Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quinoa Chiles Rellenos

I am of the opinion that when you find a new recipe that calls for several new ingredients that you don't already have in your kitchen, it's a good idea to substitute some things you already have to keep the price reasonable and to avoid a cupboard full of one off ingredients you don't like or aren't sure how to use.

Of course, you risk not creating exactly what the author intended.

Quinoa Chiles Rellenos

I cooked these poblano chilies with red quinoa stuffing recipe loosely following the quinoa Chiles Rellenos recipe that ran on the Dallas Morning News site last week. `

How Much Quinoa Stuffing Do You Need?

This recipe makes much more stuffing than necessary for four peppers. I could have halved the recipe and still I would have had leftovers. If you make this, either cut the stuffing in half or buy about ten chilies to stuff.

I was somewhat disappointed with my results. Probably my fault, I tinkered with the recipe. I was afraid the stuffing wouldn't have enough flavor, so I added 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper to the quinoa. The stuffing was fantastic but with the poblanos it was too hot for our palates. We scooped out the stuffing and left the peppers uneaten. (I know, damn yankee.)

Peel Me a Poblano

Charring the skins takes a long time. I don't know if it would have gone quicker on a grill, or if I should have had the skillet hotter, but I spent fifteen minutes charring them and they still weren't easy to peel in places. Not sure I ever plan to try that again.

I also did not care for the diced carrots blanched. Next time I would saute them with the corn (didn't have peas on hand) and the green onions.

Smoked Cheese On My Mind

I looked in the specialty cheese case at my local supermarket and I could not find scamorza cheese. I can understand the opinion that there is no good substitute for this cheese. I have felt that way about smoked provolone ever since I moved away from Pennsylvania and I cannot find it in Massachusetts stores. Meatball subs don't taste right to me without smoked provolone.

To get back to the quinoa chiles rellenos, I used my usual Vermont sharp cheddar instead of a smoked mozzerella.

I skipped the sausage because that's how I roll these days. :-) Just as well, I would have had another cup of stuffing leftover.

This is how everything looked before I stirred it together.

Very colorful and aromatic.

Would I Do It Again?

When I think of Chiles Rellenos, I think of something swimming in white sauce or cheese, so this recipe didn't move me (though I bet with the scamorza and the sausage, it would have been a treat.)

One of my sons says he prefers the red quinoa, so I will be cooking with it again. I used the leftover stuffing to stuff delicata squash. I will make this red quinoa stuffing recipe again, though I likely won't stuff poblanos with it.

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