Thursday, December 9, 2010

#37 Chiles Rellenos

The most common Spanish spelling for Chillie is Chile referring to the plant as well as the fruit. The name Chile is also used for a thick and spicy sauce used with Mexican food most commonly for making
Chicken Mole. According to Mexican culture, the chile relleno resulted from a wonderful creation of a mixture of European ingredients and a fusion of native vegetables. The Chile relleno tradition was born
as a roasted Poblano chile stuffed with cheese or meats and covered with an egg batter and fried. Poblano is a term that originated from the city and state of Puebla and Chille Relleno became Mexico's most patriotic dish. Also known as the Ancho (when dried) and in some parts of California as the Pasilla, this pepper is shiny and has a pointed tip and flattened appearance. It is mild in flavor with a special herbal aroma, great for stuffing and for adding a lift to succotash, corn casseroles, fish, and egg dishes. The poblano can be roasted, frozen, or stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

I will recommend all devoted pepper aficionados to read the book "The Whole Chile Pepper Book" by Dewitt and Gerlach. It is a treat to read about the history of the chile with colorful photos of the most
unique chilles and exotic recipes. I have not tried out any of the spicy hot recipes from the book because my schedule was like a whirlwind at that time. I could ramble on and on about Cancun and chillies.

The Indian style Chili Relleno was a spontaneous development on my part to use up left over Roast Chicken and create something unique. The celebrations never come to an end with chicken.... all I need to do is buy some Poblano Peppers from the store and I am ready to cook. This afternoon,  I got some fresh Poblanos to roast on the stove until the skins blacken, then placed all of them in a brown paper bag for 15 mins to steam off the skins.

So back to the kitchen I go to use up the leftovers and there were two whole legs of the chicken.  I stuffed them up with scrumptious chicken mixture fit enough to feed any "gourmand". Follow my recipe and I can assure you the outcome will be well worth the input.  Imagine the immense pleasure when you bite into a char-broiled chilli stuffed with a tantalizing generous portion of spiced chicken oozing with cheese, floating atop a zesty hot tomato sauce.....YUM!!!

Chicken shredded - 1 1/2 cups
Mozzarella Cheese- 1 1/2 cups
Green onions- 1 chopped fine
Garlic paste-1/2 tspn
Poblano Chillies- 5
Cilantro- chopped fine 1 Tblsn
Eggs- 4 separate yolks from whites
All-purpose flour- 1/2 cup
Baking Spray
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomato Sauce can
Hot Sauce- 1 Tblspn

1. Wash and clean the peppers and wipe dry.
2. On a gas burner, roast the Poblano peppers until they are charred well but do not completely burn the skins.
3. While warm, place all the charred peppers into a brown bag or zip-lock bag for 15 mins.
4. After 15 mins remove the peppers from the bag, and holding it under tap water remove the skins and wash well.
5. Make a small slit and remove all the seeds from inside the pepper using your index finger and thumb.
6. Make sure to dry the peppers with paper towels and keep aside.
7. Now mix together shredded chicken, cheese, garlic, green onions, some cilantro, salt and pepper with a spoon.
8. Take one pepper and open the cavity, slowly fill the chicken mix into the cavity with the spoon until full. Hold together with toothpicks if the slit is too wide.
9. Fill the rest of the peppers and roll them lightly in all-purpose flour. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
9. Take the egg whites and beat well until thick peaks are formed. Very slowly mix together the yolks and a pinch of salt and fold it into the whites.
10. Dip the stuffed and floured peppers very very gently into the egg foam until completely coated and place on a greased baking dish.

11. When you are done placing all the peppers on to the baking dish, generously spray the peppers with baking spray.
12. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 20 mins or until the outer coating is light brown in color.
13. While the peppers are baking, beat the Tomato sauce with salt and hot sauce until smooth.
14. On the serving plate, pour a layer of the sauce. Place a ring of Spanish rice.
15. Place the Chilli Rellenos and garnish with chopped cilantro and reduced Balsamic Vinegar(optional).

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