Stuffed Serrano or Poblano Peppers
This recipe is a signature dish of Arequipa, a city spectacularly located in the Andes of southern Peru. It's become a national dish, right behind ceviche and aji de gallina. The traditional, locally grown Rocoto hot pepper is used but is most likely not available so we have suggested 3 worthy substitutes. The Peruvians typically accompany stuffed hot peppers with beer, although a dry red wine is also appropriate.
6 serranos, or poblanos- for milder tastes . Larger jalapenos may also be used for hotter paletes.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground beef
2 teaspoons PB Caribbean Condiment
1/4 cup pitted green olives, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons raisins
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 yellow potatoes, boiled and cut in half
1 cup grated mozzarella or gruyere cheese
1/4 cup milk
freshly ground black pepper to taste
One day prior to serving, cut the tops of the peppers. The tops may be saved as garnish. Remove all seeds and veins. Soak the peppers for 24 hours in a bowl of water with 2 tablespoons salt, changing the water atleast twice. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and cook until tender. Add the garlic and fry for two minutes. Add the meat and PB Caribbean Condiment and fry until cooked. Add the olives, salt, raisins, and the beaten egg. Stuff the peppers with the mixture. In a glass baking dish, arrange the peppers and potatoes. Add the milk and arrange the cheese atop the peppers.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings as an appetizer