Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh Rachel-

Do you watch Rachel Ray? I do. I know she is a bit over the top but I like her...ALOT! I recorded (AKA:DVR'd) her top 10 recipes of 2009 show on Monday and I have watched it a couple of time since. She has this magic way of making everything look SO easy. However, I get in the kitchen and it becomes a HOT MESS! Tonight, NT said by looking at the mess and dishes he thought I had prepared enough food for a small nation. I was making what I assumed to be a SIMPLE dish called Que' Pasta--a simple mac n' cheese with a little Mexican flair. That was until.... I had to CHAR poblano peppers. Have you by chance ever charred a pepper? It was a disaster. For starters, those little peppers are deceiving. They are hot..lava hot..and if you touch them and then your burns. Second, they have 1.23 million seeds in the center. And lastly, peeling off the skin after the charring process takes the patience of a saint.

All that being said, the dinner was great. NT said it was the BEST thing I had EVER made--hallelujah! I had all my little ramekins ready to go-filled with onions, garlic, flour, cumin, etc. Honestly I felt like Rachel Ray (well pre-poblano pepper). So the dish is really good and I recommend you make it. Here is the recipe:

  • 4 poblano peppers
  • Salt
  • 1 pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta) or whole-wheat penne
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (half a palmful) ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend or mix of cheddar and queso fresco
  • 1 firm avocado, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 small vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
Heat the broiler to high and blacken the poblanos on all sides, 12-15 minutes. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover tight with plastic wrap or place in a paper sack; cool for 10 minutes, then peel, seed and chop.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Add salt and the pasta and cook al dente.

Heat a saucepot over medium heat; add the EVOO, onions, and garlic and cook until tender, 6-7 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and when it melts, stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the stock and milk and bring to a simmer. Season with salt, pepper, the cumin, and the coriander and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight pattern until the cheese melts.

Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and the chopped poblano peppers. Toss the avocado with the lime juice. Serve the mac-n-cheese in shallow bowls and top with the tomatoes, avocados and scallions.

And here is a video of how Rachel did it on the show. NOTE: Notice how she doesn't show how she chars, deseeds and peels the peppers. They just magically are ready to be tossed in the pasta.

And here are a few pics to show my effort (sorry for the bad lighting_)

One other thing--I am typing this 3 hours later after charring the pepper--and I just touched my lips and they are burning, stinging.

And another thing--I bought these ever so cute Bubble and Brown dishes from the Rachel Ray Store. Cute, huh? She uses them for everything. Sorry NT- I should have told you about these.


  1. The recipe sounds delish - I'll have to give it a go. I love RR too!

    For future dealings with hot peppers, put ziploc baggies on your hands. I grew jalapenos in the garden this past summer and learned your same lesson the hard way - but never thought about actually getting gloves. One day, I stuck some sandwich bags on my hands and - voila! - instagloves.

  2. nice! small nation huh. whats up with all the triompo's using that word.....