Remember the stuffed peppers of yesteryear? You know the ones … green or red bell peppers with ground meat and rice filling, right? Well, these peppers take that concept to a whole other universe of pepper goodness!
First of all, you start with poblano peppers instead of bell peppers and you roast them. If you have a gas stove, you can do it right on the flame, turning them as they darken. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can roast them under the broiler, or weather permitting, the grill is perfect. And perhaps the preferred of the three methods. You want them to be pretty smoky looking … because then, they’ll TASTE smoky, which is exactly what you’re going for! Rub some of the skin off with your hands after they cool, or use a paper towel. The flavor will stay, but you won’t have the burnt bits. Next you want to take the seeds out so cut along one side with a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears, reach in and grab the seeds and pull them out. Use a small paring knife if needed. Then the filling … totally unlike ground meat and rice! Sauté onions, garlic, and jalapeño in a skillet and then add … wait for it … Yup … shrimp. Lovely, beautiful wild shrimp! No ground beef here. Please check with the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app to be sure you are buying safe seafood. (Scroll to the bottom of their page to download the app.)I’ve heard some say that seafood and cheese don’t go together, but I’m not sure what planet they live on because you guys, when you mix Jack cheese and cream cheese together, then stir it in with the onions and shrimp … well, there’s an unlikely marriage, apparently! If you eat dairy free, there are some wonderful options out there. This is not a sponsored post, but I gladly promote Kite Hill! Everyone I’ve offered it to hasn’t had a clue that it isn’t dairy! The Jack I used in this recipe isn’t dairy free (I’m still on the hunt), but it is raw and organic. Get the best product you can, folks. Your health, not to mention your taste buds, will appreciate your efforts. And for the sauce … It’s a blend of roasted tomatoes and roasted peppers, both of which you can roast yourself using the same method as the poblanos for the peppers and using the oven for the tomatoes. However, if you are in a hurry or simply don’t want to hassle with home-roasting, the recipe provided gives measurements for store-bought canned ones. Try to find brands that don’t have BPA (Bisphenol A, a chemical with ill effects that is found in hard plastics and the linings of food and drink packaging). Most who don’t use BPAs state it clearly on the can so if it’s not stated, you can assume that it has BPAs.
After you’ve blended the peppers and tomatoes, you can ladle it all in a casserole dish that will hold all of the peppers, or you can do what I enjoy doing and use individual sized baking dishes so each person has their own. If you have a family with small children, it would be dangerous because they are served straight from the oven, but it would be an elegant option for an adult dinner party. Divide the shrimp mixture between the peppers and set them on the sauce. Bake them at 350°F (180°C) for 40-45 minutes. You want the cheese to get a little golden and the sauce to reduce a little and get nice and rich. And there ya go …. Garnish those gorgeous babies with some fresh cilantro, sliced jalapeno, queso fresco, and red onion rings … and you’ll have stuffed peppers that will change your mind about stuffed peppers!
Roasted Shrimp-Stuffed Poblanos
Yield 6 servings
Adapted from a recipe found in Sunset Magazine
- 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained (or the equivalent of home-smoked peppers ... follow the same instructions as for the poblanos.)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes (or the equivalent of home-roasted tomatoes ... roasted on a grill outdoors or in the oven)
- 6 medium poblano chiles
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped small
- 1 jalapeño chile, chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup shredded Jack cheese
- ½ cup crumbled queso fresco
- 1 cup cilantro sprigs
- A few slivers of red onion for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grill or broil poblano peppers until they start turning black in spots, turning them often. Let them cool, then cut a slit in the side and scoop out the seeds.
Whirl red peppers and tomatoes in a food processor until puréed. Season with salt. Pour into a 4-quart baking dish or divide between 6 individual baking dishes. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, and coriander seeds. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and salt to season. Cook until shrimp starts to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the cream and Jack cheeses to the shrimp and spoon the mixture into the poblanos. Set chiles in the baking dish(es). Bake until filling is hot and bubbling, about 40 minutes.
Garnish with queso fresco, cilantro, and slivers of red onion.