Baked Chiles Rellenos with Cheese
This is one of my dad's favorite things to get at a Mexican restaurant. I've tried chiles rellenos before, but never made it a whole meal. While continuing to look for new vegetarian recipes, I came across this in the Joy of Cooking. (By the way, if you don't own a copy of this cookbook, go out and buy it now! It has everything you could possibly imagine in it, plus lots of tips and techniques for new cooks.)
I wasn't sure what poblano peppers were, but luckily found them in our supermarket- the skin looked a bit wrinkly, but otherwise pretty good. Here is what they looked like before I put them in the oven to soften up:
I had trouble getting the peppers to blacken. Joy of Cooking suggests holding them over a burner, but we have an electric oven in our apartment so I couldn't do that. I put them in the oven for a bit, and while they didn't turn black, they did soften.
The stuffing for the peppers is complete goodness: where can you go wrong with cheese?
6 medium poblano peppers
8 ounces Mexican Chihuahua, Monterey Jack, brick, or mild Cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded (*I bought a Mexican blend at the store.)
2 large scallions, minced
warmed chunky salsa
chopped fresh cilantro
1.) Grill or broil the poblano peppers, turning occasionally, over a burner or 4 inches below a preheated broiler until blistered and blackened on all sides and slightly softened, 5 to 10 minutes.
2.) Peel the charred skin from the peppers and rinse them briefly. Make a long slit in the side of each pepper and carefully remove the seeds and veins. Pat dry and place on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
3.) Mix together the cheese and scallions.
4.) Form into six ovals, then stuff the ovals into the center of the peppers and gently reshape them. Bake for 15 minutes to thoroughly heat through. Serve hot.
I served them alongside rice and tortilla chips. This was a pretty quick and easy dinner-and a nice break from the typical Mexican dinner of burritos or quesadillas.