Thursday, July 14, 2011

Polenta Stuffed Peppers

I got inspired by The Reduction Project's use of the Polenta Stuffing in Appetite for Reduction and decided to do a bit of the same. What can I say? I'm a sucker for anything with a bit of a Mexican flair. It's all of those years I spent living in South Florida and Texas that have changed my palette forever. Maybe that explains my love (lust?) for nachos. It really is kind of out of control how much I get excited over nachos. Though not the fake kind with that gross, bright yellow Teese nacho cheese. What is it what that stuff, anyway? I really wanted to like Teese, but their nacho cheese flavor just tastes like plastic. Yuck.

But I digress, back to Polenta Stuffing. I think this is a great way to use up leftover polenta if you have some. If not, just go buy one of those tubes of polenta from the grocery store. That's what I did. I actually think those polenta tubes are really well suited for stuffing. They're already quite firm and easy to slice and you don't have to do any polenta prep! Awesome!

Ideally, you'd probably want to use poblano peppers if you're going to stuff them like this. When I went to the market the poblanos were smallish and next to them were these amazing anaheim peppers so that's what I bought instead. Anaheim peppers will still work beautifully, but they do have a tiny bit of heat to them. Not even as much as a jalapeno, but you'll want to make sure you're wearing gloves when you cut and deseed them so you don't burn your fingers. I usually just wear my dish gloves.

Polenta Stuffing Stuffed Peppers

One recipe of Polenta Stuffing from Appetite for Reduction
6 large peppers (poblano or anaheim are probably best)
1 can of diced tomatoes (or use fresh ones if you want, it's just faster to use canned)
A handful or so of Daiya cheese, any flavor (I used pepperjack)

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

This is crazy easy. First, make your stuffing and set it aside. Wash your peppers. Give them a nice slice down the middle and a perpendicular slice at the top just near the stem to make a T. Carefully with a small knife, cut out the seeds and the white bits inside. You'll want to be gentle so you don't tear the peppers while you're doing it.

Now, depending on how you want to do this, you have a few options. You can steam the peppers for about 5 minutes before stuffing them or not. It all depends on how soft your pepper to be at the end of things. I just didn't really feel like adding another step to this so I didn't steam mine. Carefully spoon the stuffing inside of the peppers. One recipe of stuffing filled 6 peppers for me, but it'll depend on how large your peppers are. Just smash it inside of them, don't worry about keeping things loose and fluffy.

Now that your peppers are full of polenta stuffing, it's time to add the tomatoes. Spoon them on top of the peppers. I used the entire can for the 6 peppers. Sprinkle some Daiya cheese on top. I like the pepperjack flavor for this. I find with the Daiya, a little bit goes a long way, so you won't need much. Just add however much you like.

Cover your pan with foil and put it in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let the peppers cool for at least 5 minutes before you start eating them.

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