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Cooking with JoJo: Give those stuffed peppers some pop

Joey Morasse • Nov 7, 2017 at 10:35 PM

I always enjoy taking the time to venture down to the local flea market to buy fresh produce and vegetables. There are always great deals, and the quality is always good. 

Last weekend was no exception. Although I was running later than usual, I was still able to get all I needed. The selection of peppers was amazing. 

For this recipe, I found some really nice poblaño peppers. Poblaño peppers are from the town of Puebla in Mexico. They are mild in spice and big on flavor. Rather than do the usual cheese or chicken stuffing, I wanted to blend a filling that is equally as tasty as the pepper, using a simple blend of spices, onion and shrimp and top it all off with a cilantro cream sauce.

What you’ll need:

For the cilantro cream sauce:

• ½-cup sour cream.

• 1 garlic clove, minced.

• ¼-tsp. salt.

• ¼-tsp. ground black pepper.

• ¼-cup fresh cilantro, stems removed.

• 2 tsp. lime juice.

For the stuffed peppers:

• 4 large poblaño peppers, washed and dried.

• 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra to drizzle.

• ¼-cup diced onion.

• 1-2 garlic cloves, minced.

• 1 pound shrimp, chopped finely.

• ½-tsp. salt.

• ¼-tsp. ground black pepper.

• ¼-tsp. ground cumin.

• 1-2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, torn.

For the cilantro cream sauce, take minced garlic and add the salt over it. On your cutting board, use the flat side of a knife to mash the garlic and salt into a paste. To a food processor, add the sour cream, garlic paste, black pepper, cilantro and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the stuffed peppers, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Remove the tops of the peppers and remove the seeds with a spoon. Place the peppers onto a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. When the oven is hot, add the peppers, cook for 8-10 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for another 8-10 minutes. You want the peppers to blacken a bit. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool. 

In a skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, and cook for a few minutes, stirring until they soften. Add the garlic, spices and shrimp and cook until the shrimp turns pink. When done, remove from the pan to begin stuffing the peppers. 

Stuff each pepper until full and place back on your baking sheet. Bake for five minutes or until warmed through. Serve warm, topped with the cilantro cream sauce and fresh cilantro. 

Enjoy.

Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.

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