Every time I visit Mexico, I return newly inspired and with a collection of recipes to I want to try. During one of my visits to Mexico City, my tía Luisa shared this one-pot recipe with us and it has been a family favorite ever since. I can still remember the first time my mother made it for me – it was definitely love at first bite.
Poblano peppers happen to be one of my favorite chiles to cook with, because their flavor potential develops when they are roasted and their mild spice adds just the right kick to any dish. I like to leave the seeds in for an extra punch of heat, but they can be removed for the faint of heart. Unlike traditional Chiles Rellenos, in this recipe, the Poblanos are stuffed and then tucked into a creamy rice mixture, allowing for all of the unique flavors to mix together. Cacique Queso Panela is my cheese of choice for this recipe, but Cacique Queso Fresco, Cacique Oaxaca, or Cacique Queso Enchilado would work well too. The Cacique Crema Mexicana adds just the right texture and flavor to this mouthwatering vegetarian dish.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 ½ pounds Poblano peppers (about 3 large peppers)
- 10 ounces Cacique Panela cheese, sliced into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, diced
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 15 ounces Cacique Crema Mexicana
- 2 cups water
HOW TO MAKE IT
- Toast chiles on an open flame or skillet until charred on the outside. Place in plastic bag for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, carefully remove skin by hand or by scraping them lightly off with the edge of a knife or spoon.
- Slice open one side of each chile. Carefully remove seeds and stuff with cheese. When closing, fold one side of the chile slightly over the other side and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté onions, carrots, and corn over medium heat until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and sauté, moving frequently until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water and butter. Stir well one time, then raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil until water evaporates (to the point where you just begin to see the rice through the water).
- Carefully tuck the stuffed Poblano peppers into the rice. Cover, lower heat to the lowest setting, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove lid and drizzle with some Cacique Crema Mexicana. Crumble any remaining cheese on top as well. Cover, and cook an additional 10 minutes. To serve, drizzle with more crema and garnish with corn kernels and fresh cilantro, if desired.
- Cook's Note (optional): An alternative to toasting the Poblanos over a flame or skillet is to broil them in the oven until blistered and slightly blackened, about 8 minutes. You may toast and stuff the Poblano peppers a day in advance.