Darlings! When looking at the wide variety of dishes La Diva cooks, I bet you'd want to know, what inspires the Diva in her cocina?Well, there are a number of factors that will influence my cookin' in the kitchen:
- What I've been craving (hmmm...Asian? Or pasta? Or how about a nice steak with mash?)
- What's the weather like (Dang, it's a bit cool today, it's 78. A good excuse for a good ol' chile con carne!)
- How tired or hungry I am (Take away will take tooooo long! What can I make that's quick and easy...a nice crispy veggie stir fry, yes.)
- When I get paid (Diva is not sure she's going to make it to pay day. One can get very creative with an empty wallet but stuffed pantry!)
- What's in my veggie box this week?
La Diva is very happy with Annie's Organic Buying Club here in Florida. Click on the photo to get more info!
While La Diva patiently waits for the CSA season to begin in Florida, I joined an organic buying club which I'm really digging! Not only do I get fresh, seasonal organic produce at a great price but the selection forces me to "get out of my comfort zone" and try vegetables or fruit I would not normally buy. Every week is like Christmas, what's in the box of goodies this time?
Such was the case last week when I got poblano peppers in my produce box. Most people are familiar with poblano peppers only from their local Mexican restaurant served as a chile relleno. That pepper has been stuffed with cheese and meat and then battered, fried and drowned in more greasy cheese and red sauce. Hardly considered a "light" dish and loaded with fat and calories, chile relleno ranks as one of La Diva's all-time favorites. (naturally!)
La Diva begged the question:
How could I utilize these peppers without stuffing them full of calories?
Here's what La Diva did!
La Diva's Chipotle Chicken and Bean Stuffed Poblanos
For two-three main meals
3 poblano peppers
1 dried chipotle, reconstituted in hot water and chopped
2 T tomato paste
1/2 small vidalia onion, chopped
1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts*, poached and meat shredded
1 can rinsed black beans
1 T cidar vinegar
garlic salt, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c shredded cheese (queso blanco, chihuahua or cheddar will do!)
shredded iceberg lettuce
*can't see any reason why you couldn't sub tofu for the chicken or go with just the beans if you are vegetarian
Lime yogurt sauce:
In a small bowl mix together
3/4 c plain low fat greek yogurt (I love FAGE!)
dash of cumin and salt
juice of half of a lime
Mix thoroughly and put into a squeeze bottle. Set aside.
Broil the peppers under a high heat to blacken the skin, making sure both sides are done. Take out of oven and put into a bag and set aside to cool. Once cool, put on plastic gloves* and peel off the skin and then carefully cut around the stem of the pepper and throw away. Gently tap out seeds and lightly salt the inside. Your pepper is now ready to be STUFFED!
* I would suggest using gloves as although poblanos are generally mild peppers, mine were pretty darn hot and made my hands burn! Wish I had worn gloves.....
Brown the onion and add the tomato paste and tomato. Add the chipotle and seasonings and a 1/2 cup water. Continue cooking until tomatoes have cooked down, about 15 minutes. Transfer mixture to a tall container and using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. (You might still have a few bits of chipotle, that's ok.) Transfer back to the pan and add beans and chicken. Simmer for a few more minutes until beans and chicken have taken on the flavors. Take off heat and let cool for 15 minutes. This sauce is like a quick version of adobo sauce but with a nice home-made taste!
Carefully hold pepper over pot and put mixture into each pepper with a spoon. Push down gently but make sure you don't split the fragile pepper. Set each stuffed pepper into an oiled baking dish. If you have any extra filling, put it around the peppers. Cover with cheese and bake at 350 until heated through and the cheese is brown and bubbly, about 35 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before serving over shredded ice berg lettuce.
Take yogurt sauce and drizzle over each pepper and EAT!!!
American "Mexican" food is never really pretty to La Diva (unless it's from Rick Bayless!)....here's what the peppers looked like on the inside! Click on the photo to see closer....c'mon, you know you want to!
Result: Aye, carumba, no malo para un gringa!!! (not bad for a gringa!) The poblano La Diva got had a REAL KICK to it but it still was a mellow heat that went incredibly well with the smokiness of the chipotle tomato sauce. The chicken and beans were filling but without the batter and excessive cheese, the pepper was significantly lighter.
I also like to eat my "Mexican" food with iceberg lettuce as it not only "cools" the palate but takes the heaviness out of the dish and adds a nice, wet crunch! Instead of rice, I served grilled whole wheat pita points and guacamole with a side of seasoned, grilled corn off the cob with just a bit of butter. DELICIOSO, amigos! Adios!cooking class, cocktails, parties, cocktail party, Miami, coral gables, events, bartending class, cocktail class, Laura Lafata, Miami Beach, miami cooking classes, bachelorette parties, bachelorette party, personal chef, corporate events, catering, personal chef, party entertainment