Almost Turkish Recipes

Turkish Style Stuffed Poblanos with Ground Beef (Etli Poblano Dolması)

Poblanos are the best substitutes out there for Turkish bell peppers for stuffing. It is quite rare to stuff spicy peppers in Turkish cuisine. However, the spiciness that poblanos bring to this traditional Turkish dolma dish is absolutely inspiring. This is a classic dolma recipe. The stuffing can be used for any kind of peppers that appeal to you. 

6 poblanos, washed and seeded
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1 biggish onion, finely diced, ~1 cup
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes grated or pureed in the blender
7 tbsp rice (1 tbsp for each poblano and 1 bonus)
1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1/3 flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste + 1 tbsp red pepper paste (if you cannot find red pepper paste use 2 tbsp tomato paste)
4 tbsp olive oil or butter
hot water

-Wash and cut the tops of poblanos. Do not discard them, we will use them later. Pierce the poblanos towards the bottom with a sharp knife. 
-Put ground meat, grated tomatoes, rice, onion, garlic, dill, parsley, salt and pepper (i.e., all the ingredients except for tomato paste and olive oil) in a big bowl and mix them well for a couple of minutes with your hands. 
-Stuff the poblanos with the stuffing loosely half and inch below the top, do not try to press down or to fit as much as you can. Rice will expand so give it some space.  
-Cover the tops with the cut-off poblano tops. You can also use sliced tomatoes to cover the tops. Either way is fine. The idea is try to keep the stuffing inside. Place the stuffed peppers in other words your dolmas in a pot big enough to have them.
-Mix tomato paste (and red pepper if you have it) with ~2 cups of hot water in cup and melt the paste by stirring. Pour this mixture over the dolmas.The water should not completely cover the dolmas but it should come more than half way through. Add water if necessary. The top parts of peppers will cook from the steam. 
-Add olive oil or butter.
-First bring to a boil and then turn it down and simmer covered for ~30 minutes or until rice is cooked. Let it cool down for 10 minutes.
-Serve with yogurt on the side. Inside will look like this:
Bon appétit!

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