I am not going to lie: my weeknights are CRAZY! I love gathering my family of five around the table as often as I can, because sometimes that is the only touch-point where we are all together and can talk. It always blows my mind at how this simple act brings about such connection and conversation with us and our kids. It’s funny how good food and a little eye contact can just completely loose the tongue of even the chillest teenager. There is no pomp or circumstance, or even regulatory structure to the event. We have all been known to eat with our fingers, have our elbows on the table, or even talk with our mouths full…but there is always teasing, sharing, laughing and devouring. So, when people ask me if, as a person who cooks professionally, do I find it tough to cook at home? My answer is usually “no.” I can honestly say that I love cooking, but I love the chance to “break bread” with my loved ones even more…sometimes it’s the perfect exclamation point to a very long day!
With all that said, there are times that this girl needs to catch a break. Have you had days like that? Days where you are hungry, but the thought of standing at a stove just makes you feel more tired and worn out? Those are the days that I turn to the oven! This little meatless meal is just that…great for using up leftover rice AND it let’s you sit down with a glass of wine while the oven labors for you!
For me, the simpler the recipe, the more crucial the steps/techniques are on the ultimate outcome of a meal. The MOST important step in prepping these stuffed chilis is to simply throw a bunch of tomatoes on a cookie sheet and blast them with the heat of the oven. Let them cook until they are blackened and sweet. This is when you pour glass number one of wine.
Once those tomatoes are ready, you have gotta get up and do the only “labor” required for this dish. You have to squelch all the ingredients together in a large bowl and stuff the chilis before throwing them back into the oven…and pouring your glass number two (tee-hee). I LOVE how the roasted tomatoes release all their goodness to sauce the rice. Yum!
As the chilis cook in the oven, you are just looking for them to soften and for the stuffing to get a lovely crisped exterior.
If you have had a long day, by all means, order up some Pizza Hut. However, when that gets old, I hope this beauty of an easy dinner helps ya out a bit…shakes things up!
- 4 pasilla chilis
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 6 roma tomatoes
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tsps cumin
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
Roast the tomatoes in a 450F for 15-20 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients with the roasted tomatoes. Mix well.
Remove the tops and seeds of the pasilla chilis, or split them in half lengthwise and deseed.
Stuff the chilis with the mixture and bake in a 350F oven for 15 minutes, until the chilis are softened and the mixture has developed a crispy exterior.