Friday, September 7, 2007

Stuffed Poblanos

Simply put, I adore Mexican food. Sadly, though, there are few good Mexican joints in Baltimore. In fact, I’ve only had Mexican once in the 15 months I've lived in this city. Sad, indeed.

Back in NYC, there are tons of great Mexican places, and a few that my mom – a fellow Mexican food aficionado – and I particularly loved:
· Mexicana Mama in the West Village, which my mom and I simultaneously loved and hated: loved for the awesome food (particularly the chiles rellenos and guacamole) and our favorite bored waiter, hated for the fact that it was incredibly tiny so all the tables touched one another and therefore your neighbors were privy to your conversations.
· El Maguey y La Tuna in the LES – I used to live a few blocks away from it and used to frequent it with my friends John and Kristen, who also lived in the neighborhood. The vibe is great – it feels like you’re in someone’s house – and their chiles rellenos, along with everything else on the menu, are insanely good. So are their cheapie cheap pitchers of margs and sangria. I took my parents there on July 4th a few years ago and my mom is hooked now.
· Pacifico in Boerum Hill – I used to live two doors down from this place, but that’s not the only reason I went there. Their tamales and chilaquiles are sooooooo good, but I’m not really sold on the rest of their menu (although my mom is). Their margaritas, however, are super tasty. The space is great, too – they have a huge outdoor patio and a fireplace inside. My mom still requests to go there when I’m back in NYC for a visit.

Anyway, now that I’ve shamelessly promoted these restaurants and my stomach is growling, let me get back to my point: there is a lack of good Mexican in Baltimore, which means that I need to make my own.
Two of my favorite dishes, as you may have gleaned, are chiles rellenos and veggie burritos. This recipe combines the two, and the union, although probably unholy, is certainly tasty.

Stuffed Poblanos
(serves 4)

¾ cup basmati rice
1 ¼ cups water
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium tomato, chopped (about ¾ cup)
½ cup chopped cilantro
2-3 scallions, chopped (about ¼ cup)
2 teaspoons salt
¾ teaspoon cumin powder
1 ¼ teaspoons coriander powder
2 small green chilies or 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (if you like things spicy - definitely do this to taste)
¼ cup sour cream
1/3 cup yogurt
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 medium-sized poblano peppers


Wash rice in a large sieve under running water until the water runs clear. Bring the rice and water to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook covered until almost done, about 15 minutes. Let rice cool at least 20 minutes. (Rice can be cooked up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator.)

Set oven to broil and place a rack in the top third of the oven.

Stir remaining ingredients (except for poblanos) into the rice.
Cut the top out of the pepper. Remove all seeds and ribs from the pepper and cap.

Stuff each poblano with the rice mixture, making sure to get the mixture into any crevices inside the pepper. Replace the caps and secure with skewers if necessary.

Broil for 6-7 minutes until the skin of the pepper is gently charred, then turn over and broil the other side for about 5 minutes. The pepper should be very charred in some spots and slightly charred all over.
Serve with roasted red pepper and corn salsa, tomatillo salsa, and guacamole.


kristen said...

get yourself up to delaware and go to la tonalteca (i think thats the new name)...

mexican food in NYC sucks when you used to live near the mushroom capital of the world (Hockessin, DE or Kennett Square, PA depending on who you talk to...) cause the migrant workers would get off the mushroom farms and open restaurants. and they were GOOD... La tonalteca has gone downhill, but they need to send someone to NYC and show them how cheese enchilladas should be made!!!

Jon said...

I wish I could remember the name of that place on Bleaker St I went to the last time I was up there. Man that place was good.

There are some decent Mexican joints in Baltimore here. Not sure if I'd call any of them perfect, but they do have their specialties. I can't think of any of them that cater particularly to vegetarians, though there's still plenty of veggie food on the menus. I did found one place out here in Columbia that has a broccoli burrito I've been meaning to try....

The poblanos look exquisite, btw. You have officially made me hungry.

M^2 said...

What about Los Amigos on Harford Rd.? You may not have loved it, but it is supposed to be Mexican restaurant.

John said...

I love poblanos. The best ones outside of Mexico have to be in the LA area though. There are LOTS of Mexican places, of course. And because of the sheer number, a lot of them suck. But it's not difficult to find a great place in just about every town and city. Had a great one last month in Palm Springs. Yumyumyumyumyum, ¡delicioso!

Colleen said...

You used to live right near where I used to live! snif
I also very much enjoyed the chilaquiles at Pacifico...but are you vegetarian? I looked into how to make them and it often includes chicken broth (like so many Mexican recipes).
Dos Caminos makes THE BEST guac right at your table.
I am sad for your lack of local Mexcellent food. I've only tried one joint here & it was eh. There's another few that're supposed to be good though.

malini said...

I live in Long Island NY and there aren't many good Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood. Hence every time I want to eat Good Mexican, I have to go to either Brooklyn or Manhattan.
The "Stuffed Poblanos" tasted great as I had the opportunity to eat them, which were filling and satisfying without all the calories and fat.

Candice said...

I know it's a bit late, but El Salto in Glen Burnie is the best freaking Mexi food i've ever had!

Mycookingtime said...


I cook them but filled with beef or panela cheese!

Greeting from México!!!!

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