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Enchiladas Poblano and Spanish Rice Cakes

chorizo and black bean stuffed poblanos with enchilada sauce and spanish rice cakes

Enchiladas Poblano with Spanish Rice Cakes

As I was writing my holiday letter yesterday, I was either laughing or crying.  The year 2013 was anything but typical.  As I reminisced over the past twelve months, I realized it was quite a roller coaster of events.

A year of changes, nail-biting moments, some tears, lots of laughter, because laughter is the best medicine, moments of gratitude, a few panic attacks, and grand adventure. Phew! Yep, all in one year.

Spanish rice cakes and enchiladas poblano stuffed with chorizo and black beans

Without spewing all my emotions here, I’ll just tell you I am so thankful my Bennett Crew is happy and healthy.  In 2013, my oldest gal fought medical hurdles with courage and fierce determination.  She’s my hero.

On the list of events was an extensive house remodel, which caused me to re-think my love of DIY projects.   I know some of you can identify.  Home remodeling can take a toll and make you want to hire the big bad wolf to blow your house down.

A new state, new town, new home… and then a most delicious surprise.  A trip to Italy.  A glorious two weeks that fed my soul and inspired my heart. New and cherished friendships formed and adventure I’ll always remember.  I came back with a renewed love of Italian cuisine and culture, and my recipe developing wheels turning.

In reflection, I’m most grateful for my friends and family, who, as always, gave an abundance of loving support.  Life can be a roller coaster of events, but with friends and family like mine, it makes the curve ball coming at me a little easier to dodge.

In honor of this beautiful new year I thought I’d start off with something spicy, flavorful and festive.  These Enchiladas Poblano and Spanish Rice Cake are pure deliciousness and a perfect way to begin this new year.

I wish you all good health, true joy, lots and lots of laughter, much success in whatever you strive to do, and the love of friends and family.

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Happy New Year!


Enchiladas Poblano with Spanish Rice Cakes

Serves 4-6


6 poblano peppers

1lb ground Spanish chorizo (Spanish chorizo is gaining popularity and you can typically find it in most markets next to the other ground meats)

1 small white onion, diced

Handful cilantro leaves coarsely chopped

1/3 cup sliced green onions

¼-1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese

1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups Red Enchilada Sauce (I love Chef Rick Bayless Frontera Brand of Enchilada sauces. If you can’t find them, I also use Hatch branch red enchilada sauce)

1 cup shredded pepper jack or mozzarella cheese

Sliced limes

Sliced Avocado (optional)

Spanish Rice Cakes (recipe below)


Pre-heat the oven to 400F.  Lay the poblano peppers on a lined baking sheet and roast them for about 10-15 minutes or until they are toasted on the outside and somewhat soft.

While the peppers are roasting heat a skillet over medium high heat with a little oil.  Saute the white onions until soft and then add the ground chorizo.  Break up the chorizo while it’s cooking and when it’s almost cooked through stir in the cilantro and green onions.

Take the skillet off the heat and then gently toss with the black beans and cotija.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Once the peppers are done and cooled, pull off any of the blistered skin and try not to tear the peppers.  Place the peppers in a large baking dish.

Turn the oven down to 350F.

Slice vertically down the center of the pepper and pull it open a little so you can fill.  Stuff each pepper with the chorizo and black bean filling.  Then ladle a little of the enchilada sauce over the top of each pepper and sprinkle with shredded pepper jack or Mozzarella cheese.

Once all the peppers are filled, sauced and cheesed (don’t you love my snappy culinary lingo?) pop them into the oven for about another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

If you have any leftover sauce I like to ladle it over the poblanos and then top with sliced avocado.  Serve with a side of sliced limes and sour cream.

Spanish Rice Cakes

Makes 12-16 small round cakes


2 cups prepared Spanish Rice

½ cup sliced green onion

¼ – 1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese

2 eggs, whisked

Healthy oil for frying


Mix all the ingredients together.  Heat the oil on medium high heat and then when it’s ready take a tablespoon full of rice mixture, I also use a cookie scoop, roll it in your hands and then smash into a small round cake.  This mixture can feel loose but once you place it in the hot oil it will form a crust on the outside making it easier to handle.

