Monday, May 5, 2008

Chile Rellenos de Picadillo

To celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I spent a leisurely Sunday preparing poblanos stuffed with vegan picadillo, topped with Ranchero Sauce. I tried Simply Recipe's method for roasting the poblanos over a gas flame rather than under the broiler. While playing with fire has its appeal, my poblanos turned out a little undercooked after baking. I usually roast poblanos under the broiler, so perhaps this made the difference, or maybe they needed to be baked a little longer. Anyway, they were still delicious. The picadillo has a slightly sweet taste, and doesn't overwhelm the poblanos. It's a relatively light dish that would pair well with a side of refried beans. And Agave Nectar Margaritas of course. Here's what I did:

Chile Rellenos de Picadillo
adapted from A Taste of Mexico by Kippy Nigh

6 poblano chiles
1 head of garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons orange juice
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups TVP granules
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
about 40 craisins
Ranchero Sauce for topping (see recipe below)

Roast poblanos using method of your choice. After roasting, place them in a covered container to steam for about 5 minutes. Peel the blackened skin off. Cut a slit in one side of each pepper and remove seeds and veins. Put aside to stuff later.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pan roast the garlic by separating cloves and removing loose papery skin. Don't peel it. Cook garlic cloves in covered skillet over moderate heat until soft, shaking periodically to stir. After it cools, peel and mince garlic.
Combine garlic, oregano, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, salt, orange juice, and vinegar. Set aside.
Mix TVP with 1 3/4 cups hot water. Stir to moisten all granules. Set aside.
Saute onion in oil until softened. Add tomatoes and saute about 5 minutes more. Add olives, craisins, TVP, and garlic/spices/oj mixture. Turn off the heat.
Stuff poblanos with picadillo filling. Place in casserole dish and bake about 20 minutes, or until heated through and peppers are tender. Serve with warm Ranchero Sauce.

Ranchero Sauce
adapted from Real Food Daily by Ann Gentry

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, minced
1 large red bell pepper, minced
1 jalapeno chile, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, minced

Heat olive oil in stockpot over medium heat. Saute onion and bell pepper a few minutes, until soft. Add jalapeno, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper and saute a couple of minutes. Add tomato paste and cook a couple of minutes, stirring often. Add crushed tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Add cilantro and additional salt if necessary.


  1. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

    This looks perfect! Absolutely perfect. I haven't had chiles rellenos since I've gone vegan. I am sure going to have to try it!


  2. Jennifer, this dish is right up your alley, but you'd probably want to add more heat to the picadillo. It's quite mild. Who needs queso for rellenos?

  3. my mind is stuck on the agave nectar margaritas...even though it's only 1 in the morning. oh my.

  4. Melisser, thank you!

    Celine, it's always cocktail hour somewhere, go for it.

  5. Happy Cinco de Mayo!

    I need to introduce this holiday to my country. I've seen so many great Mexican dishes over the last couple of hours on so many blogs that I will never need a Mexican cookbook! I have bookmarked your recipe too.

  6. Awesome!! I just had boring old nachos!!

  7. Mihl, I love Mexican food and Cinco de Mayo is a great excuse for trying out some new dishes!

    Bee Roach, thanks! These were better after microwaving to reheat the next day - the peppers softened up just right.


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