We had a nice weekend in Cincinnati with the G Man – I’ve got tons of too-too-cute pictures I’ll post later this week. He’s growing SO fast! Anyhoo. Needless to say, I didn’t get much opportunity to cook, but that’s okay because I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for some time now.
I think I’ve mentioned a time or three that I really miss Mexican food. Not necessarily Tex-Mex, either, although I do miss that, but real Mexican. My ex is 3rd generation Mexican American and his maternal grandmother, aside from being the sweetest human being I’ve ever met in my entire life, was an incredible cook. Watching her cook (and eating her cooking) gave me a keen interest in Mexican cuisine and one of my very favorite dishes is Chile Rellenos – roasted poblano peppers stuffed with Mexican cheeses, coated in a delicate batter of eggs and swimming in a rich tomato broth, they are absolutely delicious.
They are also an absolute pain in the tookus to make. I make them maybe once every 5 years, to give you an idea just how large of a pain they are to make.
The answer to that problem is this casserole, which is an adaptation of a recipe that’s been floating around the internet for, well, ever. I don’t know why I’d never made it for Beloved before, because he loves casseroles and chile rellenos, but when I did he sucked it down. It is super simple; the original recipe calls for canned, whole green chiles and jack and cheddar cheeses, but in the interest of maintaining some authenticity I roasted poblano peppers and used fresh Mexican cheese as well as cheddar. I also added some leftover roasted chicken to help make it more filling – the original recipe has no added meat, so you don’t have to use any if you don’t want to. We ate this for dinner, but without the chicken it would make a great brunch dish.
Chicken Chile Relleno Casserole
serves 6 – 8
2 – 3 cups chopped cooked chicken
8 poblano peppers, roasted, seeded, peeled and halved
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Queso Fresco, or other soft Mexican cheese
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Generously butter an 8″ x 10″ baking dish.
Whisk the eggs, cream and salt together well in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Line the bottom of the baking dish with half of the poblano peppers, cut side up; top with the chicken and Queso Fresco. Arrange the remaining poblano peppers over the top of the chicken and cheese, cut side down, and pour the egg/cream mixture evenly over the entire dish. Top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until a knife in inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Allow to rest for 5 – 7 minutes before serving.