delicious!
warning: This is not a one-hour recipe and CL forgot to tell folks to stem, seed and tear the dried ancho before soaking. Made long grain rice rather than buying pre-cooked brown. Prepped the separate elements in the morning. In the evening we fork-fluffed the beef/rice/cheese before stuffing and assembly was pretty quick. Really liked the ancho chile sauce and the cream cheese was a great idea. (Since CL recommended freezing and microwaving the extra four, we wrapped each stuffed pepper separately in plastic & refrigerated overnight to set up. Then unwrapped and made up two microwaveable containers ready to freeze.)
We loved it. My only complaint was that is was a little watery. As other reviewers said, it did take a while. I don't mind that on a weekend but not on a work night. The only changes I made based on what I had on hand were: I thought I had brown rice but didn't. So I cooked a package of yellow rice. I also used 2 chipotle peppers instead of the other peppers for the sauce. I would've added more salt but my husband said it was perfect. Will make again. Oh and I used 96/4 ground beef.
We really enjoyed this. It did take us longer to prepare than indicated. Also we just put the peppers flat in the baking dish (over the 1 cup sauce) instead of trying to fill them and put the meat/rice mixture over that and more sauce on the top. I used 1 pound lean ground beef, 6 ounces cream cheese, and 9 ounces queso fresco. Next time I will just use the entire 8 ounces cream cheese, and 12 ounces queso fresco so I won't have the little bits left. I think the sauce would also make a good salsa dip if not blended too smooth. We are looking forward to the dish we put in the freezer. I don't like to put glass in the freezer so I lined the dish with a slow cooker liner and after the dish was frozen it was easy to remove and wrap for the freezer.
I don't know why anyone would use reduced fat cream cheese, if they're not going to use the leanest beef anyway. And especially if you're just going to start adding fat back in like canola oil. I have never in my life cooked with canola oil at home, if I do need oil I use extra virgin olive oil, but stuffed peppers don't need oil. And I don't see the purpose in using pre-cooked rice here, unless you don't know how to cook. If you are using pre-cooked rice anyway, all you need to do is stuff the raw peppers with the pre-cooked rice and raw ingredients, cover with tin foil and bake until cooked. This does not need to be a labor intensive dish.
I did not make these but the comment was there is no way this takes 40 min as the recipe says. A time consuming recipe,with lots of steps. But the end result is great! These are fantastic and I plan to make up a bunch to stick in the freezer. It seems that so long as they can be frozen, spending a half day or so making up a bunch would make for some fantastic quick meal options later on.
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