I have always wanted to write and illustrate a children’s scratch-and-sniff book with scents that remind me of my childhood. But for some reason I don’t think the aromas that brought me joy will appeal to kids today.
One of the scents that remind me of my childhood is the warm smoky smell of roasted chile. My grandma roasted chile frequently and I have always loved that smell. When I smell chile roasting and hear it popping and hissing, it’s as if I can see my grandma cooking in her kitchen. She passed away in 2004, but the memories of her will always live in my heart.
These roasted peppers are filled with healthy red quinoa and pesto shrimp, making this an elegant meal that is actually quick and simple to make, yet bursting with flavor. This would be a tasty and very healthy meat-free dinner for a Friday during Lent.
Quinoa and Pesto Shrimp Stuffed Pasillas
2 to 4 servings
- 4 pasilla chiles
- 1 pound frozen uncooked peeled and deveined medium shrimp, thawed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup store bought or homemade pesto
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- 1/2 cup shredded Oaxaca cheese
- 2 green onions, chopped (optional)
Roasting Chile Peppers:
Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles. Rinse thoroughly to remove dust particles.
Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Pierce each chile with a knife.
Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 3 to 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black.
Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag and cover with a wet kitchen towel. Once peppers have cooled, peel off blackened skin.
Using a small sharp knife, carefully slit roasted chiles open along one side. Remove seeds, leaving stems attached. Set aside to fill later.
Prepare the filling:
Pat shrimp dry using paper towels. Add olive oil and butter to a nonstick or cast iron skillet set to medium high heat. After the butter has melted, add shrimp. Cook shrimp thoroughly, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add pesto and red pepper flakes. Toss until combined and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Stuff each pasilla chile with cooked quinoa and shrimp mixture, then top with shredded cheese.
Place stuffed pasillas on a baking sheet or skillet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is completely melted and slightly golden brown on top.
Sprinkle with chopped green onions, if using.
Note: Pasillas might be challenging to find, so you can substitute with poblanos, which are readily available at grocery stores year-round.
Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack is the writer at the award winning blog, MuyBuenoCookbook.com. She also is a professional recipe developer and food writer, and is the co-author of Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor. You can watch a trailer for the book here.