Brown the cakes on both sides and then place on paper towels.  Serve the Spanish Rice cakes with ½ cup of sour cream whisked with the juice of 1 small lime and a pinch of cumin.  It’s a refreshing dip for the rice cakes. Or serve the rice cakes plain with the stuffed enchiladas poblano as a side dish.




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  • Reply
    January 1, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Beautiful words to accompany your beautiful recipe. I’m always in awe of the delicious food fellow bloggers (like yourself) are creating. Along with the wonderful photos that captivate my stomach & my heart!

    All the very best for 2014 and I look forward to seeing what you and your sassy girls, Tank and Ranger Craig get up too!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Thank you Alli! So glad we’re connected and someday I’ll travel down under to meet up with you! Wouldn’t that be so fun. Or if you ever get to the states you’re welcome to come stay at my house. Not the most exciting location but not far from the city, ocean or mountains. 🙂 Happiest of New Years to you too!

  • Reply
    January 2, 2014 at 8:55 am

    Here’s to a good 2014, eh?! This is a great looking dish, Karista – right up my street! Happy New Year!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Cheers Frugal! Yes, here’s to a super fabulous and successful 2014. Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2014 at 7:07 am

    Ooh, looks delicious!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2014 at 10:20 am

      Thanks so much. Happy 2014!

  • Reply
    Tabitha Rodgers
    January 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    I love this idea!! I have done something similar with zucchini, which I love but my husband is not as big of a fan. I may have to try this route instead!! Love the way it lightens the dish to ditch the tortilla! Thank you for posting!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2014 at 10:21 am

      You’re so welcome! One of my husbands favorite meals, nice and spicy for a cold winter’s night. Happy 2014!

  • Reply
    Coco in the Kitchen
    January 6, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I’m happy to hear your baby is healthy and you’ve had an adventurous 2013.
    This poblano enchilada is a dream-come-true for me. I’m making it tonight!
    Wishing you a very healthy & sweet 2014!

    • Reply
      January 7, 2014 at 10:21 am

      Thanks so much Coco. Wishing you a very happy, healthy and successful 2014!

      • Reply
        Coco in the Kitchen
        January 14, 2014 at 1:21 pm

        Sunday night, I had to tear away from the Golden Globes
        and whipped these up in no time!
        I was so impressed, Karista. They’re delicious.
        I roasted my peppers right on my stove, like I always do.

        I didn’t have time for the rice cakes, but they’re on the agenda for next time. Thanks!

        • Reply
          January 14, 2014 at 10:34 pm

          You are so welcome Coco! So glad you like them. Poblanos were coming out our ears this fall and this is what I did with them. Almost every week. Lol!

  • Reply
    Richard McGary
    January 10, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Beautiful rellenos, Karista. Sorry to hear 2013 was such a difficult year but glad everything has worked out well. I hope 2014 brings you and your family an abundance of joy, health and prosperity. 🙂

    • Reply
      January 11, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Thanks Richard. I’ve never been so glad to see a new year. Lol! We’re all good and on track for a healthy and happy new year. Wishing you success, happiness and good health!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Karista, I’m so glad our paths crossed in real time before you moved even if just for a few moments. It’s been quite a year and I hope 2014 will be full of excitement and inspiration without the huge waves of stress and transition. I know it must not have been easy but you’ve set an example of rolling with it for all your friends and readers!
    Happy New Year if I’ve not said it already:) xx wendy

    • Reply
      January 12, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Wendy, I too am so grateful our paths have crossed. And you haven’t seen the last of me yet! Ranger Craig and I plan to fly back to Orcas sometime this summer. 🙂 Thank you for the sweet and kind words. Wishing you a most happy, healthy and successful new year! xoxo Karista

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