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Squash-Stuffed Roasted Poblano Peppers
1 h 10 m
2 h 15 m
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“When fresh, poblanos have a wonderful, somewhat sweet heat that makes a terrific vessel for rich-tasting butternut squash stuffing. Accompanied by corn tortillas or rice and beans, this makes a special vegetarian entree. Most of the preparation can be done in advance and the recipe can easily be doubled. Look for dark green poblanos about 5 inches long, with broad shoulders at the stem, tapering to a pointy tip. Wash your hands thoroughly after removing the seeds or wear rubber gloves; most of the chile oils are found in the seeds and connective membranes.”
1 tablespoon frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed
2 teaspoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano, or ¼ teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ cup crumbled queso blanco, (see Ingredient note) or grated Monterey Jack
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ cup reduced-fat sour cream, or low-fat plain yogurt
1Make Pureed Winter Squash. If using frozen squash, cook according to package directions.
2Meanwhile, roast peppers: Place over a gas flame and roast, turning as needed, until blackened on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. (Alternatively, broil peppers on a baking sheet, turning from time to time, until blackened on all sides, 4 to 8 minutes.) Transfer to a paper bag and seal or place in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 10 minutes.
3Mix the squash puree, cornmeal, pineapple juice concentrate, butter, cumin, oregano and salt in a large bowl until smooth.
4Peel the peppers and rinse. A few blackened specks left on them will be fine. Make a long incision down one side of each pepper. Gently pry peppers open, then scoop out seeds and membranes, taking care not to tear the soft skin.
5Carefully spoon about ⅓ cup squash filling into each pepper, followed by 2 tablespoons queso blanco (or Monterey Jack). Gently fold peppers closed.
6Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes. Dredge each pepper in flour, roll in egg, then coat with breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and cook until lightly browned all over, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
7Bake the peppers until the cheese has melted and the filling is hot, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt).
Make Ahead Tip: Make squash puree up to 2 days ahead or prepare recipe through step 5; cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
Look for dark green poblanos about 5 inches long, with broad shoulders at the stem, tapering to a pointy tip. Wash your hands thoroughly after removing the seeds or wear rubber gloves; most of the chile oils are found in the seeds and connective membranes.
Queso blanco, also known as queso fresco, is a soft, slightly salty fresh Mexican cheese. You can find it in Latin markets and many supermarkets.
Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.