This almost turned into an epic fail…
Chile rellenos are my definition of comfort food. Chicken, rice, cheese, a little crunch and a little spice. Not to mention some legit brownie points for eating a stuffed vegetable…
The basic premise of these is to scorch the outside of the poblano, steam to loosen the scorched skin, peel the skin off, then seed, de-vein (if you want) and stuff. THEN, you bread with egg and cornmeal, quick fry, and pile onto a cookie sheet to bake until the cheese on the inside starts to seep out.
Sounds like quite a process, huh?
Well, apparently my oven has something to prove. It decided to catch me off-guard by completely over-scorching the peppers. So, after skinning, we had to get a little creative.
I decided instead of trying to hold the already-fragile peppers together long enough to stuff, bread, and bake, that I could try something new. So, I seeded them, and pulled out the “lid”(stem) and made them into wide strips of cooked chile. Then, since I still had my stuffing, I alternated layers of stuffing and chile panels, finally covering the last layer of chile with some shredded cheese and decorating with the stems a little.
The result? *swoon* Completely drool-worthy!
So, I won’t lie, these do take a bit to make, the return is worth it. These make the most epic meal, not to mention some serious office-envy when you bring in the leftovers. A little multi-tasking with the ingredients, and you’re done in under an hour.
Get ready to “up your game”…
Recipe 21: Epic Chile Rellenos (casserole)
- 8 poblano peppers, washed and cleaned.
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese/jack cheese plus 1/4 cup for topping.
- 1 package spanish rice (cook per directions)
- about 1/2 cup sour cream (the small, yogurt cup size)
- 5 or 6 chicken tenders (cook in a skillet with garlic, lime, olive oil, and paprika then chop)
- salt and pepper to taste
Okay, so the first thing you want to do is turn on your broiler. Then, start your Spanish rice, which with most rice mixes will take about 30 minutes to be done. Then, if your chicken is ready to rock, put that in a skilled with paprika, minced garlic, and a little olive oil and lime juice and cook until just done. Once this is done, chop and put into a large bowl. Then, put your peppers under the broiler. You’re going to scorch the skin, and it will start to blacken and bubble. When this starts to happen, flip and blacken on the other side. Once these are done, you’re going to carefully remove with tongs and put them into a large glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and steam for 10 minutes or so. Add your cheese, sour cream, and half of your cooked rice to the bowl with the chicken and mix until combined. This is your filling.
Remove the plastic wrap and turn on the cold tap. Gently use your fingernails to lift off strips of the plastic-y scorched skin. Once all your peppers are practically skinless, set them on the cutting board and slit the sides to open them up and flatten into long sheets. Use a spoon to scrape away the veins and all the seeds, and pull the stem hubs out (reserve). Grab a small glass casserole dish (half a standard cookie sheet size) and build a single layer of peppers. Top with your filling and layer more peppers on top of that. Add your mixture and peppers until you’re out of the mixture, finishing with a layer of peppers on top. Stick your stems along the edges of the casserole to make the appearance of chile peppers all arranged (see picture) and top with a little shredded cheese.
Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling. Cool and serve, and make sure you leave some to bring for lunch tomorrow!
P.S. A BIG shout-out to my mom and all her coworkers at the San Diego Superior Court in Chula Vista. I’m finally doing a Mexican recipe! Lol. I didn’t make the Rosca de Reyes cake, but I’ll still make the tamales!
P.S.S. And of course, a BIG shoutout to my “husband” and his coworkers Meche, Adrienne, and E’bony at Scripps Nephrology!