Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chile Relleno Casserole

Saturday, February 14, 2009

As some of you may know, a chile relleno is a classic Mexican dish. It it literally translated as "stuffed pepper", and the most common versions found in the United States are usually a Tex-Mex variant-a poblano pepper stuffed with cheese and/or meat and lightly fried in an egg batter. My family has taken this bit of deliciousness and translated it into a casserole. Well, actually, we have used "Seasoned with Sun", an El Paso Junior League cookbook, to make our own version of chile relleno casserole. It is EXTREMELY satisfying, especially on a rainy winter's eve. I grew up eating this dish, and I have actually only ordered chiles rellenos in restaurants once or twice. I prefer my mother's casserole.

My pictures do not exactly sell the dish, but I guarantee that you'll be pleased, so long as you enjoy Mexican food. It's very simple, and it can be made with what you have on hand easily-the beef is optional. It's also very amenable to halving and doubling. I used an 8 x 8 dish to make the full recipe, so a 9 x 13 would be good for a doubled version. I also used extra green chiles, because we like it spicy!

I like to serve Monterey Rice on the side, even though that makes the meal pretty heavy on the dairy factor. We had fresh guacamole instead, last week. Not a bad exchange.


Chile Relleno Casserole, adapted from Seasoned with Sun

1 lb lean ground beef (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 4 oz cans whole green chiles (I used 1 1/2 7 oz cans)
1 1/4 cup grated cheese
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
4 beaten eggs
salt and pepper

1. Brown beef, drain well. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Place 1/2 the beef in casserole dish, top with 1/2 the green chiles, and sprinkle with 1/2 the cheese.
3. Repeat layers.
4. Combine milk, flour, eggs, and salt/pepper, beat until smooth.
5. Pour over meat and chiles and bake 45-50 minutes at 350. When a knife comes out clean, they're finished. Cool for five minutes.

Monterey (Chile Cheese) Rice, adapted from Seasoned with Sun

3/4 uncooked rice (I prefer to use a cup of uncooked rice)
2 cups sour cream (can most definitely be minimized!)
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese (I use pepper jack, and I grate about 1 1/2 cups worth)
2 4 oz cans chopped green chile (again, I like lots of chile-I usually use 3 cans)

1. Cook the rice. Combine with sour cream and season with salt. Arrange half of the rice in a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. (I have also used 8 x 8 pans)
2. Layer with shredded cheese and chopped chiles.
3. Top with remaining rice, and sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese on top.
4. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. This recipe can be prepared ahead and refrigerated, or frozen, then thawed for 1 hour and baked.

1 comment:

J & Co. said...

I told my mom about your bloggg! She loves it! I have yet to try (have, courtesy her, of course) any of your creations, but keep posting--surely, she will crack first!