Saturday trips to the farmers' market are both the highlight of my week and a leading source of stress. This is because half of East Atlanta also had the same idea as me, and you're left battling it out over an inch of room in front of the piles of bok choy and basil.
Lack of space is the only bad part of the trip. The best is seeing rows and rows of fresh, and often unknown, produce that inspires you to create recipes on the fly. The peppers-stuffed-with-pasta recipe below is clearly one of those.
The use of orzo as the filling is not a stretch, really. The small rice-shaped pasta combines well with the other ingredients to make a salad-like stuffing, and when cooked inside the pepper, the orzo absorbs some of the pepper's flavor. It does sound odd at first to combine Italian and South American flavors, but they work surprisingly well together.
The one tip I will provide for the recipe below is to add the chipotle powder to the tofu mixture gradually. If you can't take the heat, don't start by adding the full half tablespoon. Start with less and add more to taste. If you love sweating during meals, add a tablespoon—or two.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers With a Chipotle 'Cream' Sauce
For the Peppers:
•Preheat the oven to 350°F.
•In a medium bowl, combine the orzo, onions, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined.
•Place the poblanos on a flat surface and cut out a long triangular portion from the top (stem to tip) to make room for the filling. Remove the seeds.
•Fill each pepper with the orzo mixture and put the triangular piece of pepper back in place, covering the hole.
•Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tender.
For the Chipotle 'Cream':
•Combine the tofu, vegan mayo, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and chipotle powder in a blender or food processor and purée until very smooth.
•Season with salt, pepper, and additional chipotle powder, if desired. Blend until smooth.
•Remove the triangular pieces from the top of each pepper. Set aside or discard.
•Drizzle some of the chipotle "cream" over each poblano and serve.
Makes 4 servings
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