Stuffed Poblano Peppers

  (Makes 6)

  • 6 poblano peppers
  • 4 medium sized cactus leaves (nopales)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 6  cloves garlic (3 for nopales, 3 for stuffing the poblano)
  • 2 tsp. roasted or ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn 
  • 3 zucchini, cut up into small pieces and cooked 
  • 1 tomato, cut into small dice
  • 2 Tbsp. cream cheese 
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro 
  • 1 cup shredded jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 425˚.

Rub the pepper with oil and place on a sheet pan. Roast 20 minutes until soft. 

Prepare the cactus: Using a sharp knife, trim off the edges of the cactus. Scrape the spines, thorns or eyes, running your knife from back to front until completely clean. Turn the cactus paddles and do the same on the other side. Rinse the cactus paddles and cut them into small strips.

Have a pot of boiling water with 3 cloves of garlic and salt and add the cactus, garlic and 1 tsp. of salt and boil uncovered for about 8-10 minutes or until tender. The cactus will exude a sticky substance and most times will foam, avoid the foam to spill over.

Once cooked, drain and rinse the cactus. Let them drain completely or pat them dry with paper towels. 

Cook the onions with the garlic in a skillet over medium heat until soft. Add the spices, tomato, corn, cooked cactus and cream cheese. Place all the ingredients in a bowl, add the chopped cilantro and mix well. This is the stuffing for the poblanos. 

Remove the peppers from the  oven and allow to cool. Cut each pepper in half and scrape out the seeds. Stuff the peppers with the filling and sprinkle with cheese. 

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes before serving to heat through and melt the cheese. 

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