Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Chorizo-Stuffed Poblanos with Dried-Chile Sauce

This dish is all about chiles—from mild to hot, green to red, large to small, fresh to dried. If you love chiles like I do, there’s no such thing as too many. 

Dried and Fresh Chiles
California chiles are dried anaheims, so they’re very mild. But like most dried chiles, they add a deliciously rich, earthy, smoky flavor to sauces, regardless of the heat level. I can’t go without a little spice, however, so I included two jalapenos in the sauce—one red, one green. Of course, you can use whatever colors you like, or use only one jalapeno for less heat.

Charring the poblanos deepens their smoky flavor, and it’s easy to do, especially if you have a gas range. If you use electric, broil the chiles until the skin blisters, turning several times to blacken all sides. Then proceed with the recipe.

Tip: Be sure to chop the reconstituted dried chiles very, very finely once they’re cool enough to handle. This helps ensure that the processor will take care of the rest—and that you’re not left with larger pieces of chile in the sauce.

For a spicier dried chile sauce, see Ranchero Sauce.

Serves 4


For the Sauce
  • 6 dried California chiles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt
Chopped Ingredients
For the Stuffed Poblanos
  • 4 poblano chiles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb Mexican chorizo
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt
  • 4 oz shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • cooked white rice, for serving
Mexican Chorizo

For the Sauce
  1. Remove the stems and tear each dried chile into 2 or 3 pieces. (Shake out any loose seeds, if desired.) Place them in a saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the chiles in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. When the chiles are cool enough to handle, transfer them to a cutting board and chop very finely.
Dried Chiles Beginning to Simmer 
Softened Chiles
Finely Chopped California Chiles
  1. Re-heat the saucepan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic, jalapeno chiles, and onion and sauté 4 minutes.
  2. Add the broth, reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin and season with salt. Increase the heat and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and let cool 10 minutes.
  3. Place the chopped California chiles in a food processor and add the cooled broth mixture. Process until well blended and the sauce is slightly thickened with a creamy texture. Transfer to a bowl if not using right away. Re-warm gently before using.
Garlic Mixture Beginning to Cook 
Ready to Process 
Dried-Chile Sauce
For the Stuffed Poblanos
  1. If you have a gas range, char the poblanos over a direct flame until blackened and blistered all over. Transfer to a paper bag, close tightly, and steam 15 minutes. (Alternatively, char the chiles under a broiler and proceed with the recipe.)
  2. Remove the poblanos from the bag and use a small paring knife to gently scrape away the blistered skin. (Not every bit will come off, and that’s okay.) 
  3. Carefully run the knife around the stem end of the chiles and pull off the tops and attached seed clusters. Wipe out any additional seeds from the cavity, if desired.
Poblanos Beginning to Char 
Charred Poblanos
Steamed Poblanos
Scraped Poblanos
Run a knife around the seed cluster
Ready to Stuff
  1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the chorizo and next 4 ingredients (through cumin) and season with salt.
  2. Cook, breaking up the chorizo into small pieces, until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool 10 minutes. Stir in half the shredded cheese until well combined and slightly melted.
Chorizo Mixture Beginning to Cook 
Cooked Chorizo Mixture 
Cheese Added 
Cheese Stirred In
  1. Lay the pobanos on a work surface. Divide the chorizo mixture and stuff into the poblanos. (Tip: Divide the mixture in the skillet into 4 equal parts, then stuff the chiles.)
  2. Wipe out the skillet and reheat over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, swirling to coat. 
  3. Place the stuffed poblanos in the skillet and sear 3 minutes on 1 side. Turn and sear 2 minutes on the other side. (Don’t worry if some off the stuffing comes out. Press a little back in with a spatula and serve the rest loose on the plate.)
Divide the filling into 4 parts 
Stuffed Poblanos 
Beginning to Sear 
After Turning
Divide the rice on 4 plates. Top each with a stuffed poblano and spoon the chile sauce generously overtop. Sprinkle each with the remaining cheese and serve, passing any remaining sauce at the table.

Chorizo-Stuffed Poblanos with Dried-Chile Sauce

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