ROASTED POBLANOS STUFFED W/ VENISON CHORIZO, GOAT CHEESE GRITS & SALSA MEXICANA
Back in my restaurant days I used to mix the American south and Latin American cuisines together on the regular. They are my true first loves of food, so this carries over to my wild game cooking as well.
This recipe has lot going for it flavor wise, with a little heat from poblanos, tanginess from the venison chorizo, richness from the goat cheese grits and body from the salsa Mexicana.
These are perfect for dinner and make a heck of a sunday brunch entree topped with a fried egg.
COOKS NOTES: These peppers can be stuffed, placed in a covered baking dish and refrigerated the day before you eat them. Cook covered with aluminum foil in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and top with warmed salsa Mexicana.
for the chorizo (makes 2.5 pounds)
• 1 3/4 pounds - ground venison
• 3/4 pounds - ground pork belly or shoulder
• 4 1/2 tsp - salt
• 2 tbsp - ancho chile powder
• 1 1/2 tsp - paprika
• 1/2 tsp - cinnamon
• 1 1/2 tsp - chopped garlic
• 1 1/2 tsp - ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 tsp - chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
• 1/4 tsp - cumin
• 1 1/2 tsp - apple cider vinegar
for the grits
• 1 cup - grits ( I like Geechie boy)
• 4 cups - water
• 2 tbsp - butter
• 3 tbsp - goats cheese
• salt and pepper to taste
for the salsa Mexicana
• 3 tbsp - ancho chile powder
• 1 tbsp - chopped garlic
• 1 small - white onion (chopped)
• 2 tbsp - cilantro
• 1/2 tsp - ground cumin
• 1/4 tsp - dried oregano
• 8 - plum tomatoes
• 1 tsp - salt (or to taste)
• 2 tbsp - corn or peanut oil
for the roasted poblanos
• 6 - poblano peppers (uniformed shapes)
• 1 tbsp- high heat cooking oil (to brush on the peppers before roasting)
1. Make the grits. Heat the water over high heat until it reaches a boil. Add the grits to the water and lower the heat to a slow simmer. Stir the grits well and cover with a lid. Stir the grits every couple of minutes, adding extra water if they become too thick. After the grits are tender (about 30 minutes) stir in the goat cheese, butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
2. Roast the poblanos. Set an oven rack about 4-6 inches from the heating elements and turn the oven to broil. Brush a little oil all over the poblanos. Roast the peppers, turning ever so often until charred on both sides. While the peppers are still hot, place in a bowl and cover with plastic for 10 minutes. Peel the blistered skin from the peppers. With a knife make an insicion on one side of the pepper. Carefully open the peppers and scoop out the seeds, ensuring that you don’t rip the pepper. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on broil for the next step.
3. Make the salsa Mexicana. Place the tomatoes, onion and garlic in an oven proof pan and roast in the pre-heated oven until lightly charred, turning every so often (around 10 minutes). Place all of the charred and remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the puréed mixture to the pan and cook for 10 minutes while stirring frequently. Add a little water if it becomes to thick. Set aside to cool.
4. Make the chorizo. Mix together all of the chorizo ingredients until incorporated very well. In a skillet over medium high heat, cook 2 cups of chorizo (the rest can be frozen for another use) until well browned.
5. Stuff and bake the peppers. Preheat your
oven to 350 degrees. After all of the ingredients have thoroughly chilled.
Place enough chorizo inside of the peppers to fill anywhere from 1/4 - 1/2 way full. Fill the peppers the rest of the way with the grits. Top with more goat cheese if you like and place in an oven-proof baking dish. Bake until the peppers are heated through (about 12 minutes). Serve with warm salsa Mexicana.