Ah, stuffed peppers. They’re so good! They’re especially good when stuffed with spicy, Andouille chicken sausage, corn and brown rice. It’s a delicious little package of protein, vegetables and whole grains.
I’ve made stuffed peppers before, but had never used poblano peppers because the ones at my grocery store are usually sad dried up, dusty-looking things. I found some fresh, shiny ones this week and then spotted some freshly made Andouille sausages in the meat case and knew they’d be perfect for each other.
The stuffed poblanos were topped with Cotija cheese, baked and served alongside a lime-spiked watercress and cilantro salad. I could probably eat these every day and be happy. I’m sure Tom wouldn’t mind. In fact, he’d probably love it. Next time, I want to try a breakfast version stuffed with scrambled eggs, diced potatoes and onion (maybe bacon)…a perfect brunch!
Andouille-Stuffed Poblano Peppers
For a vegetarian option, you can substitute extra-firm tofu that’s been well-drained and marinated with cumin, chile powder, cayenne pepper, olive oil and orange juice and then crumbled into the pan. Or, simply use more corn and more brown rice.
If you can’t find fresh Andoille sausages, you can substitute hot Italian sausage, or use ground beef, turkey, chicken or pork and season it with cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper.
4 large poblano peppers
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 fresh Andouille chicken sausages, casings removed
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/3 cup enchilada sauce (or diced tomatoes, 1/2 tsp. brown sugar and cayenne pepper)
1 cup cooked brown rice (or other grain like quinoa, bulgur or farro)
1 cup frozen whole kernal corn (like Goya’s Choclo), or fresh corn kernals
4 oz. Cotija cheese, crumbled
1 bunch watercress
1 bunch cilantro
2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
pinch coarse salt
Preheat the oven to 375°. While the oven wamrs, set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then the onions. Brown the onions for a couple of minutes, then add the sausage. Use a wooden spoon to break up any large sausage chunks and continue to simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the sausage cooks through and browns and the onions turn transluscent.
Add the corn and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, then add the brown rice and Enchilada sauce and simmer 5 more minutes.
While the sausage and onions brown, prep the peppers. Wash them, then place them on a cutting board and see which side seems like the natural “up” side. Now, cut a straight line into the top layer of the pepper right down the middle, like an incision. Place your thumbs inside the slit and pull it open. You should have the bottom of the pepper intact with two big flaps on either side. Clean the insides of any seeds.
Once the peppers are prepped, place them in an greased casserole dish, alternating the direction of the tops of the peppers (because it’s prettier). Now, stuff them with the sausage mixture, distributing the filling evenly among the 4 peppers. Top with crumbled Cotija cheese and bake for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and browned.
While the peppers are baking, toss the watercress and cilantro with the olive oil, lime juice and salt. Serve the peppers warm, on a bed of the watercress and cilantro salad.