Casserole

September 8, 2020

I made my “famous” stuffed poblano pepper casserole last night for dinner.  It came out just as good this time as it did the first time, albeit slightly different.  I have made stuffed green peppers many times and stuffed poblano peppers on occasion.  These are both made using different stuffing.  The green peppers use a mixture of hamburger and rice that is topped with small amounts of tomato sauce and cheese.  The poblano peppers are stuffed with cheese (preferably feta).  Both are then baked.  I have learned lately it is better to blanch the peppers for five minutes prior to baking to ensure they cook well.  I guess cookbooks are good for some things.

I learned our gardener friend was using the last of her home grown poblano peppers this weekend.  Melissa told me she was making a poblano cream sauce to pour over baked salmon.   This sounded great.  I need to spruce up the dish when I make salmon.  Melissa is not much of a fish eater except for fried catfish (she is southern after all).  I have been weaning her over by putting creative sauces on top of the fish to give it an alternative taste.  So far, she has always eaten my sauces and said they were good.  I am sure she would like the poblano cream sauce.  I bet I could find it in a cookbook, or I could just wing it.

I came up with the poblano casserole because I did not have the right ingredients for making stuffed peppers.  I have substituted an Italian cheese mix (store bought) before, but the taste and texture were not what I was hoping to find.  By making this as a casserole I had no preconceived ideas about what it was supposed to taste like.  I sliced the six peppers in half vertically, blanched them, and then layered them in the bottom of the pan.  This time I poured leftover enchilada sauce over the peppers and sprinkled shredded mozzarella cheese over them.  Next came a mixture of a pound of turkey sausage, a small onion, and two packets of 90 second Spanish rice.  This was topped with shredded fiesta style cheese, covered, and baked for thirty minutes at 400 degrees.  It tastes great.

THOUGHTS:  I tried to give enough direction to let you make this dish yourself.  It is simple and I would suggest you even try variations if you do not have the suggested ingredients.  That is what I have done the two times I made the dish.  I do have a disclaimer.  Although the poblano peppers are not spicy hot, I have found the oil on the skin to put out enough heat to leave my hands burning after preparing the dish (and do not rub your eyes!).  I find much of life is like my baking.  Rarely do I find I have the right ingredients.  That means I need to either go get what is needed or improvise.  There are advantages to either approach, but the important thing is to begin.  We need to begin the work of anti-racism or it will not be done, and this is a job for everyone, and not just a few.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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