Smouldered And Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Spring has been slow to warm this year which leaves me craving heat. But it has been a double blessing that I can have the best of both worlds this time of year: enjoying cool evenings on the patio grilling, and having these satisfyingly hot stuffed peppers for dinner. There are always more blessings if you look for them. This one’s extra blessings are that it is a meal in itself…meat and five vegetables, there are no pots and pans to wash …just one bowl and the plates from which you eat, and the taste is outstanding!
Poblano peppers are interesting…they are often in different degrees of spiciness. Some are almost as hot as a jalapeno while others are nearly as mild as a bell pepper. They have thinner skin than a bell pepper but boy are they packed with pepper flavor! I like that the heat level is rather a surprise…especially when I get one that’s good and hot.
- 4 Poblano peppers washed and seeds removed through a slit up the side
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2 medium stalks of celery also finely diced
- 1 carrot peeled and very thinly sliced or shredded
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced leek
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- 1 or 2 tbsp steak sauce
- 1tbsp soy sauce
- a dash each salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, thyme
- a pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 5 crushed saltine crackers
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
First, slit each washed pepper up the side, open the slit, and remove the pith and seeds as best you can through it without tearing the pepper (I gently squeeze the top and bottom and it easily opens like those rubber coin purses you get as souvenirs). Set them to the side and dice all the veggies, place them in a mixing bowl, add the egg, sauces, and seasonings and mix well. Next, crumble up the meat and crackers onto the veggie mixture, add the oats and stir everything together. I end up using my hands to incorporate all the ingredients sometimes. A fork worked well for me this time but which ever tool you choose to employ, use it to stuff the peppers with as much of the filling as they can possibly hold.
Now it’s time to go out to the grill. Set up the grill for indirect cooking, that is to say, either the burners under left and right sides of the grill lit, or place hot coals to the far left and right with a space in the middle where there is no heat source under it. Arrange the stuffed peppers in that middle space, shut the lid and let it alone for at least 20 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. You can tell with the press test…press on the meat to see if it has any give…it should not have much.
This is the time to shut off the fire in a gas grill and leave the lid closed for another 10 minutes. For charcoal grillers, remove the peppers to a warm plate and cover tightly in foil for ten minutes
When it’s time to serve, drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil or dot with butter to gloss the top a bit. Make sure you have plenty to drink! Be it beer or chocolate milk, either will balance out the heat of the poblanos nicely. Using a large amount of finely diced vegetables in combination with that off-set heat while cooking really helps the meat stay nice and moist. I hope you will try this and have a lovely weekend!