Are you looking to heat things up even though Summer has not officially arrived? This spicy vegetarian dish is certain to do just that. With this recipe, we've substituted the traditional rice filling for a more nutritious and tasty filling, quinoa! This grain-like crop is actually closely related to the beet and spinach species, so it is no surprise that this South American super food is packed with protein, fiber and iron.
Quinoa no doubt makes a great filling for stuffed peppers and is an excellent alternative to meat. Since this recipe is hotter than mild, we've listed some substitutions you can make to cut the heat. Don't worry, if you can't take the heat you can still stay in the kitchen! Something to keep in mind while pairing any alcoholic beverage with spicy food, higher alcohol content by volume beverages intensifies the spiciness of food.
Pairing spicy food with wine can be fun and experimental. Try a fresh, crispy and acidic white wine to boosts the layers of flavor while softening its spicy heat. Try the a nice Sauvignon Blanc. Red wine's fruitiness or sweetness can tone down spicy heat, letting the dish's other flavors shine. Try a fresh Pinot Noir from Burgundy or a soft but earthy Red from Côtes du Rhône .
- 2 Poblano Chilies
- ½ Red Bell Pepper
- ½ Green Bell Pepper
- ½ White Onion
- 1 ear of Fresh Corn on the Cob
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Fresh Jalapeños (optional)
- 1 cup of Quinoa
- 1 5oz can of Ranchero Sauce (red or green) *Tomato Juice for mild substitute
- 1 tbsp dry Mexican Oregano
- 2oz + Cheddar (Shredded or Cubed)
- Feta or Cotija Cheese for garnish
- Clean and dice the red pepper, green pepper, jalapeños and onion into large pieces. Carefully cut the fresh corn off the cob.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Start the quinoa on the stove top following the specific instructions on the package for a 1 cup yield.
- While the quinoa is cooking, sautée the diced vegetables and corn in a fry pan with the olive oil and Mexican oregano.
- Slice the Poblano chilies in half length wise. Remove the seeds and trim out the membranes (the white parts) to create a nice boat for the quinoa.
- After the quinoa is cooked, add it to the vegetables in the pan and mix well.
- Fill the poblanos with the quinoa mixture topping with cheddar cheese as desired.
- Using a 9x12 baking dish, pour the sauce or tomato juice in the bottom of the dish. Place the chilies in the dish, rotating them to fit if necessary.
- Cover the baking dish tightly with tin foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- After they have cooked, remove the foil and adjust the oven to high broil. Broil the stuffed chilies uncovered for about 5 minutes until the cheese on top has gotten bubbly and golden.
- Plate the stuffed peppers and garnish with feta or cotija and sauce if desired.
A note on Spice!: With the jalapeños, this recipe is hotter than mild. To cut the heat, eliminate the fresh jalapeños and/or choose a milder Ranchero sauce. For even less heat, substitute the Ranchero sauce for tomato juice.
This recipe has been contributed by Leo Coulourides, our Culinary Specialist.