Mexican chillies are amazing. The huge variety goes from small and hot to big with sweet notes. Whether fresh or dried, they offer an amazing range of possibilities when cooking. One of the most versatile chillies around is the Poblano. Poblano Pepper is green, big and has a thick skin that needs to be charred and removed before eating. Its size makes it ideal to fill it with many ingredients. Mostly known for being the star of one of the most iconic dishes from Mexico: The Chiles en Nogada they can also be found in many other dishes. Once they are dried, their name change and they are known as Ancho Pepper which is a main ingredient for salsas, sauces, rubs and more. When re-hydrated its flavour becomes almost sweet with lovely tamarind notes.
This time, we decided to use tinned Poblanos and Ancho peppers in 3 different ways. Here are our 3+1 quick recipes using the fabulous Poblano/Ancho pepper:
Poblano Sauce – This sauce is incredible, very tasty and the consistency is like that one of a curry. All you need is for a cup of sauce is:
- 5 Poblano Peppers
- Handful of Coriander
- 1 Large Garlic Clove
- 1/2 Cup Natural Greek Yogurt or Soured Cream
- 1 tsp Vegetable Stock
Remove seeds and stalk from Poblanos. Blend all the ingredients together and transfer to pot set to a medium high heat. Simmer until thickens. Correct seasoning.
Note: When living away from Mexico, we find it difficult to find fresh Poblano Peppers. The next best option is to find them tinned. If using fresh Poblanos make sure to remove the skin using this process. If using tinned Poblanos be aware that they come preserved in brine which is salty. Consider this when seasoning your sauce to avoid adding too much salt.
Chicken Breast With Red Rice and Poblano Sauce – This is a fantastic option for a healthy and light dinner. Red rice is a great option to regular white rice. It has great texture, nutty flavour and a high nutritious value. The flavour on this dish comes from the Poblano Sauce. You will need for 2 people:
- 150g Red Camargue Rice
- 2 Boneless Chicken Breast
- Green Beans
- Poblano Sauce
To cook the rice, add rice, water and a pinch of salt to a small bowl and bring to a boil without cover. Cover and lower the heat and let it gently bubble for 15 to 20 minutes. With a fork, check the rice to see if it needs more water. If it needs water add hot water. If it doesn’t, turn off the heat and cover again. Let it rest for 5 minutes or until ready to serve. If the rice is cooked but there’s still water in the pan, drain the water. Turn the heat off, put rice back in the pot and cover. Let it rest until ready to serve.
Cook the chicken using your preferred method. The Poblano Sauce has a lot of flavour and you don’t need to marinate or season your chicken too much.
Cut green beans ends, rinse and cook them in boiling water for 3 minutes or until cooked through.
To serve, place chicken on a bed of rice and cover with Poblano Sauce. Add the green beans as a side.
Broccoli & Cauliflower Cream – This cream is ideal to use vegetable leftovers! A super tasty quick lunch that brings warmth and leaves you feeling good. You will need for 4 portions:
- 200g Broccoli florets
- 200g Cauliflower florets
- 2 small (or 1 large) garlic cloves
- 250g Natural greek yogurt
- 1 Vegetable stock cube
- 1 tsp Ancho Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- A dollop of Poblano Sauce to serve.
Cook the broccoli and cauliflower florets in as little water as possible until tender. Drain and reserve the water. Add the cooked florets, yoghurt and all condiments except salt to a pot. Use a hand blender to mix everything to the desired consistency. This step can be done on a normal blender and then transfer to a pot. Simmer until piping hot. Correct seasoning and add some of the cooking water if needed.
No butter, oil or cream is needed for this cream soup to be rich and delicious! Enjoy with some crusty bread.
Ancho Peppers with Refried Beans, Cheese and Poblano Sauce – These Ancho Peppers are heavenly and beautiful. There is an incredible mix of flavours that blend into a delicious dish. We tried mozzarella and goat’s cheese. They both work beautifully but our favourite was the ones prepared with goat’s cheese. It brings an amazing tartness to it that just works. For 4 filled peppers you will need:
- 4 Ancho Peppers
- 1 400g Tin of Refried Beans from La Costeña
- Goat’s Cheese
- Vegetable Stock
- Poblano Sauce
Preheat Oven to 180C
With a sharp knife make a lengthwise cut in one side of the Ancho Pepper without reaching the ends. You should be able to remove seeds through it and this will be the place to fill it in with beans and cheese. In a bowl add boiling water and 1/2 cube of vegetable stock. Add the Ancho Peppers and wait until the colour changes and they are soft (about 5 minutes). Don’t leave them in the water for too long because they will break. Drain the peppers and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Once drained and dried carefully fill them with the beans. Use mozzarella, goats cheese or any other cheese that you like. Add a dollop of Poblano Sauce on top. Arrange in a baking tray and cover with aluminium foil and place in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted. If using mozzarella, this will melt very quickly. The goat’s cheese will take longer.