chorizo

Stuffed Poblano Chiles With Chorizo and Goat Cheese

by Anne Maxfield on September 23, 2019

I picked up some nice looking poblano chiles from my CSA last week and wanted something other than chiles rellenos to make with them. This looked good, with chorizo and goat cheese. Serves 4:

  • 4 large (about 1 1/4 pounds total) fresh poblano chiles, look for straight ones
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo
  • 2 cups diced white onion (about 1 medium onion)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound zucchini, diced
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Roast the poblano chiles directly over a gas flame or under a very hot broiler on a baking sheet, turning regularly until the skins have blistered and blackened on all sides, about 5 minutes for open flame, about 10 minutes for broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand 5 minutes.

Rub off the blackened skin, then cut an incision in the side of each one, starting 1/2-inch below the stem end and continuing to the tip. Make two more cuts on either side of that opening, next to the stem, to extend the open at the top, about 1/2-inch on both sides. Open up the poblanos and remove all the seeds. Rinse the the chiles,to remove the remaining seeds, being careful not to rip the opening any wider; and drain on paper towels, cut-side down.

Remove the casings and crumble the chorizo into a 12” non-stick skillet set over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, using a spoon to break up any large pieces, until the chorizo is nicely browned and cooked through. Lower the temperature to medium, scoop in the diced onion, zucchini, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine, then cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the zucchini has softened. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Crumble the goat cheese over the chorizo mixture and stir to combine. Stuff each poblano with 1/4 of the chorizo-goat cheese mixture and then fold the chile around the sides of the filling leaving a gap in the center. Place the filled chiles into a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish and wrap tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop in the panko crumbs and pine nuts. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is golden brown. Cool completely. While the chiles are baking, stir the chopped cilantro and 1/4 teaspoon salt into the panko/almond mixture. Remove the casserole from the oven, slide the chiles onto a serving dish and sprinkle the panko topping over the top. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I think I liked this more than Frank did. The stuffed poblanos were a little dry. It may have been from a slightly overcooked chorizo mix, or the fact that no one remembered to buy a zucchini, so we went without. If I made them again, I’d probably only cook the mix for about 10 minutes, since it will have more cooking time in the oven.

It was funny, because we both had one poblano that was really hot and one that was totally mild. I preferred the hot chile—it gave the dish more flavor.

I roasted and prepped the poblanos ahead of time, stuffed and baked them the next day. You can stuff them and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake them.

 

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La Cabanita, Mexican on Main Street

by Anne Maxfield on February 25, 2019

Accidental Locavore Mexican TacosElvis is in the building.

And he’s running the show at La Cabanita, a resurrection of a Poughkeepsie restaurant favorite, now occupying a former church on Main Street.

Mexican is the name of the game here, and along with the classics, be prepared for some Oaxacan treats.

Oaxaca, if you’re not familiar with it, is known for 7 moles. At La Cabanita, along with the classic mole negro, you can also opt for mole estofado or Amarillo, all served with chicken and rice.

There is plenty of more familiar fare, including tacos, enchiladas, and fajitas. Be careful though, if you’re in a large group and all order fajitas, Elvis may ask you to switch tables. On a recent evening, a table of eight all ordered fajitas and when they arrived, piping hot and sizzling, they set off the smoke detector over the table and it was bedlam until the local fire department arrived to shut it off.

Accidental Locavore Mexican GuacamoleGuacamole is made to order and if our recent experiences are any indication, if you like it spicy (even a little bit) ask for it spicy. My only complaint both times we’ve had it is that it tends to be mild, but the good chips make up for that.

The first time we were there was a chilly night, so I went for that classic Mexican hangover cure, posole. It’s a soup/stew made with hominy (white corn) shredded cabbage and at La Cabanita, your choice of shredded pork or chicken in a rich broth. A squirt of lime and you’ve got a perfect cold weather treat.

Accidental Locavore Mexican PosoleFrank went for the tacos, and because it was a quiet night was able to get all 3 with different fillings (on our second visit, they were super busy and would only do 3 of the same). While he was happily munching on all of them, his favorite was the chorizo taco.

On our second visit, we wanted to explore more of the menu. This time I tried one of the 3 moles they have, the mole Amarillo. It was more soup-like than I expected, but really delicious. My only complaint, and it’s minor, was that it had big chunks of chicken, potato, and chayote that needed to be cut into manageable bites, which was hard when they were floating in the broth. A combo of every utensil on the table and a lot of splashing broth and I worked my way through half of it before deciding to take it home where I could be messy in private.

Accidental Locavore Mexican TlayudasElvis’ cousin recommended the tlayudas to Frank. Picture a massive quesadilla stuffed with black bean salsa, cheese, chorizo, avocado and shredded cabbage and you have a good idea about this mess of goodness. I loved the corn tortilla that had spent a nice amount of time on a grill, giving it a great taste. It’s massive, so split one, take half home, or pass on guac and dessert. We took half of Frank’s home and I had a great lunch the next afternoon.

We’ve never made it to dessert and I’m not sure what they have, except the last time we were there, some good-looking churros were going to a nearby table.

La Cabanita is open every day except Tuesday for lunch and dinner. Follow them on Facebook to get specials. For weekends and holidays a reservation is a good idea.

La Cabanita

763 Main Street Poughkeepsie

845-452-7544

http://www.lacabanita1.com

 

 

 

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Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Chorizo and Cheese

by Anne Maxfield on November 26, 2018

Accidental Locavore Peppers Stuffed With ChorizoOne of the best parts of being in a CSA (besides the farm-fresh veggies) is the chance to try different veggies. Not that poblano peppers are so “weird,” but on an average day  I’d probably only pick up a couple for a specific dish. When they were part of our share a couple of weeks ago, I thought it was time to see what I could do with them.

