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Chorizo-and-Queso-Chihuahua-Stuffed Chiles with Mexican Rice


Queso Chihuahua—one of the most popular cheeses in Mexico—is named for the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua where it was first produced. Slightly salty and tangy, queso Chihuahua melts easily to add creamy texture to dishes in much the same way mozzarella or white cheddar is used. It is available in Latin markets or in supermarkets with international cheese sections.

Prepare fresh ranchero sauce ahead of time and warm it before spooning over the stuffed chiles. As an alternative to charring the poblanos on gas stovetop burners, broil them until the skin is blackened and blistered, then proceed with the recipe.

Chorizo-and-Queso-Chihuahua-Stuffed Chiles with Mexican Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Stuffed Chiles

  • 4 large poblano chiles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 habanero chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2/3 lb chorizo, casing removed
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded queso Chihuahua
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup warm ranchero sauce

For the Mexican Rice

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts chopped separately
  • 2 cayenne or serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, soaked in water 30 minutes, drained, and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 2/3 cups vegetable broth

Preparation

For the Stuffed Chiles

Char the poblanos, turning frequently, on two burners of a gas stovetop over medium-high flames until the skin is blackened and blistered all over (see photo below). Remove the chiles to a paper bag, close tightly, and steam 15 minutes.
Remove the poblanos from the bag and scrape off the charred skin with a small, sharp knife. Slice off the stem end of each chile and pull out the seeds and membranes. Set aside.
Heat a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, habanero chile, and chorizo and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until the vegetables are tender and the chorizo is just cooked through, 6-7 minutes.
Remove to a medium bowl and cool to room temperature. Stir in the queso Chihuahua and cilantro and combine well. Divide the chorizo-cheese mixture among the poblanos, packing each tightly.
Wipe out the skillet and re-heat over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and fry the stuffed chiles 2 minutes. Turn and fry 2 minutes longer, until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot throughout.
Place one stuffed poblano on each of 4 plates and spoon ranchero sauce over and around the peppers. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over all and serve with Mexican rice alongside.

For the Mexican Rice

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the white parts of the scallions and the chiles and stir-fry 2 minutes.
Add the rice, cilantro, and cumin and season with salt and pepper. Stir-fry 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a slight boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook 20 minutes until tender but not mushy.
Serve with the greens parts of the scallions sprinkled on top.