We're huge fans of stuffed peppers, so its natural that we bring our peppers outside and cook them on our outdoor grill. This recipe is similar to chili rellenos, found in the American Southwest and Mexico, but they're grilled, not deep-fried, which adds a delicious, smoky flavor to the entree, and makes them a very healthy dish.
Tools: Outdoor grill, any variety, grill rack; see text
Anaheim or poblano chili peppers; see text
Using a sharp kitchen knife, make a slit lengthwise down the side of each chili pepper. Remove seeds, ribs inside peppers, and as much as the core as possible, taking care to leave the stems attached. Note: The stems make an attractive presentation and offer something to grab on to, if needed. Reserve
Peel back ears from corn, remove. Remove and discard corn silk. Reserve.
Photo: Anaheim chili peppers are stuffed with a previously grilled mixture of delicious vegetables.
Using sharp knife, slice lengthwise the squash, potato and onion half. I prefer to slice to a thickness of about 1/2" but it's not critical. I suggest that you make all piece roughly the same thickness, for uniform cooking. Remove skins from garlic cloves and slice lengthwise into slices about 1/4" thick. Reserve all vegetables.
Light grill, spray with non-stick spray, and bring to high heat. Spray grill rack with non-stick spray. Place potato slices, tomato slices, onion slices and garlic on grill rack. Spray vegetables with canola spray. Turn over and spray other side. Sprinkle desired amount of Canadian Steak Seasoning, if used, on vegetables. Place squash and corn on a plate, and spray both sides with the non-stick spray. Sprinkle Canadian Steak Seasoning on vegetables, if used.
Photo: Vegetables for the stuffed chili peppers cooking on the grill. Note the grill basket to the rear of the grill, as its used so the small and "mushier" vegetabls don't fall through the cracks in the grill. Note the attractive grill marks that are beginning to appear.
During one of my trips to Mexico, I learned a neat trick, as I had the opportunity to attend a family barbecue while visiting friends in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. When the grill reached operating temperature, my friend took a half an onion and rubbed the grill with it. Not only did the onion add to the "non-sticking" power, but it added a heavenly aroma, which will find its way into your food. Now, I always coat the surface of the grill with an onion. It's a great way to utilize an onion that's past its prime.
Place grill rack, with vegetables, on grill, near the rear. Place corn and squash near the front. Use direct, high heat, as the object is to sear the vegetables, and to implant attractive grill marks. Total cooking will be about 20 minutes. The corn should be turned four times, in order to cook each side, and the potatoes and squash should be allowed to cook for 10 minutes, then turned over, and allowed to cook for another 5 minutes before removing. The tomato and garlic slices should cook for 10 minutes and then removed from the grill. You don't need to turn over the tomato or garlic.
Removed cooked vegetables from grill and allow them to cool. At this stage, the vegetables are about 2/3 cooked; they will be finished when they are placed in the chili peppers.
When vegetables are cool enough to work with, dice garlic, tomato, squash and potato into small pieces, about 1/4" by 1/4" and place in mixing bowel. Remove kernels of corn from cobs. The method that I use is that I cut the tip off the ear of corn, so when I hold it vertically, it won't move around. Using a sharp kitchen knife, I simply slice off the kernels, as I hold the ear of corn vertically, on a cutting board. Add corn to mixing bowl with other vegetables.
Add salt and cheese, if used, to vegetables and stir well. Using your bare hands, stuff mixture in equal amounts of vegetable mixture into each pepper, placing as much as you can into each pepper. Spray each stuffed pepper with non-stick spray. You'll probably have left over vegetable mixture, but that's not a problem as it is makes a delicious side dish.
Photo: These stuffed poblano chili peppers are ready to be removed from the grill.
Spray non-stick cooking spray on grill, being mindful of flare-ups. If desired, rub onion on grill. Place stuffed peppers on grill. Grill for about 15 minutes, or until charred grill marks appear, turn over and grill for an additional 10 minutes. Total grilling time for the stuffed peppers is between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on your grill. I use a Weber Genesis 3000 LX LP gas grill, and I grill my stuffed peppers at a temperature of 350 degrees.
When attractive grill marks are seared on both sides of your stuffed peppers, they're done. Remove from grill and allow to cool. Serve immediately. Note: remove stem and core before eating, as its non-edible and tends to be very hot!
There is absolutely nothing critical about this recipe, including cooking times, cooking methods, type of pepper, or what you stuff it with. I've used Anaheim, poblano and jalapeņo peppers, and my wife has even used the boring bell pepper. You can stuff your peppers with whatever you have on hand, including any type of meat. Our stuffed peppers are a great way to utilize leftovers and add a delicious side dish to your grilled meal. I serve them with Mexican dishes as well, as an alternative to deep fried chili rellenos.
Photo: If you don't have an outdoor grill, or if you just don't want to bother cooking ourdoors, as an indoor George Foreman grill will do a fine job.
You don't even need an outdoor grill, as I've made stuffed peppers using my George Foreman grill with great results. Of course you don't get the smoky flavor, and you can't use whole ears of corn, but I simply substitute frozen corn, that's thawed, and cook the kernels on the grill. This recipe is absolutely foolproof!
Give these stuffed peppers a try, as they're delicious, healthy, and fun to make.
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