Stuffing them seemed like the thing to do and this interesting recipe from Rick Bayliss—his take on chile rellenos – was my starting point. Serves 4.

Accidental Locavore Peppers Stuffed and FinishedStuffed Poblano Peppers with Chorizo and Cheese

For the peppers:

  • 4 large poblano peppers, as smooth as possible
  • 1 pound chorizo
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces goat cheese

For the topping: 

  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

Make the peppers: 

Accidental Locavore Peppers for RoastingRoast the chiles directly over a gas flame or on a baking sheet 4” below a very hot broiler, turning regularly to make sure all the surfaces are well blackened and blistered.

Place in a bowl, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.

Rub the skins off the peppers and then cut a slit starting ½” from the top and going to the tip of the pepper. At the top, make a ½” cut on either side of the opening.

Open up the chiles and remove the seeds. Rinse the insides and place them cut side down on a paper towel to drain.

Remove the chorizo from the casings and crumble into a 12” non-stick skillet over high heat. Cook for 5 minutes, using a spoon to break up any large chunks, until the sausage is nicely browned.

Lower the temperature to medium, add the onions and salt. Stir to combine, then cover and cook until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

Once cooled, crumble the goat cheese over the mixture and stir to combine.

Stuff each pepper with ¼ of the mixture. Fold the chile around the stuffing, leaving a gap in the center (see top photo).

Place the stuffed chiles in a 13×9” casserole and cover tightly with aluminum foil.

To bake the chiles, heat the oven to 375°. Place the foil covered dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

Make the topping:

Heat the olive oil in a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the bread crumbs and nuts. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring until the mixture is golden brown. Remove from heat, add the cilantro and set aside.

When the chiles are cooked, remove the dish from the oven, sprinkle the topping over the dish, serve and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Peppers PlatedMy verdict: These were good, but not great and I’m not sure why. It could have been that I was too cautious about the potential for heat from the peppers and the chorizo and neither of them were hot at all.

The poblanos I got from the farm were small, so I used 9 of them and had some filling left. We had some lovely Argentinian chorizo from Barb’s Butchery and it was good with the goat cheese. The original recipe called for chayote or zucchini to be cooked with the onion, but we didn’t have any, so I left it out.

What’s good about this recipe is that you can stuff the peppers and make the breadcrumb mix ahead of time and bake them at your convenience, which is what I did.

While the chiles were baking, I made a batch of green rice to serve with them. When I had them as leftovers the next day for lunch, I chopped up the peppers and mixed them in with the rice and liked that just as much as the original dish.

 

 

 

 

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Modern Taco

by Anne Maxfield on January 11, 2016

Accidental Locavore Modern Taco TacosAlways on the prowl for good Mexican food, the Accidental Locavore was quick to pick up on the rumors that there was a good new one, Modern Taco, in nearby Red Hook (Rhinebeck’s shyer sister). An added bonus was that we knew the chef/owner Mark Brocchetti, the chef from our golf course dining room, back when the food was enjoyable, interesting and made by someone who cared.

With my friend Laura in tow, we arrived one Saturday night to check it out. It’s a charming room, with Mexican touches, that reflect Mark and his partner’s take on Mexican food. Luckily he has no fear of venturing off the taco, burrito and enchilada trail that is actually more TexMex than anything you might actually eat south of the border. No gloppy refried beans here. When beans appear they’re in a slightly spicy black bean soup with crema drizzled on the top that’s better than any other black bean soup I’ve had in a long time.

Accidental Locavore Rabbit QuesidillaThat night the special – a rabbit quesadilla with a mole sauce – was right up my alley. The rabbit was nice and tender and the mole sauce was good. A little bit more of the sauce would have been nice, and it could have taken a bit more heat (however, if you’re not a spicy person, this is one of the milder dishes).

Another special was what Mark calls Mexican breakfast. If it’s not on the menu when you’re there, beg. It’s a great mix of chorizo, potatoes and caramelized onions with a fried egg on top, served in a cute little cast iron skillet.

Accidental Locavore Mexican BreakfastLaura was thrilled with the stuffed poblano with quinoa, tomato and corn, resting in a great poblano cream sauce. It’s a great vegetarian option.

Working his way through the taco menu, Frank chose the fish taco and a fried avocado taco (because we were all curious about the fried avocado). These are soft tacos, crammed with filling, just like you would get in any taqueria in Mexico. The fish was really good, but the fried avocado wasn’t my favorite. In fairness to Mark, it may just be that I don’t love cooked avocado – I’ve grilled them and don’t think it’s worth the effort.

Accidental Locavore Stuffed PepperEven though we were stuffed to the gills, Frank and I happily worked our way through the chocolate pot de crème, spiked with habanero. If you’re not familiar with pot de crème, it’s essentially a cousin of chocolate mousse. Creamy and rich, this had a subtle kick from the habanero.

A week later, we were back with two other friends. Once again I opted for the special, that night a duck quesadilla. Our friends went for the steak and the chicken quesadillas so we got to taste all three. Everyone’s favorite was the spice-rubbed duck with the steak a close second.

Frank went for two other tacos, the pulled pork and the shrimp, both of which were really good. If I were choosing from the ones we’ve tried, it would probably be the pulled pork and the fish.

The guacamole is good, but might be weird for Americans used to a chunky version. This one is truer to its taqueria roots, smooth and creamy and good with the freshly fried chips. The roasted salsa is a great choice as is the pico de gallo – fresh with good (I don’t know where he got them in December) tomatoes, cilantro and a touch of lime.

Modern Taco is open Thursday through Monday for dinner only. Lunch is promised for the summer. Enjoy!

 

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