This meal is outside my typical comfort zone. Poblanos. Spicy tomato sauce. Carbs and meat combined. Things that are stuffed. Despite all the contradictions to my typical appetite, it stuck with me after I saw it in Real Simple and I finally added it to the meal plan. After a few tweaks, it became a perfect weeknight dinner.
You could prep a lot of this recipe in advance – roast the tomatoes and peppers, puree the sauce, cook the turkey. When you’re ready to eat, reheat the turkey in the sauce, make the polenta, stuff the peppers, and bake.
If you’re not a huge fan of spicy food, you could replace the poblanos with bell peppers for a milder version. I enjoyed the slight kick from the poblanos tempered by the creamy, cheesy polenta, rounded off with the hearty turkey. This was a huge hit with Andrew, though he declared it in need of “more heat” and proceeded to add chipotle-flavored hot sauce to his entire plate! However you take your spice, you can tone down or kick up this recipe to suit your palate.
Turkey & Polenta Stuffed Poblanos
4 roma tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 poblano peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. instant polenta
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn
1/4 cup (2 oz) soft goat cheese
4 green onions, sliced thin
Preheat the broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil, toss the tomatoes, onion, and one tablespoon of oil with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Add the poblanos; turn the tomatoes and peppers cut side down.
Heat until slightly blackened, about 5-8 minutes. Turn the tomatoes and peppers over after 3-4 minutes, stir the onions.
In the meantime, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Cook the ground turkey until cooked through, set aside.
*You could do all of this ahead of time. Just stop here and pick up the rest of the recipe when you’re ready to make dinner. Don’t leave the oven at 400 degrees until then though. Not that you would. I’m just saying.*
In a 9×13 pan, spread one third of the sauce and then add the peppers (cut side up, of course!) and set aside.
Bring 2-1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in polenta and 1/2 tsp salt. Whisk until thickened (this will only take a few minutes). Add corn, cheese, and most of the scallions.
Time to assemble. Stir the turkey and remaining sauce together. Spoon polenta into each pepper, then pour the turkey-tomato sauce over the top.
Bake until heated through – ten minutes or so. Top with the reserved scallions if you want to be fancy. Oh who are we kidding, of course you want to be fancy!