I wish you could see the recipe ideas I have in my noggin, the list of inspirations sitting in my laptop that have yet to be attempted.
I wish you could be there when the light bulb over my head brightens, and I start getting all food-geek on whoever’s next to me.
It’s frustrating when you have all these sparks going off in your head…
But you lack the ingredients, time, money, energy, or motivation.
To. Just. Focus.
Fortunately, other things still happen. Everything just kinda falls into place…
Much like other things in life.
Millet & Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos
This recipe is an impromptu result of seeing poblano peppers on sale at the farmer’s market. The Mexican in me cannot resist. Everything else I had on hand, but at the end of the recipe I shall offer variation depending on what you have.
4 medium poblano peppers
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup millet
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup cooked black beans
a handful of chopped fresh cilantro
1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush the peppers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and roast until the skins become wrinkly and tender.
2) While the peppers are roasting, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the carrots, mushrooms, onion and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the millet and spices (cumin through thyme). Stir the mixture around to toast the millet and distribute the spices. Add 3/4 cup water, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. After 20-30 minutes, all the water should be absorbed and the millet fluffy. It’s like cooking rice, don’t freak out. Once the millet is done, remove from heat, and add the black beans, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3) The annoying part: once the poblano peppers are cool enough to handle, cut out the stems, and slice the peppers almost in half lengthwise, leaving some connection so that they resemble wings. Use your fingers to scrape out the seeds.
4) Generously fill one half of each pepper with the millet mixture, fold over the other half, and place in a baking dish. Repeat until all the peppers are stuffed.
At this point, you can refrigerate the peppers until you are ready to heat and serve. Otherwise, pop them in the oven until hot. Any temperature between 350°F and 450°F should be fine.
Variations: Millet is a wonderful, relatively inexpensive grain I finally tried, but rice, quinoa, barley, etc. can be substituted. Just check the water and time requirement for cooking. Any type of cooked bean, peas or lentils can also replace the black beans. And if poblanos are too hot for you (though they’re fairly mild), you can use bell peppers which have no heat at all; the only issue is that bell peppers tend to be larger, so you may need to make more filling
Ideas on how to serve…
Melted cheese. Avocado or guacamole. Hot sauce. Salsa. Sour cream…
Y’know. Whatever you got.