Stuffed Poblano Peppers

This past week I decided to stop in at El Rey and have some lunch. El Rey is one of my favorite places to get tacos in the city, and they have a great grocery store to boot. It’s a win, win in my book, and as I typically pick up lunch, then I go shopping for things like limes, avocados, chipotles, other chiles, and a variety of other items before heading back to work. When I decided to go shopping, I saw two older women just going to town picking through poblano peppers. As I sat and watched, I decided I would bust out my 12 years of Spanish lessons and ask ‘¿qué estás haciendo con eso’. They looked at me, chuckled, and continued to dig through the heaping mound of chiles. I instantly thought, ‘did I say that right?” or ‘what the hell did I ask?’. Granted I can order food and take some punches along the way, but I thought I had asked them what were they going to make with those, only trying to gather ideas and make something along the lines as they were going to do. Regardless, I picked up a couple, brought them home, and decided to make a stuffed poblano pepper.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Whenever I see poblano peppers, I always, always think of chile rellenos. I don’t know why, but that is what I associate the poblano chile with. I have attempted to make them in the past, and somewhat failed, however I’ve used the poblano chili to also make some salsa. So with the idea of making a chili relleno, I decided to take a similar approach, but skip the batter and deep frying process, and this is where this thing shined.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole poblano peppers
  • 1 cup of cooked beef
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup of cooked, cubed potatoes
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • your favorite salsa, optional
  • 1 whole avocado, sliced, optional
  • salt to taste

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Add the whole poblanos to a roasting sheet, and place into the oven, cooking until the peppers are nice and charred and the skin is totally blistered.

Once blistered, carefully place the peppers into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap to let steam. This process allows the thicker skin of the peppers pull over super easy.

During this time, warm a skillet on medium heat. Add the oil and let it come up to temperature.

How to make stuffed poblano peppers
How to make stuffed poblano peppers

Next add in the potatoes, and get them nice and brown. This will only take about 8 minutes or so. Flip them during this course. When the potatoes are caramelized, add in the cooked beef. Please note, these were leftovers from the previous night, making hobo potatoes, and a grilled tri-tip steak on the grill. Cook for only a couple of minutes, then remove from the heat.

Take your poblano peppers, and carefully remove the outer skin. Discard the skin. Take your knife, and working from the stem area, make a slit, not going all of the way through, all the all down towards the tip. Carefully pry it open and discard any seeds.

Once you have a cleaned inside of your poblano chili, take a couple of slices of provolone cheese and add them into the pepper. Top with half of the potato and beef mixture, then top with half of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with the remaining pepper.

Pop these into a 350 degree oven, just until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Remove, and serve.

Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Stuffed Poblano Peppers

The great thing about these, is that they were a perfect vehicle for stuffing leftovers into, but also that poblanos have this hidden sweetness and spiciness to them that I totally love. A couple of bites were a bit hot, but that is what I love about these things! Upon eating one, I did reflect back on the day when I asked the question to those ladies, and I was still curious what they were going to make with all of them. I suppose my guess would have been a chili relleno, or something along the lines of what I was making with them, a stuffed poblano pepper. Hope you enjoy!

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Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Burgers and Summertime. What’s not to love? We grill burgers about every two weeks at my house, and the routine is always the same with the family. Two cheeseburgers, one plain with bacon, no burger for my youngest, and well, then there is me and that’s when I started to get creative.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of a simple cheeseburger, a big fan at that, but sometimes you want something a bit off the usual path. That’s when I took a look in my refrigerator and found some good old Mexican chorizo, and hence the idea on this burger recipe. The chorizo and cheese stuffed burger.

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

The end result was something super delicious, and an explosion of flavor when biting into it. A must make in my opinion.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground chuck
  • 1 cup Mexican chorizo, cooked and fat removed
  • 2 slices of American cheese
  • Cooked bacon, optional
  • 1 hamburger bun, good and sturdy, toasted
  • mayonnaise, optional
  • pickles, optional

Start by cooking your Mexican chorizo. During this time, form your hamburger patties.

