Saturday, December 6, 2008

Stuffed Poblano Breakfast Peppers

I picked up a couple of perfect poblano peppers last night, ideally shaped for making some version of chiles rellenos. These are a couple of steps removed from typical rellenos, as they're oven-roasted rather than battered and fried. For the filling, I used one of those tofu scrambles we all love so much, mixed with my favorite greasy hashbrowns. I was going to top these with salsa, but googled a recipe for nacho cheezy sauce.

There are all kinds of ways to roast peppers, from broiling to grilling to charring the skins over a gas stove. My favorite is on a charcoal grill, but the last couple of times I've roasted peppers I've fried them in my soup pot in some canola oil on maximum high heat (another tip from a Rick Bayless book). The peppers crackle and sputter and it seems like you're going to burn the kitchen down, but this works really well. A soup pot works well because the oil stays mostly contained. I'm sure when more competent cooks do this there's less oil spattering around, but I don't see the fun in that. I fried these for a few minutes on each side, until the whole pepper is black and charred and generally looks a disaster. After letting them cool for 20 minutes or so, the blackened skin rubs off easily. What remains is a nicely roasted pepper - cut a small slit into the cooled pepper, and gently rinse out as many seeds as you can.

My tofu breakfast scramble is never the same twice, but this time it includes a few shredded leftover baked potatoes, tofu, half a white onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, nooch and seasonings. Here I used cumin, turmeric, ancho chile powder, lemon juice, paprika, and probably some other stuff that was within arm's reach. The basis for my tofu scramble will always be the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe.

So that's about it. I stuffed as much tofu hash into the peppers as they could handle, and then put in a little more. I popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 F or so. The topping, pictured below, is a mix of nutritional yeast, canned roasted red peppers, rolled oats, cashews, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder. Blend it all up, saute it for a few minutes, and you have a nifty blob of nacho cheeziness. Sort of a mess, but there's breakfast.