Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baked Chili Rellenos

Johnny's absolute favorite meal is chili rellenos. I had never even heard of it before I moved in with him, but silly me offerred to make it for his birthday dinner. Wow, I was nervous! First of all, his ex Mother-in-law was a Mexican immigrant and used to make it for him, so that's tough competition. Second, it's a pretty labor intensive dish. I was determined so I googled around and found a few recipes and resources to make it. It was a smashing success and I've cooked it a handful of times since. The problem is that it takes so darn long and usually makes a mess out of the kitchen with all the battering and deep frying.

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
4 eggs
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?

Hey What's For 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.

35 comments:

Cyndi said...

This is my absolute favorite Mexican dish and I have never seen it baked. Yours look fabulous (and much healthier).

Kudos on using the fresh poblanos...canned??!! Not acceptable. And another kudos for using Chihuahua cheese. Monteray Jack?!!! Ick.

Laura said...

YES!!! These look fantastic! I am so making these.

Jessica @ How Sweet said...

I have never had this, and it looks absolutely delicious! I must try!

Simply Life said...

wow, nice work! I'm sure he appreciated the meal!

doggybloggy said...

excellent work - a relleno casserole - I cant think of anything better.

Christina said...

Thanks everybody! Lucky me gets to eat the leftover one as lunch! muhaha

biz319 said...

What a great idea!!! Although I have a deep fryer - sometimes its nice to just pop something in the oven and walk away!

Putting on my menu for lunch next week!

Hope you are having a great week Christina!

The Diva on a Diet said...

I'm so excited about this recipe! Chile rellenos are one of my husband's favorites too ... and I love them as well. I'd done the traditional version at home, but it is kind of a pain and messy too. I cannot wait to try these. Thanks, Christina!!!

Juliana said...

Oh I love chile relleno, but do not make because they are often fried...so I will definitely try yours...baked ones...look so yummie :-)

Autumn @Good Eats Girl said...

I love chile rellenos!!! I am definitely going to be trying this recipe! I've never made them on my own, but you have made it look much easier than I thought it could be!!

Kevin said...

I have been wanting to try chili rellenos for a while and a baked version sounds great!

Laura said...

Healthier and actually better looking in my opinion. Thanks for posting on Just Another Meatless Monday! Hope to see you next week.

Mary said...

I found your recipe after a Google search today. Made it with seasoned ground turkey and cheese. I had to leave them cut side up because they were a tad overstuffed. Delicious! Thanks! Love being the hero at dinner time!

Anonymous said...

I will definitely try this with two additions. Chopped onions and tomatoes stuffed inside the chiles along with the cheese.

Anonymous said...

Awesome and delicious thank you so much for the recipe.

uhohello said...

Thanks for posting pics just makes me want them now! I love rellenos-hate the mess of frying. Tried these & they were so good!I'm Mexican so of course prefer fresh roasted poblanos [to the slimy canned] & I use salsa for the base under the rellenos & extra sals over the top when served. off to the kitchen to make them now!!!

Anonymous said...

I've made these twice now and love them! Outstanding recipe and easy to do. Thanks for sharing it!

Julie said...

I made this today with Pepper Jack and cheddar cheese (what I had in the fridge) and with some fresh spinach. I made 6 peppers, added some extra cheese. I grated all the cheese, put about 2 Tablespoons in the pepper, covered with spinach, then 2 more tablespoons. It was a yummy variation. Fresh Poblanos, of course.

Michelle Cummings said...

I just found your recipe and glad that I did, this looks easy and deli shes. I can't wait to try it out!

Shawn Stoner said...

Great recipe. Since I didn't have baking powder or soda, I added some sparkling water (bubbles!)and this recipe was perfect. I stuffed my poblano chiles with chorizo. Amazing. Thank You!

butter me up said...

OMG Christina! Awesome dish darlin'! I just harvested some gorgeous poblanos from my garden & knew I had to try this recipe.I also made some chipotle/ancho sauce for those who wanted some extra spice and had crema mexicana on the side....what a hit! yummy thnx ;D

Anonymous said...

I made this last night, and I must have had particularly spicy peppers because this was SO much hotter than normal chile rellenos! I took your advice and used a smaller pan than you did, and I liked how it turned out. If I make it again, though, I think I'll add some spices to the batter (maybe cumin?) to liven it up a bit. I was short on cheese, so that would probably have helped, too. Thanks for the recipe!

Anonymous said...

I tried a fried version and after about 6 rellenos and a ridiculously messy kitchen, switched to these. SO quick and easy and tasted better in my opinion! I'll definitely make them again. Used Hatch New Mexico chiles and cheese only, but I'll add some ground turkey next time!

ANNE said...

Making these tonight!! They look delish.

Indian American Mom said...

Great recipe and post! I modified it by making a filling of shredded cheese leftover potato centers from my Superbowl potato skins (that recipe called for hollowing out the skins).

Love that I can make chili rellenos without frying (unhealthy and scary to have all that oil spattering everywhere).

emilia said...

I added PANKO CRUMBS on the top, then poured the egg mix on top. It added some crunch without calories.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Absolutely delish! Thank you for an amazing and easy recipe. I took these to a Cinco De Mayo party and they were devoured in no time. The fresh poblanos are a necessity in this recipe. Worth the extra time. Yummy! I am making more today. Thanks again for the recipe.

Anonymous said...

As a kid I ate them (Chili Rellenos), but for over 20 years hadn't because I don't eat any fried foods (its so unhealthy)... this is now heaven to my ears and very soon to my tummy!!! Thank you so much for sharing your baked version... simply love it and can't wait to try it. Chapeau!!! Lily

Judy said...

A definite repeat in our home. Hubby loved them. I served Mexican rice and black beans on the side.

Thanks for the recipe!

Banner said...

Just got thru frying rellenos and thought to myself,"there has got to be an easier way!"and came across this. This will be my next potluck dish! Thanks!

Mandi said...

Ran across this recipe the other day and couldn't wait to try it. These were phenomenal!! A little laborious to peel the roasted peppers but worth it to have fresh over canned/jarred. And if I did all the math correctly, they came out to about 320 calories each, and that's with me adding panko bread crumbs on top. Thanks for sharing!!

The Chef En amateur said...

Made these today but added ground turkey (defeats the meatless I know) and used roasted banana peppers instead of poblanos. Absolutely fantastic! And at 7 WW points per serving (around 8 servings) it sticks to a diet plan. Thank you for this!

jUUggernaut said...

I ignored the roasting instructions, instead microwaved the Poblanos for 7 minutes and did NOT peel them.
Turned out fantastic; it's become a standard dish since.

Lee Wood said...

Thanks for the post -- wonderful recipe!

For a variation on this theme I add black beans, sauteed corn kernels and a spice mixture as follows:

spice mixture: (add to salt in your recipe) ½ tbs ground cumin, 1 tbs chili powder, 1/8 tbs cayenne, ¼ tbs freshly ground black pepper.

Black bean/corn mixture. The following goes into the stuffed pepper and egg mixture: one 15oz can black bean, drained, 2 ears corn (remove kernels, sautee in olive oil & butter. Combine sautéed corn & beans with ½ spices; add ½ to egg mixture and remaining half is used to stuff peppers.

Finally, for egg mixture add ¼ cup corn meal and remaining ½ spice mixture.

Lee

judy said...

I use casa fresca as a filling and kraft cheese has come out with a mexican cheese blend that has cream cheese in it. todie for