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Stuffed Chiles Rellenos

Notes:  

If calories or cholesterol levels are not a concern, the rellenos can be dipped in a batter and deep fried after stuffing.  Roasting peppers is not as complicated as it sounds.  Use goat and/or cream cheese as an alternative stuffing.  In the case of the Casserole recipe below, I alternate the roasted peppers and cheese with cooked ground beef or buffalo and beans -- black, pinto, or kidney.  That satisfies my husband, who prefers meat in his dish.  (His side of the casserole gets more meat and regular cheese; my side gets less meat and low-fat cheese.  I use toothpicks to mark the separate sides.)   Our taco recipe contains chopped onions, chile powder, ground cumin, a little ketchup, and hot peppers to taste. 

Ancho peppers are used in most Mexican recipes instead of Italian stuffing peppers.  They are wider, easy to peel when roasted, and, I believe tastier.   Grocery stores are beginning to stock them, so they are relatively easy to find.   Dried anchos rehydrated in hot water can also be used.

Serve in a pool of Red Chile Sauce  or Tomato or Tomatillo Salsa  and garnish with sour cream and fresh cilantro or parsley. 

1.  Chile Rellenos Casserole

8 whole green New Mexican or Ancho (Poblano) chiles, roasted, peeled, stems removed
ground beef, cooked and spiced (opt)

1/2 lb Monterey Jack cheese, cut in strips
1 cp grated cheddar cheese

3 eggs
1/4 cp flour
3/4 cp milk
1/4 t salt

1. Cut a slit down the side of each chile and remove seeds, if desired.
2. Gently stuff each chile with the Monterey jack cheese slices, or other stuffing mixture
(chicken and goat cheese, cooked ground beef).
3. Lay stuffed chiles side by side in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
4. Carefully pour the egg mixture over the chiles and bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 35
minutes or till a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top should be lightly browned.
5. Let casserole cool for 5 or 10 minutes. Cut servings and place on a pool of Red Sauce, if
desired.

        Inspired by The Whole Chile Pepper Book, Dave DeWitt and Nancy Gerlach

2.  Chiles Rellenos With Cheese and Chicken

8 poblano or 6 New Mexican chiles, roasted and seeded
1 3/4 cp softened goat cheese
1/4 cp softened cream cheese
1/2 t fresh lemon juice
pinch of minced cilantro if available

2 T olive oil
4 shallots, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced or pierced
1/2 oz Tequila if available

2 diced chicken breasts, fully cooked on a grill or roasted (optional)

1. Rub chicken breasts with some cayenne pepper and grill till thoroughly cooked. Cool and cut into small cubes.
2. In pan, saute shallots in olive oil. Deglaze pan with tequila.
3. Add chicken if using and toss well. Set aside.
4. Cut a slit in peppers and remove seeds (leave stems). Flatten on cookie sheet.
5. Mix cheeses and lemon juice till fluffy.
6. Add deglazed shallots and chicken, to cheese mixture. and mix well.
6. Carefully stuff peppers and place them cut side down in baking pan.
7. Cover pan and bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
8. Uncover and roast another 5 minutes.

                Chili Pepper Magazine, February 1997

2. Chiles Rellenos With goat cheese and Sun-dried Tomatoes

First, roast the poblano and red bell peppers whole

Then make the sweet red pepper sauce:
8 red bell peppers
1/4 cp olive oil
1/2 t salt
2-3 T sugar
1 T red wine vinegar

1. Place roasted, peeled, and seeded bell peppers in blender or processor and puree till smooth.
2 With blender still running, slowly add remaining ingredients. (If you have the time, pass through a food mill.)
3. Keep refrigerated till serving.

Finally, the rellenos:
8 poblano (green) chiles
1/3/4 cps softened goat cheese (chevre)
1/4 cp softened cream cheese
1/2 t fresh lemon juice
8-10 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, and cut into small pieces or strips

1. Cut slit in the poblanos.
2. Mix goat cheese, cream cheese, and lemon juice with electric beater til fluffy.
3. Spread by spoonfuls into poblano.
4. Make a groove in center of cheese mixture and fill with pieces of sun-dried tomato.
5. Close chiles around the cheese and tomatoes and chill for at least 1 hour.

                          Cooking With Herbs, Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead