Joey Morasse: Don’t pass up the poblano

Joey Morasse • Updated Dec 26, 2017 at 11:00 PM

In a past recipe, we used the poblano pepper due to the mild flavor and heat level it has. I find it is perfect for those who love the taste of a pepper without so much heat. When charred in the skillet, these delicious peppers become tender and smoky and are perfect for stuffing. 

In this recipe, I used diced boneless pork chops as the main ingredient. While you would mostly find shredded pork or chicken as the stuffing traditionally, dicing the pork makes for a more hardy and satisfying bite. As with all of my recipes, I am a fan of bold flavors, and this recipe is no different. 

Topped with a refreshingly bold cilantro sour cream, these stuffed poblano peppers will make your taste buds dance the Cha Cha.

What you’ll need:

• 4 large poblano peppers with tops cut off and seeded.

• 4 medium boneless pork chops cut into small cubes.

• ¼ cup olive oil.

• 1 large white onion, sliced thinly.

• 2 cans of tomato sauce.

• ½ tsp. salt.

• ½ tsp. pepper.

• 1 tsp. chili powder.

• ½ tsp. ground cumin.

• ½ tsp. Mexican oregano.

• ½ tsp. smoked paprika.

• ¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped.

• ½ cup sour cream.

• ½ to 1 cup shredded cheese blend, sharp cheddar and Monterey jack.

In a skillet, preferably cast iron, on medium high heat, add the olive oil. Once it’s up to temperature, add peppers in to char the skin. This is where the smoky flavor happens. The idea is not to completely char the skin, but to have some nice spots of char to add to the overall flavor. Turn the peppers often when charring. The pepper will still be a bit raw and will be perfect for stuffing and finishing in the oven. 

Once done, set the peppers aside and prepare the cilantro sour cream. Mix sour cream, cilantro and a pinch of salt and refrigerate. 

For the stuffing, in the same skillet on medium-high heat, add onions, tomato sauce, pork and the rest of the spices. Mix well and reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 30-45 minutes, occasionally checking the liquid content. If the sauce is too dry, add water so it does not burn. When the onions are tender and pork is cooked through, taste and adjust any spices to your liking. 

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Spoon the stuffing into the peppers generously. Place the peppers on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Bake the peppers for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from the oven and top with cheese and place back in the oven until the cheese has melted. 

It’s time to serve…Place the pepper in the center of the plate and drizzle the cilantro sour cream over the top. The smoky flavor of the char, the tang of the tomato sauce with the savory spices and the bite of the sour cream and fresh cilantro makes for a meal that not only tastes great, but looks great, too. 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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