Mexican/Southwestern style dishes are some of our favorite dishes to make. There's just something about the spices and the simplicity. And the chips and salsa. One day I made a Smitten Kitchen original that is featured in her cookbook, black bean and spaghetti squash tacos. They sound weird, and they are, but they're also pretty addictively good. Anyway, at the same time I had planned to make these tacos, I caught an episode of The Pioneer Woman on Food Network and saw the recipe for these chiles rellenos. I made them with the tacos. We loved them. The end. The rest of the story is told here.
So, sometimes a new recipe experience can be tainted because a dish doesn't taste like what you expect. You know, the "oh, I subbed turkey in for the ground beef in the spaghetti sauce" or the use of say, spaghetti squash in place of actual spaghetti noodles. Those healthier substitutions leave your taste buds and brain sort of confused and a little ripped off. While there's no pretense of healthier here, you need to go ahead and tell yourself that these are not real chiles rellenos. There's no batter, no fryer, and no beef. Once you get past the fact that these aren't real chiles rellenos, you can love the dish without reservation. These are a bit of an imposter, but they're no less delicious. This dish is really more like a chiles rellenos casserole- a riff on the classic.
These are great though- breakfast, lunch, or dinner, they work as a side dish, and they play well with tortillas and salsa. They reheat pretty well, and serve a small crowd, or give you a few days of leftovers. The original post from the Pioneer Woman will be linked in the blog post. See how I made them below.
adapted from Pioneer Woman
3-4 poblano peppers
1-1/2 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
5 large eggs
2 cups milk
Salt And Black Pepper To Taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Set oven to "broil," or if you have a gas stove, turn on a burner. Roast your chiles under broiler or over gas flame, turning until the skin has some blackish-brown spots and is blistering on all sides. Remove from the broiler or burner and place peppers in a bowl, cover them with plastic wrap, and allow them to cool, about 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. When the peppers' skins are loosened and the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut the peppers in half. Cut out the cores and seeds, and cut the chiles in half so that they lay flat.
Mix together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne.
Add a single layer of chilies on the bottom of a 9 x 11-inch baking dish. Top chilies with half the grated cheese. Repeat with another layer of chilies and another layer of cheese. Pour egg mixture all over the top.
Place into a larger baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. Pour in 1/2 inch of water and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until completely set.
Cut into squares and serve with warm corn tortillas!