CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I'll admit it, I am consumed each day by lengthy ruminations over what I'm going to eat and drink. Conversations with my long-suffering spouse almost always involve planning the evening meal and sometimes precipitate disputes that are usually amicably, but sometimes loudly, settled.
Then one or both of us will venture out to search for the freshest ingredients and the wine to accompany the agreed upon meal. These almost daily forays inevitably lead to the farmer's stands at Capitol Market to peruse and then purchase the just-picked veggies that are so appealingly displayed.
Like many of my contemporaries, I am trying to eat a healthier diet in the hope that doing so will undue decades of abuse ladled into my arterial system by the constant ingestion of the three most important central Appalachian food groups: lard, red meat and fried potatoes.
Therefore, recently I went in search of poblano peppers that would be the centerpiece of a (almost) vegetarian meal. Poblanos, when dried as they often are, become ancho peppers and are sometimes ground to make chili powder. Anchos can also be rehydrated and used in sauces. I found the poblanos at the Purple Onion inside Capitol Market and, while they do have a slight measure of heat, they are nowhere near the potency of a jalapeño.
This one-course meal is guaranteed to spice up your day and in a very healthy way. And when you accompany this meal with one the juicy zinfandels I'm going to suggest, you'll have the perfect summertime meal. You'll need one large poblano for each adult you're serving.
The recipe calls for quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), supposedly the perfect food. It fluffs up like rice, is gluten-free with a protein content of 12 percent. It can be used as a substitute for pasta and white rice and is very low in carbohydrates. It tastes good, too. If you can't find it (the Purple Onion usually stocks it), use brown rice as a low-carb substitute or just use white rice if you wish.
Makes 2 servings.
2 large poblano peppers
1 clove garlic, diced
1/4 medium onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
4 ounces Monterey jack cheese
1/4 pound ground chorizo sausage (optional)