Julian Medina’s newest sensation, Tacuba, is channeling heat from an assortment of peppers across the menu, including adobe-marinated Salmon a la Talla, succulent braised suckling pig carnitas with an orange habanero salsa, and a roasted stuffed poblano. The chile relleno de quinoa, a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with quinoa, kale, and mushrooms served in a light tomato sauce with crema and queso fresco, showcases traditional Mexican flavors and innovative technique for a dish that highlights both fresh and fiery flavors.
In a pan over medium heat, sauté the onions, thyme, oregano, garlic, and habanero in olive oil until tender, approximately 5 minutes. Add the tomato purée, sugar, and some salt to taste, bring mixture to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Blend in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Bring a medium saucepan filled with 4 cups water to a boil. Add the uncooked quinoa and some salt. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature; fluff with a fork. Add in the pico de gallo, and stir until ingredients are well mixed; salt to taste.
In a different sauce pan over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms and kale in olive oil. Add in the lime juice. Sauté until the vegetables are warm and thoroughly cooked, salt to taste.
Combine the sautéed vegetables with the quinoa over low heat, add the queso fresco and leave on teh heat until cheese melts. Stir the ingredients together until well mixed.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Thoroughly wash each pepper then blacken them on a grill at medium heat for about 3 minutes. Make sure to turn the peppers a few times to ensure even cooking. When the peppers have softened and their skins are blistered, remove from the grill and place in a large resealable bag to cool, about 5 minutes. This method makes the skins easier to remove.
Once cooled, carefully peel away the skins. Then open the pepper by making an incision from the pepper’s stem to bottom tip. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and veins.
Stuff each pepper with the quinoa filling, then sprinkle extra queso fresco, and pour a generous amount of tomato sauce over top. Place in the oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven. On each plate, place one stuffed chile. Garnish with Mexican crema and fresh queso fresco.