My mom is in town visiting and we had the rare opportunity to cook together. We live on opposite coasts and sadly, we have to create most of our recipes over the phone. We felt inspired to make something more summery since the weather is getting warmer. And I’m amped about corn season kicking off 🌽🌽🌽In researching corn recipes, I got on an elote kick, which took me down the rabbit hole of Mexican dishes, which lead me to pepper-centric meals. Thus behold our delicious poblano pepper sauce recipe!
This recipe has several moving parts, but the steps are super easy. You have your veggie cooking, your poblano pepper sauce making (which we did in my favorite device: Vitamix), rice prep, and finally shrimp/corn cooking.
NOTE ON POBLANO PEPPERS:
WEAR GLOVES WHEN HANDLING THE PEPPERS! They’re not crazy hot, but the heat stays on your fingers and will definitely affect you when you, say, take out your contacts at night (ahem….ow!) 🔥My mom and I made the poblano pepper sauce exactly how we liked it, but had to add extra cream so it would be palatable for the kids. [If you want a spicier sauce, subtract maybe 1/8 of the cream, or more]. But the sauce still lacked something that we couldn’t pinpoint. We were sitting at the table eating the meal, and my kids (of course) wanted plain rice, but with soy sauce. One of us adults accidentally mixed together the poblano sauce with the soy sauce, and surprisingly, it created perfection! I can only credit my kids for stumbling upon the missing-link ingredient 😋Who knew it would be soy sauce?!
There are a lot of ways you can mix things up with this dish. We used white jasmine rice as a base, but you could also use brown rice, quinoa, pasta, barley, really any starchy or slightly absorbent grain. You could add extra veggies, like snap peas. And you can adjust the sauce however you like to make less/more spicy and salty.
In all reality, my kids plates looked very different than our adult plates. They wanted everything separate: corn, rice, shrimp. And we gave them a spot of the poblano pepper sauce on the side to try. Both my kids, honestly, were pretty good about trying the sauce, and my 3 yo even mixed everything together after a while. But I suggest you anticipate some initial protest. Lol!
🌈 KIDIFY THE MEAL 🌈
🍅Serve food as separates. Young kids tend to dislike food that’s too mixed together. Who knows why?! So, plate this meal, like I did, with the shrimp, corn and rice separate. And then put a little bit of sauce separate on the plate for dipping.
🍅Bust out the soy sauce. My kids LOVE soy sauce on rice. It’s one of the only condiments they’re really into. If your kids are the same, put soy sauce out on the table and your kids will likely eat more food.
🍅Tone down the spice. We already adjusted the poblano sauce to be on the milder side, but feel free to add a little extra cream if you think it’s still too spicy for your kids.
🍴 MODIFY THE MEAL🍴
🍅Make it Gluten Free! Replace the soy sauce with Tamari. The soy sauce you’re used to seeing on the shelf contains wheat, but nowadays you can find gluten-free soy sauce at the market. The product I always see is San-J’s Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce. In fact, I’m not gluten-intolerant and I always buy the San-J brand anyway. Kikkoman also now makes a gluten-free soy sauce, but I haven’t seen this one around quite as much.
🍅Make it Vegetarian! It becomes a slightly different dish, but just eliminate the shrimp. I think the poblano pepper sauce is so damn good, that you don’t focus on the shrimp much anyway. Maybe add more veggies or replace shrimp with tofu or tempeh.
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- 1 lb raw shrimp (shelled & deveined, fresh or frozen)
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 poblano peppers (deseeded, roughly chopped)
- 1 small yellow onion (roughly chopped)
- 1 small clove garlic (chopped)
- rice (6 servings)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup cilantro (stems cut off, firmly packed)
- 1-2 T soy sauce
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t lime juice
- 8 oz frozen corn
[If cooking with frozen shrimp, right away place shrimp in colander and run cold water over the shrimp for ~10 mins]
Heat 2 T of the olive oil on medium in a large pan. Once heated, add peppers, onion and garlic. Cook for 5 mins, stirring frequently.
In the meantime, start cooking the rice, according to instructions on package. We used Minute instant white rice and it took about 10 mins in the microwave.
Place pepper/onion/garlic mix, heavy cream, sour cream, cilantro, soy sauce, 1/2 t of the salt, & lime juice in a Vitamix or blender. Blend together for a minute or so, until well combined. Set poblano pepper sauce aside.
Using same pan as your did for the veggies earlier, heat the remaining 1 T olive oil. Once heated, add shrimp, corn, & the remaining 1/2 t of the salt. Cook until shrimp is cooked through, 5-7 mins.
Serve shrimp and corn mix atop rice, dressed with the poblano sauce.
We recommend that all meals for children be served with milk.