Man Fuel: I’ve been trying to get my friend (let’s call him “Double Down”) to do a guest blog on my site for a few months now. He tells me about a lot of the food he makes and it all sounds great. He’s like me in that he’s a guy with self-taught cooking skills (although he has been taking a few classes recently to step up his game). He’s also the same guy that inspired me to make a Pork Wellington when he told me that he had conquered the Beef Wellington. Read on for his Chiles Rellenos with ground beef recipe!
Double Down: I was talking with Man Fuel about potential uses for some ground beef I had thawed when he threw out the idea of stuffed peppers. I love stuffed peppers, and I love Mexican food even more, so I tried out a chile relleno recipe I found on Martha Stewart’s website. I made a few modifications (such as adding ground beef) and I have some lessons learned to share as well.
Makes 5 servings of about 379 calories each (1895 total).
- 1 28oz can of peeled whole tomatoes in puree (about 175 – 200 cal.)
- 1 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed) minced (about 5 cal.)
Note: I used two jalapenos with seeds and ribs intact, because I really wanted some heat in these)
- 2 small onions, chopped (about 30 cal.)
- 3 garlic cloves (2 whole, 1 minced) (about 4 cal. per clove or 12 cal. total)
- Coarse salt
- Ground pepper
- 1 can of 19 oz. black beans, rinsed and drained (about 428 cal.)
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (about 220 cal.)
- 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (about 400 cal.)
Man Fuel Note: See the “Lessons Learned” below for other cheese options.
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 large poblano chiles, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed
Note: I used five due to adding meat to the recipe and this seemed to hold the total volume perfectly
- About 0.75 lbs of ground beef (about 600 cal.)
Note: I bought fairly lean, grass-fed meat, but I’m sure it would be delicious with anything from old boot leather to cardboard.
- 3/4 cups water
- Preheat oven to 425.
- In a blender, combine the canned tomatoes, jalapeno (1 or 2, with or without seeds/ribs), half of the onions, and 2 whole garlic cloves until pureed.
- Season with salt. Pour sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Note: This can be done in a food processor just as easily. The sauce came out tangy, spicy, and thick. Basically, I wanted to live in it. Taste it before you pour to make sure you like it as is!
- Place 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet, heat until shimmering, and brown the beef. Add salt, pepper, and cumin to taste.
Man Fuel Note: Add a little cumin at first because a little goes a long way. Try increments of a 1/2 teaspoon at a time.
- In a medium bowl, combine beans, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, remaining onions, the minced garlic clove, cumin, browned beef, and 3/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.
Man Fuel Note: See the “Lessons Learned” below for some tips regarding the cornmeal and water amounts.
- Dividing evenly, stuff poblano halves with bean/meat mixture and place on top of sauce in baking dish. Sprinkle poblanos with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and cover baking dish tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake until poblanos are tender (about 45 minutes). Uncover, and continue to cook until sauce is thickened slightly and cheese is browned (about 10 to 15 minutes more).
- Remove from the oven and let cool 10 minutes.
- I’d consider adding some extra cornmeal and water to mixture since the recipe I started didn’t include an extra 0.75 lbs of beef.
- If you’re sometimes lazy while cooking with peppers, like me, you might be tempted to just break them up with your bare hands. If you do, wash your hands immediately and thoroughly. I touched my eyes accidentally while picking up my camera and spent the next five minutes on the living room floor crying tears of spice. My girlfriend came home and thought the Bruins were making me seriously depressed.
- The recipe called for pepper jack, but next time I’ll probably try to use something like queso fresco or cotija instead to change up the flavor.