I was flipping through my Better Homes and Gardens Vegetable cookbook I still had out from the beet recipe, and found one for baked chili rellenos! Could it be?! I immediately put the ingredients on the next grocery list!
I made some changes to the recipe including using fresh poblanos instead of canned chilis, as well as using Chihuahua cheese instead of Monteray Jack cheese. Feel free to use what you prefer, the technique is pretty much the same, regardless!
5 poblano peppers
6-8 oz Chihuahua cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shredded Chihuahua cheese
Raise the top rack of your oven and turn the broiler on. Lightly coat the poblano peppers in oil and place on a baking sheet. Broil for about 5 minutes a side, flipping 3 times to char each side of the triangular shaped peppers. Remove from the oven and place in a heat-proof bowl with plastic wrap sealed over the top. Let sit for about 15 minutes to steam the skin and become cool to the touch.
Lower the oven rack and turn the temperature to 350°. While waiting for the peppers to cool, slice the cheese into small rectangles and grate 1/2 of a cup. Prepare the batter by whisking together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, and salt until smooth.
Once the peppers have cooled, hold them by their stems and gently peel off their waxy skin. Pull off the stem and gently cut a slit through one side of the pepper, taking care not to cut all the way through. Using a spoon, gently scrape the membrane and seeds from the poblano. (These are where the heat is and once you remove these, there is just a delicious chili taste left, but if you prefer spicy then you can leave some.)
Lay the peppers flat and arrange a rectangle or two of the cheese in the center. Wrap the roasted pepper around the cheese and place seam side down in a small to medium sized greased casserole dish.
Pour the batter over the peppers. (Here is where I realized I used too large of a baking dish - oops!)
Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over top. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden.
You can see how it puffed up beautifully and browned. If I had used a smaller baking dish it would have been more on the peppers, not along the sides so much.
This was just as delicious as the deep fried version! It hit all the same notes with a fraction of the prep and mess! I'll definitely be adding this one to the "keeper" pile!
If you have been nervous to try chili rellenos before, I think this version is perfect for starters. Keep in mind that you could also use canned chilis if you don't want to go through the trouble of roasting fresh ones, which would cut down even less on the time and mess!
Ooey, gooey, cheesy, and chili roasted battered goodness! What more could you ask for in a dinner?
I'm submitting this delicious and fulfilling meat-free dish to Just Another Meatless Monday. I think Mexican is a great way to add vegetarian meals to the dinner plan. Cheeses, beans, and mushrooms can replace meats as a hearty flavor and filling for fajitas, tacos, or burritos.