Roasted Poblano Chilies Stuffed with Coriander Rice
4 fresh poblano chilies, roasted and peeled
1/4 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
pinch of whole anise seeds
1/3 cup Texmati or other long-grain rice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder, or more to taste
1 cup pico de gallo (page 512)
1. Make a lengthwise slit in each chili, leaving the stems intact. Carefully remove and discard the seeds. Pat the chilies dry.
2. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small dry skillet over moderately high heat until very aromatic but not burned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a bowl and cool completely. Grind the toasted seeds with the anise seeds to a fine powder in a mortar and pestle or a coffee/spice grinder.
3. Cook the rice in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for about 16 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in a sieve, refresh with cold water to stop the cooking, and spread the rice out to dry thoroughly on a plate lined with paper towels.
4. Stir together the rice, ground spices, oil, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, lime juice, and ancho powder in a small bowl until combined well. Divide the rice mixture into 4 portions and gently place one inside each chile. Serve at room temperature with pico de gallo spooned over the stuffed chilies.
Roast the poblano chilies for this delicious appetizer just as you would bell peppers ; once again, a charcoal fire is best. The combination of char, chili heat, spices, lime juice-and rice to soak it all up-is irresistible. Serves 4 as a first course