I’m learning more and more lately that the key to making a truly excellent dish is having a perfect trifecta of salty, spicy, sweet. One of my favorite cuisines, Thai – Is an excellent example of that. Many of those dishes use fish sauce as the salty, thai chili peppers as the spicy, and a bit of brown sugar as the sweetener – i.e. this Thai Beef Salad. I’m also learning that Mexican food benefits from this same trio of flavors. Take this Picadillo for instance – It combines green olives for the salty, cayenne for the spicy, and golden raisins for the little bit of sweetness.
These stuffed poblano peppers are putting that same methodology to use – Salty pepitas (pumpkin seeds) combine with the spicy poblanos and a little bit of sweetness is added from the dried currants. Plus, we’re adding one more flavor into the mix – Tangy. The lime Mexican crema tops the whole thing off and really takes this dish over the top.
To pair with this flavorful dish, I decided that not just any wine would do. I wanted something a bit more exotic than my basic EDD (every day drinking wine). Malbec immediately popped into my head. I scavenged through our wine stash and found the perfect bottle – Crios Malbec. With flavors of cherries, oak spice, and violets, lush body, and a hint of spice – This was the perfect wine to stand up to the heat and heartiness of these stuffed poblanos.
Crios has a great story behind it too. It’s a family-owned brand by Susana Balbao, Argentina’s leading and most innovative winemaker. Crios in Spanish means “offspring” and was created by Susana as a tribute to her son, José, and daughter, Ana. Ana and José are now young-adults who are lending their point of view to the wines being created by the family brand. The grapes are harvested from specific areas in Mendoza and Salta in Argentina, which are producing optimal, fruit-forward flavors. Plus, each wine carries an inspirational message that represents either a milestone in Susana’s life, or the story about how the wine was made. The inspirational message of Crios Malbec is “Be Brave.” Susana was inspired to change the perception of Malbec from a forgotten grape to Argentina’s iconic varietal.
Are you drinking Malbec? Be sure to give it a try! It also pairs very well with tuna steaks, lamb or hamburgers.
- 8 Ounces Lean Ground Beef
- ½ Cup Long Grain White Rice
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 Yellow Onion, diced
- 2 Poblano Peppers
- 1 Lime, Quartered
- ¼ Cup Minced Cilantro
- 3 Tablespoons Dried Currants
- 3 Tablespoons Roasted Pepitas
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
- ¼ Cup Mexican Crema (or sour cream)
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
- In a small pot, combine the rice, 1 cup of water and a big pinch of salt. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 14 to 16 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat. Fluff the cooked rice with a fork.
- Place the poblano peppers on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven 5 to 7 minutes, or until the skin is browned and blistered. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, leaving the oven on. When cool enough to handle, make a lengthwise slit in each pepper and remove and discard the ribs and seeds.
- While the peppers cool, in a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the ground beef. Cook, breaking the meat apart with a spoon, until browned and cooked through. Stir in the currants, pepitas, cooked rice and ¼ cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well combined and heated through, 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Stuff each pepper with as much of the filling as possible (you may have extra filling). Bake 4 to 6 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from the oven.
- While the peppers bake, in a small bowl, combine the Mexican crema, the juice of 2 lime wedges, half the cilantro and 1 tablespoon of water. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide the finished poblano peppers and any remaining filling between 2 plates. Top with the lime-crema sauce. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and lime wedges.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.