Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chiles Relleno Casserole

If I haven't mentioned it before, I love Mexican food.  Really, really love.  One of my favorite dishes is chiles relleno; I actually judge how good a restaurant is by the quality of the chile relleno.  Sadly, I am often disappointed.  And I think a lot about making them at home, but I really don't like to fry at home.

I recently found a recipe on Simply Recipes that sounded exactly what I was looking for.  I decided to put my own twist on it and was rewarded with fabulous results.  The nice thing about the recipe is that it can be adapted to a variety of fillings.  I expect that I will be making this dish quite often, or at least whenever I can find fresh pablano chiles.

That Girl's Chiles Relleno Casserole

6 medium fresh pablano chiles
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 16 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano

2 cups  jack cheese, shredded

6 eggs, separated
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Char pablanos either under the broiler, over a gas flame, or on the grill, until nearly black on all sides.  Place chiles in a paper bag to steam.
  2. While chiles are steaming, prepare sauce.  Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until translucent.  Add garlic and saute 30 seconds more.  Add tomatoes, cinnamon, and oregano.  Bring to a simmer and maintain simmer for 15 minutes.  Carefully puree sauce in blender or with an immersion blender.  Set aside on low to continue simmer.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°.
  4. Peel chiles and remove tops and seeds.
  5.  Stuff chiles with 1 cup of cheese.
  6. Pour tomato sauce in an 8x8 glass baking dish to coat the bottom.
  7. Arrange chiles in the sauce.
  8. Sprinkle half the remaining cheese over the stuffed chiles.
  9. In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks, flour, and salt until combined.
  10. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites to soft peaks.
  11. Fold the eggs whites into the yolk mixture.
  12. Pour egg mixture over the chiles and top with remaining cheese.
  13. Bake for 20 minutes or until egg mixture begins to brown.
The great thing about this recipe is that it lends itself to all manner of fillings from the traditional pork picadillo, to mushrooms and goat cheese, or sauteed zucchini and corn, or . . . 

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