Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stuffed Poblano Chiles over Forbidden Black Rice Risotto with Roasted Corn-Avocado Abdi

This meal made me feel like I was eating it by the beach on some tropical island. What originally drew me to this recipe was the roasted poblano peppers. I used to love eating Chile Rellanos, which is a Mexican dish consisting of poblano peppers that are stuffed with melted cheese. So I knew I just had to try this because it sounded a little similar and definitely healthier.

Everything went so well together and again, I am not a huge tempeh fan but this I can do. The black rice I was a little iffy about...chocolate, curry rice? Didn't sound that appealing but it did sound different and so I wanted to see what it would taste like. I am glad I did because it was really good and so different from what I normally eat. I found mine at the bulk section in Whole Foods but if you can't find any, mixing 2 parts Arborio with 1 part Thai black or purple rice would also work.

I would save this recipe for special occasions only because it did take me about 2 hours to make. But what I do love about it, is it is very versitle. The tempeh pepper ragout smelled just like fajitas and therefore, would go great wrapped up in some whole wheat flour tortilla. The roasted corn avocado abdi was so crisp and refreshing that it could be served alone or as a side dish for another meal, such as a sandwich. I am thinking about making this again next time I want to really impress my friends.

Serves 6


Jerk Marinade

* 2 tsp olive oil
* 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
* 1 clove garlic
* 1/2 serrano chile
* 2 Tb Sucanat ( or any raw sugar )
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 cup tamari
* 1/2 bunch cilantro
* 1 tsp dried thyme
* 1/4 tsp ground cloves
* 1/2 tsp ground allspice
* 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
* 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water

Roasted Corn-Avocado Abdi

* 1 red onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice
* 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
* Kernels from 1 ear corn
* 4 to 6 kumquats, sliced, or 4 to 6 orange segments
* 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1 tsp allspice berries, grounded
* 1/4 bunch cilantro, stemmed and finely chopped

Forbidden Black Rice Risotto

* 2 Tb olive oil
* 1 red onion, cut into small dice
* 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
* 1 celery stalk, cut into small dice
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 tsp curry powder
* 2 tsp ancho or guajillo chile powder
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
* 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
* 1/2 cup cashew cream
* salt

Tempeh-Pepper Ragout

* 16 ounces tempeh, cut into 1 inch dice
* 1/4 cup canola oil
* 1 red onion, cut into large dice
* 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2 inch dice
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 to 4 red, yellow, purple and green peppers, cut into large dice
* 1 medium-ripe plantain, peeled and diced
* 2 tsp chile powder
* 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
* vegetable stock
* salt and freshly ground black pepper

* Juice of 1 lime
* 1/2 habanero chile, seeded, plus more as needed
* 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
* salt
* 6 poblano chiles
* 6 cilantro springs, for garnish


To Make the Marinade
1. Place a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and saute for 10 minutes or until carmelized.

2. Transfer to a blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend on low to form a thick, smooth paste.

To Make the Abdi
1. Preheat the broiler. Place the corn on baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes, or until some of the kernels start to brown.

2. Mix the onions, carrots, corn, kumquats, cucumber, oregano, allspice, and cilantro in a bowl and set aside.

To Make the Risotto
1. Place a deep skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, or until soft.

2. Add the curry, chile powder, cinnamon, chocolate, and rice and stir well. Stir in the stock. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

3. Remove the lid and simmer, stirring often, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.

4. Stir in the cashew cream and add salt to taste. Remove from the heat.

To Make the Ragout
1. Preheat the broiler. Put half of the jerk marinade in a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the canola oil and the tempeh.

2. Place the tempeh on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes or untl dry and browned.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, and saute for 5 minutes or until just soft.

4. Add the peppers, plantain, chile powder, cumin, and the remaining jerk marinade and saute for 10 minutes, or untl the peppers are soft. Add the stock, if needed, to prevent scorching.

5. Remove from the heat, and add the tempeh. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Make the Chiles
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the chiles on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, slit the chiles lengthwise, and remove the seeds and membrane. Fill each chile with about 1 cup of the ragout and return to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until heated through.

To Finish the Abdi
1. In a blender, blend the lime juice and the habanero with 1/4 cup of the abdi mix. Combine with the rest of the abdi. Gently stir in the avocado and add salt to taste.

To Serve
Place an equal mounds of the risotto on each plate. Top with a chile, and surround with some of the abdi. Garnish with a cilantro spring.

Nutritional Info :
Per Stuffed Chile : 330 calories, 17 g protein, 36.8 g carbohydrate, 15 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 42 mg sodium, 7.6 g fiber

Per 2 Tablespoons Marinade : 14 calories, 0.6 g protein, 2.9 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 252 mg sodium, 0.2 g fiber

Per Serving Abdi : 125 calories, 2.8 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 5.4 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 4.5 g fiber

Per Serving Risotto : 315 calories, 7.8 g protein, 46 g carbohydrate, 12.9 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 30 mg sodium, 5.7 g fiber


  1. Wow...what a post. Love the look of the ragout. The Forbidden Black rice risotto sounds just as tropical as you say it tastes. I'm intrigued.

  2. Wonderful, Jacklyn! I want a plate (smile). Hey, I made black rice the other day. I bought some, as I heard is packed with antioxidants. Plus, I'm trying to eat only whole grain starches, so it fit the bill...
    p.s. Abdi? In Arabic the word 'abdi' means 'my slave'. Is that a Mexican dish? If so, I was just reading about the connection between the Mexican and Arabian kitchen. Neat!

  3. Tender Branson - Thank you! Yeah, it took me awhile to type all this out haha
    They are a must try..maybe one at a time though, since it does take awhile to make it all.

    Stella- I am sure it is packed with antioxidants, considering how dark it is. I think this is more a Mexican/Arabic dish. I too am noticing that the two cultures do share a similar taste. Like I never knew cumin was an Indian spice, considering how much it is used in Mexican dishes : ]

  4. What a sophisticated dish! I love the roasted corn avocado \bdi especially.

  5. Angie - It's a must try, especially with all the hot weather we're having lately. I really refreshing dish!