Stuffed vegetables are a great, filling grilling option. Here, creamy, savory polenta poured in tender peppers is served on a saucy-chunky blend of sweet seared pineapple, chipotles en adobo, and toasted pepitas. Brunch, dinner, whenever. Using our standard healthy skin-on, top-loaded stuffing method, along with quick-cooking yellow corn grits, makes the peppers a snap to assemble. Have a cocktail and chips with salsa to nibble while you wait for the peppers to cook. Serve with refritos and rice for a seriously satisfying and spicy meal.
And, naturally, they can be roasted in the oven, too.
Grilled (or Roasted) Polenta Chiles Rellenos with Pineapple-Chipotle-Pepita Salsa
For the peppers:
4 poblano peppers, 5-6 inches in length (2-3 inches wide)
2 cups water
1/3 cup quick-cooking yellow corn grits / polenta
3 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pimenton
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp fine sea or kosher salt
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (optional)
For the salsa:
1/4 cup raw pepitas
4-5 ounces large pineapple chunks (about 1/2 cup chopped)
2 chipotles en adobo
1/4 tsp fine sea or kosher salt
Heat your grill, or heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut a hole around the stem of a pepper. Remove the stem, reserving, and pour all the seeds out of the pepper (shake off loose seeds, if any, from the stem, but mostly these will be anchored tight--don't worry about those). With a knife, scrape/cut out any thick membrane from the inside of the pepper, being careful not to cut through. Set aside with the top so you can match them up later and repeat with remaining peppers.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. While it heats, whisk together the polenta, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, pimenton, oregano, marjoram, and salt in a bowl. When the water begins to boil, whisk in the mixture in small, steady stream. Bring back to bubbling, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and cook, stirring, one additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in olive oil, if using (it adds a touch of richness, but isn't necessary).
Spoon the polenta into the peppers, filling 1/2-3/4 inch from the top, and place the stem firmly back in place--it should create a pretty good seal. Grill until blackened and tender, about 20 minutes, flipping carefully halfway through (if you squeeze them, you'll lose filling). If roasting, transfer to a baking sheet and bake until tender and darkened, 30-40 minutes.
While the peppers cook, heat a dry skillet over medium heat and add the pepitas. Toast, tossing frequently, until they begin to pop and turn golden, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool a bit. Add to the hot pan the pineapple chunks and sear until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on both sides. Transfer the pineapple to a mortar and add the chipotles (remove the seeds first for a milder heat, if needed) and salt.
Use a coffee grinder to grind the toasted pepitas to a powder. Add to the mortar and pound with the pestle until saucy, but still chunky, making sure the chipotles are well broken up. Alternately, pulse in a small food processor.
Divide the salsa evenly among four plates and top each with a pepper.