Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos

On February 27, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Mexican dishes offer a lot of options for vegetarian cooks.  There are a ton of recipes for vegetarian or vegan enchiladas, including some I’ve made myself.  Tacos, burritos and quesadillas are all excellent vegetarian options since pretty much everything is simply stuff a tortilla.  Stuffed peppers in dishes like Chiles Rellenos also provide an option for the non-meat eating cook.

This dish is adapted from a blog post find; though, the original post doesn’t give any exact measurements and tasted a bit bland so I’ve added a few changes to make it more flavorful.

Vegetarian Chiles Rellenos
Serves 4

4 Poblano Chiles
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, small cubes
1 can of black beans, drained
1 small red onion
1 cup red quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco cheese
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the red quinoa following the instructions from the quinoa bag or other recipe.  A simple version is 1 cup of quinoa, rinsed several times, added to a 1 1/4 cup of water. Once boiling then cover and reduce heatto simmer and let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Roast Poblano chiles on an open flame or in the oven. For a gas stove, simply heat chiles on an open flame at medium-high heat turning often for about 3 minutes per chile.  Set aside in a paper bag and let cool. Remove after 5 minutes and peel skins and seed, cut open leaving top of chile and just enough to later stuff.

Meanwhile, boil potatoes for about 8-10 minutes in salted water. Add onion and garlic to a pan with the olive oil. Saute for about 4 minutes, do not brown. Add black beans and reduce heat to simmer.  Add cilantro and the other herbs to the pan along with the cooked potatoes. Increase the heat to medium and blend the mixture to coat with the herbs and salt & pepper to taste.  Remove from heat after combined.

Stuff the poblanos with the potato and bean mixture.  Crumble cheese on top of each stuffed chile. Place stuffed poblanos in a boiler for 3 minutes to let cheese melt and brown.

Serve using a large spoonful of red quinoa and placing stuffed poblano on top of quinoa.

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Grilled Steak with Onion Bleu Cheese Sauce

On February 26, 2012, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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While grilling a steak with just salt and pepper can be enjoyable, a cheese based sauce can add so much to the meal.  This particular sauce will make you think you are eating at a 5-star restaurant. It is so overtly decadent, yet incredibly simple to make.

A sauce with grilled onions, butter, heavy cream and bleu cheese combines to add so much richness to a delicious steak.

I can’t recommend this recipe enough. Try it. You will impress yourself.

Click here for the full recipe:  Grilled Ribeye Steak with Onion-Bleu Cheese Sauce

 

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Baja Chicken Tacos from The Savvy Spoon Blog

On September 8, 2011, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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I’m discovering several types of food snobs in Texas.

There is the Tex-Mex snob who will tell you where to go for the best Tex-Mex, usually in some Texas town you’ve never heard of or one that is at least a 4 hour drive from wherever you are currently.

Then there is the BBQ snob.  This type of Texas food snob will inform you about the best place ever somewhere not listed in the Yellow Pages. No you will find it on the side of the road, isolated from every form of civilization, except someone decided to plop down a double-wide and hang a sign out advertising BBQ ribs and chicken.  Wooden picnic tables come standard.

I’m quickly becoming the other kind of snob – the dreaded taco snob. If the taco has lettuce in it, the restaurant will be forever known as Taco Bell-ish or Chi-Chi’s-like. Then there is the tortilla, is it too doughy or too dry or too greasy?  Is the meat properly seasoned? Is there enough cilantro or did they forget the cilantro?  If you haven’t read my Gas Station Tacos blog, you are missing the sad, pathetic monster I am becoming…

So, when it comes to tacos — I am unbearable, which brings me to my making some Baja Tacos from The Savvy Spoon blog.  In full disclosure, I know the blogger as we have some common friends and both attended a Social Media Club event where we met. Cayla is a fellow California native who is also now here in Dallas.

I noticed the Baja Taco recipe while reading her blog last weekend and decided it looked like a good option after work. It’s simple. I could make the chicken before I left for work and I had all the ingredients without a stop at the grocery store.

One of the ingredients did make me hesitate: the use of packet McCormick’s Hot Taco Seasoning. I actually had some in my spice cabinet since I used to use it for ground beef hard shell tacos in my B.T.I.T..S. (Before Turning Into a Taco Snob) phase. Yes I know it reads “Be Tits”. Oh well, it just came out that way by accident. I swear.

If I had to do this recipe again, I’d remove the packet.  It’s far too salty. Instead, I’d substitute the following:

1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Ground Cayenne
ground pepper to taste
and reduce the water from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup

I think that would improve the flavor and take away the excessive salt from the McCormick’s product. Other than that change, I think the tacos are a good option for a simple after work dinner.

Thanks Cayla. I hope you’ll understand my change as I am a taco snob.

For the recipe and other great recipes and food finds checkout The Savvy Spoon Blog.

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