Monday, February 20, 2012

Sweet and Spicy Sausage Stuffed Peppers

I don't know if I have mentioned this, but Mr. What I Gather is training for a Half Ironman in May. This means many things for me:

1) He eats like a horse. Or actually, about three horses. You do not want to see our grocery bill.

2) I get to don an "Iron Wife" shirt at his race and make posters that say "Go, Baby, Go!" or something of a similar nature. I am even wrangling some family members to join us at the race as his own personal cheering section!

3) He spends A LOT of time training, especially on the weekends, which means I am left at home alone to experiment in the kitchen.

The majority of my experiments start with a trip through the kitchen to see what random ingredients are in danger of being past their prime. Maybe they were left over from last week's grocery trip and hadn't been used yet or maybe it was a spice that had sat longingly on the shelf for too long.

This week, that ingredient was poblano peppers. I picked them up on a whim, but never really had a plan for them. We both loved stuffed peppers, so I did another lap around the kitchen to see what they could be stuffed with. What I ended up with was a mixture of sausage, onions and mushrooms atop a bed of creamy, chipotle mashed sweet potatoes.

Mr. What I Gather came home exhausted, but happy to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of my labor.

Sweet and Spicy Sausage Stuffed Peppers
Serves: 5
Prep Time: 15
Cook Time: 25
Total Time: 40

-5 poblano peppers
-1/2 lb ground pork sausage
-1 medium sweet potato, cubed
-1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped
-1/2 yellow onion, diced
-4 button mushrooms, diced
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-1/4 cup loosely packed chopped cilantro leaves
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp cumin
-dash of salt and pepper

-Preheat oven to 450 F. At the same time, begin to boil a medium sized pot with six cups of water.
-Cut tops off poblanos and slice in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and membrane.
-Place peppers on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
-While peppers are roasting, add cubed sweet potato to pot and boil for 10 minutes.
-Drain pot and add sweet potatoes to a bowl with chopped chipotle pepper. Mash and set aside.
-Remove peppers from oven and let cool enough to handle.
-While peppers are cooling, heat a pan over medium heat.
-Once hot, add the sausage and brown for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
-Remove from heat and add chopped cilantro and spices.
-Spread about two tablespoons of sweet potato into each pepper (you may have a little more or a little less depending on the size of the sweet potato) and top with about two to three tablespoons of sausage mixture. 
-Return stuffed peppers to the oven for 8 minutes.
-Turn oven to broil and cook for an additional 2 minutes.