Divide your ground chuck into 1/4 pound patties. When the chorizo has cooled, take one patty and place on the American cheese. Top with the cooked and cooled chorizo, then top with the other 1/4 pound patty.

Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers
Chorizo and Cheese Stuffed Burgers

Shape and form the patties so that both patties are combined, and sealed. Season with salt and pepper if you desire.

Once your grill is heated, cook over direct heat for a few minutes, then flip, add another slice of the American cheese, and cook for another few minutes before finishing over indirect heat until your desired doneness.

To assemble, take your bottom toasted bun and slather on some mayonnaise. Top with bacon if desired, then the cooked chorizo and cheese stuffed burger, then the top bun. Spear a pickle on top and dig in.

The result is awesome. The creaminess from the mayonnaise, the crunch from the smoky bacon, and then the explosion of the chorizo and cheese. Good? Heck yes. Delicious to say the least and as meaty as it sounds, it was not heavy in feeling. As a matter of fact, it was hard to put down.

So the next time you are firing up the grill to make some burgers, and want something different, give this one a shot. It was a real treat.

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Taco Pie

This past fourth of July, we decided to break from our normal routine of staying put in our neighborhood, and instead decided to go to our sister-in-law’s house for the weekend. It was fun to say the least. We were able to go fishing along the Rock river, as well as just spend good old time with family. Granted we did not catch many fish, but my kids were able to spend some good quality time with their cousins, and they loved every second of it! With that said, my cooking responsibilities were set aside as well. My sister-in-law did not even let me help. WITH ANYTHING. I will be honest, it actually felt pretty good not to cook for a bunch of people. Regardless, there was one dish she threw together that was so simple, and one where everyone devoured. It was a taco pie.

Taco Pie Recipe
Taco Pie

This taco pie is everything you could probably love about tacos, but done in a pie kind of form. In my case, I decided to use pre-baked puff pastry sheets as my top and bottom crust. Did my family love it? Heck yes, and it was so, so good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, cooked according to directions
  • 1 1/2 lb ground chuck, cooked and fat removed
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed if you do not want it spicy)
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooked corn kernels
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa (I used a blend)
  • 3 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Doritos, crumbled
  • black olives, optional
  • sour cream, optional
  • shredded lettuce, optional
  • additional jalapenos, optional
  • lime wedges, optional
  • hot sauce, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in your ground chuck, and cook until browned. Strain and discard the fat.

Return the ground chuck back to the heat, and toss in the onions, corn, jalapenos, salsa, and seasonings. Stir and cook until the vegetables have softened. Once softened, remove them from the heat, and prepare your taco pie.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To a baking dish, one large enough to fit one of the pre-cooked puff pastry sheets, place the puff pastry sheet on the bottom.

Ingredients for making a Taco Pie

Top with some of the cheese, then layer on the meat mixture, then layer on the rest of the cheese, and then the crumbled Doritos. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted. Once melted, remove and top with the remaining puff pastry sheet, and then back in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the top puff pastry is warmed through.

Now you are ready to dig in. I let the pie rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into squares, but you do what you want.

Once sliced, place onto your plate, and add sour cream, olives, hot sauce, lettuce, and limes. Or don’t. It’s your call.

The ultimate is the taco pie. It’s a bit sweet from that awesome puff pastry, and then an explosion of flavor from everything you love about a spiced taco meat mixture. You could do this with chicken or pork if you want, but the classic ground beef mixture hit a homerun with my kids. Did I mention my oldest even ate it, and loved it? To me, that’s a win, win, and I’m thankful my sister-in-law turned me on to something so easy, yet so comforting to make. Hope you enjoy!

