Jimson Weed, 1932 By Georgia O'Keeffe
Oops! Out of milk again. Time to head to the grocery store. It is either milk or bread that leads me to this home away from home at least two days a week. The kids DO love their milk.
Well today when wandering through the produce department and looking for the ingredients for Kate's Platinum Chef Challenge 6 (in which I have every intention to participate), I passed by the chile peppers and the Anaheim chiles called out, "Pick me, Pick me". And so I did. Not sure what I wanted to do with it though. (FYI: Chiles make me think of Santa Fe, NM. Santa Fe makes me think of Georgia O'Keefe. Hence the artwork above.)
It has been a month and a half of blogging for me now. I see some familiar faces stop by and feel you are friends. I also see some new faces commenting from time to time. That is so cool. And I feel I owe it to all of you to offer something creative and "foodie" and inspiring at least once a week. I mean food deals, hikes, rants and photos are all part of who I am but food is the fun stuff.
I felt the chiles were in order tonight. And I kept thinking something along the lines of chile relleno. I have only made stuffed chiles once before. It has been a while. I remember it wasn't easy. I also know I didn't feel like digging around for recipes or doing a lot of reading etc... So here is what I came up with just "winging it". I did have some pitfalls.
Here is what I created for you.
I began by roasting the chiles in the toaster oven until charred. Then I placed them into a plastic bag until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile I made a sauce with about half a bunch of cilantro, a tbls. of white wine vinegar, the juice of one or two limes, one garlic clove, one green onion chopped, a tablespoon of chopped jalapeno (in a can), about 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of heavy cream or sour cream (I used a little of both) and salt and pepper to taste. I pureed this mixture in a blender until smooth. If I had an avocado on hand, I would have thrown that in too. It really makes it creamy and delicious. Oh since I wanted to add a little more substance and some vitamins I threw in a large handful of baby spinach leaves too.
You can all now add me to the list of the many bloggers I have read over the past week with little food flops. When my anaheim chile was cool, I removed the skin and seeds. The only problem is that it really came apart. I had 2 sad flabby flat flaps of chile! I glanced at a couple recipes on foodnetwork.com and they say to roast the chiles first. Do you know what I am doing wrong?
So I just placed some grated jalapeno jack cheese (I like spicey) with a little bit of Mexican 4 cheese blend on one of my little flaps and then put the other on top and tried to sort of enclose the cheese. Most relleno recipes dip the chiles in an egg white batter etc... But I don't really like too much coating nor did I want all that outer batter tonight. So I simply (and very very carefully) rolled my little bundle in some flour and then placed it very carefully again into a skillet with a layer of hot oil. When one side browned I continued to gingerly turn my creation with a set of tongs until browned on all sides. It wasn't too easy but happily it didn't fall apart too much either.
Meanwhile on another part of the stove, black beans and corn were simmering. For the kids I made a sort of taquito. I chopped up some of the left over sirloin from the night before and placed it and some cheese on a corn tortilla and rolled it and cooked it in the hot oil. The beans, corn and dollop of sour cream made a pretty little plate.
This is my final (cough cough) masterpiece?
Actually it had a really nice flavor if a little lacking in the looks department. It was fairly light (but for the frying) with a nice light coating and texture. My cilantro sauce was very good but would have been better with avocado. This way however it would make a great dressing for a salad (I would also drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil) or tostada.
If you have experience stuffing chiles, please let me know your tips and tricks!
PS. The best chile relleno I have ever had was in Santa Fe. It was so long ago, however that I do not remember what the restaurant was. This relleno was not traditional though. It did not have the enchilada type sauce and had a very crispy outer coat. I don't remember much else. I do not like a chile relleno with too too much eggy coating or really soggy. The best chile relleno I have had in So. Cal. is at Taco Surf. They have great fish tacos too! We loved them when living in Seal Beach. Very surfer joint type of place.