Stuffed peppers were always a common meal that my mother cooked up while I was growing up. She would take green bell peppers, cut off the top of them, remove the inner part and ‘veins’ along with the seeds, roast them in the oven until the peppers would be partially cooked and then stuff them with an assortment of toppings.
Usually, those said toppings included the ground beef that she would brown up in a skillet with a diced onion, tomato sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. She would turn these into a meal, sometimes paired with a pan of fresh cornbread (my parents were veritable bread fiends who always seemed to feature some kind of bread as a side item for most meals).
I didn’t begin cooking until I was nearly 21-years-old in 2012, and the idea of cooking up a batch of stuffed peppers never occurred to me until well after my mom’s stroke in November 2018. While taking care of her, she asked if I could cook some for dinner one evening. I couldn’t believe that, after nearly seven years of cooking, I had never thought about cooking them since they made for a fairly quick and easy dinner during weeknights when I was a child, so I recreated her recipe, except I incorporated white rice that I cooked in some chicken broth and Italian seasoning to go along with the browned ground beef, diced onions and tomato sauce.
These days, I have what I will declare as a way better version of stuffed peppers: grilled stuffed peppers. I have thrown down some grilled, stuffed bell peppers multiple times at this point, but recently my local grocery store has begun to sell poblano peppers. Poblano peppers are just about as mild as bell peppers, but I prefer the flavor. Today, I want to offer you guys the prospect of grilling stuffed poblano peppers, which I believe you should include in your future grill meals this summer (or in the spring, fall and winter if you are a year-round outdoor griller like me).
For the grilled stuffed poblano peppers, I want to mention that I left out the tomato sauce. I didn’t have any on hand, but they were just fine without them. If you want to use them, then fair game! Add what you see fit. I made some with browned ground beef and some with leftover pulled pork that I smoked in my recently purchased Po’Man Grill. As much as I would like to call this a recipe, consider it to be more of a guide. Without further ado, let’s roll on to it.
- Six poblano peppers, tops removed and cut down the middle, flattened. Remember: this recipe is merely a guide, so you can cut down on the amounts used pending on how many people you are cooking for.
- Cooking oil
- Your choice of cheese. I used sliced cheese from a block of Colby Jack Cheese and pepperjack cheese respectively. About eight small slices. I also used a Mexican 4-cheese blend, featuring cheddar, Monterey Jack, queso quesadilla and asadero cheese.
- Ground beef, browned. I used 80% lean/20% fat ground beef.
- Leftover smoked pulled pork (optional of course — if you have it, try it!)
- Diced onions to cook in the ground beef when you brown it; I only used half of a white onion since I was only cooking about a pound of ground beef
- Taco seasoning — season to taste; I used Blackstone Taco & Fajita seasoning just because it is my favorite taco seasoning out there, but you can use your favorite for a southwestern Tex-Mex flavor. Add it to the ground beef and diced onions when you saute them.
- Mahatma yellow rice — this is the game changer, in my opinion. The spices involved, along with hints of onion and garlic, add to the deliciousness of these grilled suffed poblano peppers
How to Grill Stuffed Poblano Peppers
In this recipe, I grilled a couple of stuffed bell peppers as well, for the picky crowd, so keep this in mind if anybody requests that variety.
- Cook the yellow rice according to the package instructions (I used a family pack of the yellow rice — boil 3 and 1/2 cups of water, add the package of rice, reduce heat to medium low and cover for 20 minutes or until done).
- You can do this on your grill, but I was in a hurry, so I browned up the ground beef and diced onions in the taco seasoning in my cast iron skillet on my stove.
- Using a charcoal grill (if you are using a gas grill, fire it up to 350-400 degrees), I lit a small chimney of charcoal, allowed it to burn for 20-25 minutes and added them to the grill before adding my grates and procuring the lid on top. Both the intake and exhaust vents were set to being wide open.
- Preparing the poblano peppers — I removed the tops, sliced them into two sections and flatted them (seeds removed). This is my method that I find to be the most efficient: I applied a liberal amount of cooking oil (I used canola oil) to my hands and rubbed the skin and innards of the peppers. This is to create a thin layer of fat on the peppers in order to help the roasting process and keep them from sticking on the grill grates.
- I placed the peppers skin-side down onto the grate over the hot coals and cooked them for a couple of minutes before flipping them over to cook the inside of them for an additional minute or two before removing them.
- I added a spoonful or two of rice to the peppers followed by the pulled pork on some of them and ground beef and onions on the others before topping them with the cheese. This allows the cheese to melt down on everything.
- I re-added the peppers to the indirect side of the grill, closed the lid and allowed the cheese to melt for five to ten minutes.
- Remove and enjoy!
I highly recommend giving this recipe a shot. If you choose to use bell peppers, give them the same treatment with the coking oil and blemishing of the skin and innards on the grill for that classic grilled flavor. If you try this recipe (er, guide), let me know what you think in the comments.