Taco Pie
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry, cooked according to directions
  • 1½ lb ground chuck, cooked and fat removed
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 whole jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed if you do not want it spicy)
  • ½ tbsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of cooked corn kernels
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa (I used a blend)
  • 3 cups colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Doritos, crumbled
  • black olives, optional
  • sour cream, optional
  • shredded lettuce, optional
  • additional jalapenos, optional
  • lime wedges, optional
  • hot sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in your ground chuck, and cook until browned. Strain and discard the fat.
  2. Return the ground chuck back to the heat, and toss in the onions, corn, jalapenos, salsa, and seasonings. Stir and cook until the vegetables have softened. Once softened, remove them from the heat, and prepare your taco pie.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. To a baking dish, one large enough to fit one of the pre-cooked puff pastry sheets, place the puff pastry sheet on the bottom.
  5. Top with some of the cheese, then layer on the meat mixture, then layer on the rest of the cheese, and then the crumbled Doritos. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted. Once melted, remove and top with the remaining puff pastry sheet, and then back in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the top puff pastry is warmed through.
  6. Now you are ready to dig in. I let the pie rest for about 5 minutes before slicing into squares, but you do what you want.
  7. Once sliced, place onto your plate, and add sour cream, olives, hot sauce, lettuce, and limes. Or don’t. It’s your call.

 

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Slow Cooker Carne Guisada

If you have never heard of carne guisada, well now you have. It is essentially stewed meat, and typically done with pork, it can be done with chicken, or beef, and in my case, pork. It’s one of those comfort foods that everyone can identify with, and one that is super versatile as it can be used in tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or event stand on its own. This is my take on a slow cooker carne guisada, as one I was pinched for time during the work week, and two, who doesn’t love the slow cooker?

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada Tacos

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of boneless pork ribs, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 whole tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • flour tortillas, warmed, optional
  • fresh cilantro, optional
  • hot sauce, optional

Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the oil, and let it come to temperature for about 10 seconds. Add the pork, and sear the pork on each side. Once seared, place the pork into your slow cooker. Return the skillet to the stove, and toss in the chopped onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add in the water to deglaze the skillet. Pour everything into the slow cooker.

With the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tortillas, cilantro, and hot sauce, add to the slow cooker, and give everything a cook stir. Cover, and cook on low heat for 7 hours.

Carne Guisada Ingredients

Before serving, I like to lightly shred the pork, however leaving some cubes together. Now you can go ahead and serve as is, but I like to sear mine on the stove once again. So what I do is add a skillet on medium-high heat to the stove. Next I add in however much carne guisada I think will hold with two tacos, and mixing it around for a couple of minutes until some of the pork caramelizes, and some of the juices run clear.

Add to the warmed tortillas, and dig in.

Words can’t explain how awesome this meat mixture is. It’s super tender, and just loaded with great spices and flavor. It’s a definite winner for tacos, that’s for sure. So if you are looking to steer away from your standard taco meat, give this one a shot. Hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada
Author: 
Recipe type: Tacos, Stews
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of boneless pork ribs, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 whole onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 whole tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup water
  • flour tortillas, warmed, optional
  • fresh cilantro, optional
  • hot sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. Start by heating a large skillet on medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the oil, and let it come to temperature for about 10 seconds. Add the pork, and sear the pork on each side. Once seared, place the pork into your slow cooker. Return the skillet to the stove, and toss in the chopped onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add in the water to deglaze the skillet. Pour everything into the slow cooker.
  2. With the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the tortillas, cilantro, and hot sauce, add to the slow cooker, and give everything a cook stir. Cover, and cook on low heat for 7 hours.
  3. Before serving, I like to lightly shred the pork, however leaving some cubes together. Now you can go ahead and serve as is, but I like to sear mine on the stove once again. So what I do is add a skillet on medium-high heat to the stove. Next I add in however much carne guisada I think will hold with two tacos, and mixing it around for a couple of minutes until some of the pork caramelizes, and some of the juices run clear.
  4. Add to the warmed tortillas, and dig in.

 

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