Spicy appetizers from the editors behind the One-Block Diet blog.
2/3 cup quinoa
1/4 cup dried corn kernels*
6 poblano chilies
2 Mariachi or Carmen peppers, or red bell peppers
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 white onion, unpeeled
1 cup shredded Gouda cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
* This recipe uses homegrown corn, but feel free to use fresh corn kernels, if you like, increasing the amount to 1/2 cup.
Step 1: Fill a large bowl halfway with cool water. Add the quinoa and briefly rub the grains between your palms in the water. Drain the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, transfer to a saucepan, add 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until translucent in the center and a white ring appears, about 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Step 2: In a small saucepan, combine the corn kernels with water just to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain.
Step 3: Preheat the broiler. Place the poblanos on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil, turning as needed, until completely charred on all sides, 15-20 minutes. Cover the poblanos with a kitchen towel and let cool until they can be handled. Reduce the oven temperature to 425°F.
Step 4: Put the red peppers, garlic, and the onion half, cut side down, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Roast until the peppers have blackened slightly, about 20 minutes. Let the vegetables cool until they can be handled. Leave the oven set at 425ºF.
Step 5: When the poblanos are cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skins. Cut a lengthwise slit 2"-3" long on one side of each poblano, and carefully scoop out the seeds with your fingers or a small spoon. Put the poblanos back on the baking sheet.
Step 6: In a bowl, mix together the quinoa, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the egg, the oregano, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and the corn. Carefully spoon the mixture into the poblanos, dividing it evenly. Cover the poblanos with foil.
Step 7: Bake the poblanos for 15 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and bake until the cheese has melted and has begun to turn golden, about 5 minutes.
Step 8: While the poblanos are baking, peel the roasted garlic and onion and stem and seed the red peppers. Put them all in a food processor; add the oil, lemon juice, and the remaining salt; and purée until smooth. If the purée is cool, warm it in a small saucepan over low heat.
Step 9: To serve, spoon the warm sauce into a serving dish and top with the hot stuffed poblanos.
Reprinted with permission from Margo True and Sunset Magazine's The One-Block Feast (2011 Ten Speed Press).