Wednesday, April 8, 2009

If You Love Chile Rellenos, Raise Your Hand!

Both of my hands are raised. I really do love Chile Rellenos. If we ever find ourselves at a Mexican diner, I don't even have to look at the menu. I always order a Chile Relleno off the ala carte menu because even 1 chile relleno is really filling. And let's face it, they aren't low fat. One of my goals has always been to try to make my own, authentic-from-scratch chile rellenos. I really didn't want to go through the effort, though, unless I could find a lighter, non-fried version. I found this great recipe for Spicy Baked Chile Rellenos. It actually isn't all that spicy; too spicy for children perhaps, but not for the average Joe. I adapted it a bit to my liking, and to accommodate the offerings of my pantry. I really packed my chiles full, so I needed to double the filling. I substituted pinto beans for black beans, and diced tomatoes for the corn since Brian can't eat corn. I didn't have McCormick Mexican Seasoning so I opened up an envelope of taco seasoning and used that instead. After I baked the chiles, I decided to douse the tops of each chile with some tomato sauce and shredded cheese. This is the first time I've used fresh chiles instead of canned. It took a bit extra to roast and peel, but it was so yummy! It was worth the effort! These are amazing.

JW's version of Spicy Baked Chile Rellenos

8-10 Large Poblano Chile Peppers, peeled and seeded (leave stems on). See below for directions on how to do this!
3 C. Mexican blend cheese, shredded (I combined sharp cheddar and Mont. Jack Cheese)
1 C. pinto beans
1 C. diced tomatoes
6 T. chopped fresh cilantro
2 clove garlic, minced
1 C. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp taco seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten

For topping:
small can tomato sauce
1 C. shredded Mexican blend cheese
Garnish: salsa, sour cream, guacamole as desired.

Directions for roasting peppers:

Set oven to broil. Rinse each pepper and set on a baking sheet.

Place under broil until you hear popping sounds. Chiles should be spotted black. Using a pot holder, turn the chile over and return to broiler.

When you hear the popping sound again, take out of oven and wrap each pepper in a moist paper towel. Keep covered and allow to steam. After 5-10 minutes or so, unwrap one at a time and peel skin off. If it doesn't come off easily, simply return to broiler again and repeat process. You are now done roasting and peeling peppers! Now that wasn't so bad, was it?

Directions for Baked Chile Rellenos:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray, or cover with foil. Set aside. Cut a slit down one side of each chile. Remove seeds. Leave stems on.
In a medium bowl, mix together cheese, pinto beans, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Spoon mixture into chiles. In a shallow bowl, mix together cornmeal , cumin, taco seasoning, and salt. Set aside to use for the coating later. Beat 2 eggs in another shallow bowl. Set that aside as well.

Carefully stuff each pepper with the cheese and bean mixture.

Dip each chile into eggs (I used a baster to do this) , then carefully coat with cornmeal mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until very crisp.

Remove from oven and top with tomato sauce and 1 C. cheese. Place under broiler for 2-5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve with salsa (see below), sour cream, and guacamole.

Ooops! No salsa! That could potentially be a big problem in our house. Thankfully, I learned how to make a real quick, homemade-tasting salsa from a gal with whom I used to teach.

Ever since, I make sure that my pantry ALWAYS has a can of rotel (a diced tomato and green chile mixture found in the canned tomato section of the grocery store), and we eat cilantro and green onions so often and grow them in the summer, that I can almost always count on having some around. Simply open a can of rotel and pour into a bowl. Chop up a few green onions and cilantro and viola! You have one amazing salsa! If I have a lime, I'll add a few squeezes to give it extra flavor.

So, enjoy this lighter version of fried chile rellenos and follow Miss Piggy's advice: Never eat more than you can lift.

Happy dinner to you!


Sharon said...

Are these picturs taken on your NEW kitchen counters???? I LOVE THEM!

Sharon said...

Oh... the recipe looks yummy too! I need to come up with a few more mexican food dishes my family will like... I seem to be the only one :-)

J said...

YES!!!! Aren't my counters beautiful!? Brian slaved over them and I really, really love them. They've inspired me to repaint the walls a pretty white and I'll get new curtains. But that's after he tears the ceiling down ;o). He really does work so hard!

Chelsea said...

I'm so impressed with all your improvising!!! I know that stretches you!!! I'm so embarrassed to admit it but I never actually got that chile relleno was actually stuffed chile peppers. I just always knew I liked yours!!

Anonymous said...

This morning as I was putting together my weekly menu plan and grocery list...a little thought popped into my head..."I bet Jen has a fun recipe on her blog." And to my delight...Chile Rellanos! The Gerber's are having JW's version of chile rellanos this week! Thanks for sharing Jen, always enjoy trying your good recipe finds! -R-


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