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Though it's a bit time consuming, this main dish is well worth the effort. Not only will guests be convinced that you're a culinary whiz, your family will appreciate that you've made something special just for them.
To make preparation a little easier, make the Tomatillo Salsa a day ahead. It keeps for several days in the refrigerator and retains flavor quite well.
If you're not acquainted with fresh Poblano peppers, called Pasilla peppers in California, here's a bit of info that may help. Poblano peppers are 5 to 8 inches long, very shiny, and dark green in color. Pasilla peppers are actually quite different. They are dark brown when mature and grow to 10 to 12 inches long. When shopping for poblano peppers, you never know if you've purchased spicy ones or those that are on the mild side. Even in the same bin there are some of each. Another phenomenon of the Poblano is that it could be spicy at one end and mild at the other. In rating the degree of spiciness, however, we've noticed these peppers are never as hot as jalapenos, yet offer exceptional flavor.
STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS
1 large broccoli crown, about 3/4 to 1 lb (340g to 453g)., cut into quarters
1 lb. (453 g) extra firm tofu
1 green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 t. salt or to taste
1/4 t. pepper
3 T. lemon juice
6 large or 8 medium fresh poblano peppers
2 T. finely diced red bell pepper
- Put about 1/4" of water into a 2-quart (2 liter) saucepan, add broccoli, and cover pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat to low, and steam until just tender, about 6 minutes. Set aside.
- Crumble tofu into food processor workbowl. Add green onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Process until well blended.
- When broccoli is soft, cool briefly under cold water, drain, and chop coarsely. Add to tofu mixture in food processor, and process until well incorporated. Season to taste if needed.
- Wash and dry peppers. Put peppers on stovetop gas or electric burners over high heat. Using tongs to turn peppers, cook them until almost blackened, turning constantly. Plunge them into a bowl of cold water to cool. Under running water, use fingers to rub off blackened skins.
- Using a serrated knife, cut around top of peppers to remove stem and core. Rinse out any remaining seeds.
- Fill peppers with tofu broccoli mixture and arrange them in a 7" x 9" (17 1/2 x 23 cm) glass baking dish. Pour three-fourths of the Tomatillo Salsa over them, reserving the remainder to serve at the table.
- Sprinkle diced red bell pepper over the top, and bake at 350 F(Gas Mark 4) for 20 to 25 minutes to heat through. Serves 6.
TOMATILLO PISTACHIO SALSA
- Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash them. Cut them in half and put them into a 3 or 4-quart (3 or 4 liter) saucepan with just enough water to cover.
- Cover saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil about 2 or 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, put the tomatillos and onions into the food processor along with the garlic. Process to chunky consistency.
- Add lime juice and salt, adjusting the flavors to your own personal taste. Remove to a bowl and stir in pistachios. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 3 cups (717 ml).
NOTE: Since the pasilla peppers can sometimes be a bit spicy, we keep the salsa unspiced. However, if you've got a bent for the spicy life, add jalapeno to taste when you whirling the tomatillos and onions in the processor.
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