RECIPE

Roasted Poblanos Stuffed with Picadillo

This dish can be assembled ahead and then baked right before you’re ready for dinner.

Ingredients

  • 6 large poblano chiles
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic—2 whole, 2 coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chile, halved and seeded
  • EVOO
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO, plus more for the sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (see note)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup chopped peppers (a mixture of cubanelles, banana peppers, frying peppers, and bell peppers; your choice)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped raisins
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (I like Lady Jayne)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, a mix of cotija, Monterey Jack, and extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Preparation

Preheat the broiler. Place the poblanos on a baking sheet and blacken them under the broiler with the oven door ajar to let steam escape, turning them as they blacken. (Or char them over an open flame on a stovetop burner.) Place the charred peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the poblanos. Carefully slice off the very top of the poblano at the stem end and scrape out the seeds.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the canned tomatoes, 2 whole garlic cloves, red onion, jalapeño, and a healthy drizzle of EVOO. Process until smooth and pour it into the bottom of a medium casserole or baking dish.

In a skillet, heat the 1 tablespoons EVOO (1 turn of the pan) over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned. Add the peppers, yellow onion, chopped garlic, and raisins, and season with salt and pepper. Cook to soften the peppers and onion slightly. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, water, almonds, and cilantro. Simmer all that together until the vegetables cook out and get tender, 5 to 8 minutes more.

Let the meat mixture cool slightly, then spoon into the poblanos. Set the stuffed poblanos down in the tomato sauce and top with the shredded cheese. (You can put the dish together to this point and then heat it up later.)

Shortly before you’re ready for dinner, preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake until the poblanos are heated through, the sauce is thickened up a bit, and the cheese is nice and browned and melty, 15 to 20 minutes (longer if you’re baking from cold).

Note: Use chuck if you want it buttery and fattier; use sirloin if you want it beefier.

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