Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rice & Bean Poblano

Ok, so Cooking Light calls these Refried Bean Poblanos, but doesn't my title sound so much better and appetizing? I'm trying to incorporate some meatless meals into my repertoire mainly for the variety and that they tend to be a little healthier. Well, maybe not this dish. It was a nice change though. I did do a lot of things differently in this recipe, so keep that in mind if you follow it as is. And if I make this again, I actually will add some meat. So much for vegetarian.

Rice & Bean Poblanos

4 medium poblano chiles, halved & seeded - I couldn't find poblanos at the grocery store, so I used pasilla chiles.
1 - 16 oz. can fat-free refried beans
1 - 8.8 oz. pouch microwaveable cooked long-grain rice - I used a Mexican Minute Rice package.
1/2 cup picante sauce - use any salsa you like.
1 cup 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese.
chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Place chile halves, cut sides up, on a round microwave safe plate. Cover with wax paper; microwave on High for 3 minutes.

While chiles cook, combine beans, rice, and picante sauce in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spoon bean mixture evenly into chile halves. Cover with wax paper; microwave on High for 2 minutes. Uncover chiles and sprinkle each half with cheese. Microwave on High 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro if desired.

Here's my version: Turn oven broiler on and place halved chiles on baking sheet. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn chiles over and broil for another 3 minutes, until chiles soften and get a little black.

Warm beans in microwave or over stove. Mix warm beans, cooked rice, salsa (I used a hot salsa) and a little bit of cheese together. Spoon mixture into cooked halves of the chiles. Top with cheese and put back under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes, until cheese is melted.

This wasn't a bad dish. The hot salsa and Mexican flavored rice definitely helped with the flavor. Plain rice and beans with mild salsa might have been a bit bland. The chiles are definitely mild also. Try a poblano pepper if you can find it. I have a feeling that will give the dish a little more oomph. The only reason I would add some shredded chicken or beef to this dish is because the texture of just the beans and rice is a little too mushy for me. It needs a little more contrast in the dish.

But this was an easy meal to make. It took me maybe 10 to 15 minutes total, from cutting the chiles to plate. If you have leftover filling, which I did, it is also very yummy in a rolled up tortilla.

Serve this as a side to a Mexican meal or serve as the main dish.

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