Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Weekend Chef: Chorizo-Stuffed Poblano Chiles with Sweet-Sour Escabeche

Menu planning can take me hours.  The problem is that I have too many recipes that I want to make!  Then it's about balancing out the dishes.  I don't want all chicken or pasta dishes, etc.  Do I have something meatless this week?  Are there any ingredients from one dish that I can use in another, so the leftovers don't go to waste?  Believe me, it can get pretty complicated!  I've tried to make it a little easier by going through my recipe pull-outs and some cookbooks and making a list of all the recipes that I want to try soon.  The pull-outs are in a special folder so I know where to find them and then noted on the list.  The cookbook recipes have the name of the cookbook and page number listed next to them.  The blog recipes are just filed in a "cooking" folder under favorites.  Haven't tackled that yet!  So, when I get to Saturday and Sunday I sometimes ask The Weekend Chef what he's going to make.  Other times I give him a recipe and say, "You're making this!"  This past weekend finding our Supper Club recipes took awhile.  I told him about my recipe list and said, just pick something from the list! I had a cookbook open with the Peach and Brie Quesadilla recipe in it and said, "Oh, I have chorizo, do you want to try making this?" (this stuffed poblano recipe). 

He said yes, but I don't think he realized what he was getting himself into!  This is not a weeknight dinner for sure!  It definitely took a lot longer than expected to make.  The poblanos turned out spicier than we thought too so the kids didn't eat those. The onions were pretty strong in the Sweet-Sour Escabeche.  However, it was pretty tasty for all the hard work!  We had more leftover stuffing than peppers.  So, for lunch one day I ended up heating the leftovers in a pan and then cooked some egg whites with it for a hash-like dish, eaten with an english muffin.  It was delicious!

Chorizo-Stuffed Poblano Chiles with Sweet-Sour Escabeche
Recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light, May 2005

6 servings (1 chile each)

Spicy, tangy, a little sweet, and a tad sour, this dish from Rick Bayless is based on a traditional central Mexican version. You can prepare the different components--roast the chiles and make the potato-chorizo stuffing--a day ahead and refrigerate. Then let everything come to room temperature, and stuff the chiles.

6 large poblano chiles
Cooking spray
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups sliced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups cubed red potato
8 ounces chorizo sausage

Preheat broiler.

Place poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil 14 minutes or until blackened, turning twice. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes; peel.

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add carrot to the pan; cover and cook 5 minutes or until carrot is crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Add water and next 4 ingredients (through bay leaves) to pan; stir well. Bring mixture to a simmer; cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Discard bay leaves. Combine onion and salt in a large bowl; pour vinegar mixture over onion mixture. Cool completely.

Place potato in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes or until tender; drain.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove casings from the sausage. Cook sausage for 10 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove sausage from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Drain sausage on paper towels. Add potato to pan; cook 15 minutes, browning on all sides. Stir in sausage; cook until mixture is thoroughly heated.

Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile; discard stems, seeds, and membranes. Place about 1/2 cup sausage mixture in each chile (chiles will be full). Divide onion mixture evenly among each of 6 plates; top each serving with one stuffed chile.

Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.

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