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You know how food is just never ever as good as when you eat it in its country of origin?

It’s true.

This is a silly example of an American take on Mexican food, but they’re delicious, healthy and easy.  They can also be made meat-free, which is great for idiots like me who give up meat for a month!

Or, you know, if vegetarianism is a choice you’ve made for health or ethical reason, I, like totally respect that.

My foot remains in my mouth.

Anyway, onto the recipe.  Quick, easy, and uses cheap ingredients.  What’s not to like?

Nothing, that’s what!

Here’s what you need for 4 servings (assuming 1/2 pepper per person which I find is plenty)

  • 2 large green bell peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (or 1 can drained black beans for vegetarian versions)
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, or the kernels off one cob of fresh corn
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups monterrey jack cheese (or any cheese that melts nicely)

I poach my own chicken, but you can use leftovers, a can of chicken breast, rotisserie chicken – whatever you’d like!

To poach the chicken, bring place it in a pan and cover it with water.  Turn the heat to high and when the water boils reduce the heat so that it is barely simmering.  Cook the chicken for 10-15 minutes until cooked through, then remove it from the water.

Easy, huh?  You can cook with the liquid too later on – you just made your own stock!

When the chicken is done and cooled enough to touch, shred it with your fingers or forks.

Nice.  While the chicken is poaching, you can get on the peppers.  Preheat the oven to 400F and cut the peppers in half.

Then, take out the stems, seeds, and ribs.  Place the pepper halves face down on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until they’ve started to soften – they won’t be fully cooked!

While the peppers are cooking, chop the onion and mince the garlic.  Then, chop the jalapeno.  I halve the jalapeno and take out half the seeds and ribs so it won’t be too spicy.

I was making guacamole here too, hence 2 jalapenos.  One should be plenty for the peppers, though!  If you like things spicy don’t remove the seeds – it’ll be extra hot that way!

To the halved peppers, I cut long strips.

Then I cut the strips into little bits – easy!

This is also a great time to scrape the corn off the cob, if you aren’t using frozen corn.

Now, for the veggies, the idea is to sear them on the outside but keep them a little crunch on the inside – we’re going for fresh here, people!

So, heat a pan to medium-high heat – let it get really hot!

Then, add a drizzle of olive oil (or any kind of oil) and add the corn, jalapeno, and onion.

The veggies should sizzle immediately!  Add the spices now too, with a sprinkle of salt.

Mmmmmm, smells like tacos. Stir this around for just a minute or two until the veggies start to brown on the edges but aren’t cooked through.  Then stir in the tomatoes, chicken, and garlic.

Glorious!  Now, stir this around for just a minute or two until the garlic starts to soften and the chicken combines with the spices.  Taste the mixture, and add more salt, spices, or tomatoes if you’d like!

tip: use this mixture for burritos – delish! 

Oh yum!  Now, turn your oven broiler on high.  Grab those pre-roasted bell peppers (keep them on the baking sheet), and fill each one with a nice scoop of the delicious filling.

Fabulous.  Now, top each of the peppers with a mound of cheese and stick the pan under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and brown.  

And that, my friends, is all there is to it!  You can serve these however you like.  In these pictures I serve with green rice, guacamole, and salsa, but you could serve them however you like!  Being very thrilled that you are eating them is the most important thing – side dishes won’t change that much!