Friday, September 5, 2014

Chiles Rellenos con Queso

One of the many things I miss most about living in Texas is the fabulous Mexican food.  In Texas even if times are too tough financially to go out to a Mexican food restaurant, there is always an abundance of inexpensive Mexican food staples available at the local grocer.  Anyone who grows up in Texas is also versed in a few Mexican recipes to cook at home.
As mentioned in previous posts, a couple years before leaving Texas, Musician, our eldest son, blessed me with a cookbook by Marge Poore entitled "1,000 Mexican Recipes".  Since moving to the Montana prairie, this cookbook has become a treasured addition to my cookbook library.  It is a fantastic cookbook and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for authentic Mexican recipes to cook at home. 
The internet has been a terrific resource for finding spices and dried herbs that are not readily available through Montana grocers.  I've turned to my garden for other items like Mexican cuisine specific peppers, tomatillos, etc. that are also not available through our local grocers.  A couple weeks ago we purchased a hog from our local 4-H livestock auction and although the processors up here do not know how to make Chorizo (they've never even heard of it), my "1,000 Mexican Recipes" cookbook has recipes that will enable me to make our own homemade Chorizo from the ground pork.
Home  cooked Chiles Rellenos con Queso with Colache and Frijoles Rancheros

 After 3/12 years of cravings, a couple weeks ago I had enough poblano peppers in our garden to prepare and indulge in Chilies Relleons con Queso (stuffed chilies with cheese), Colache (corn, zucchini and tomatoes), and Frijoles Rancheros (ranch beans). 

Here's Marge Poore's mouth watering Chiles Rellenos con Queso recipe:

Chilies Rellenos con Queso (pg. 421, "1,000 Mexican Recipes")
(stuffed chilies with cheese)

Tomato Sauce for Stuffed Chiles (pg. 43 & below)
6 fresh poblano or Anaheim chiles, roasted and peeled
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 c. all -purpose flour
4 lg. eggs, separated
1/4 tsp. salt
Vegetable oil for frying

1.  Prepare tomatoes sauce and keep warm.  Roast the chilies.  Then with a small sharp knife, cut a slit lengthwise from the stem end  to within 1 in. of the tip of each roasted and peeled chile.  Keep the stems intact.  Cut out the seed pod and remove the seeds.  Pat the chilies dry with paper towels.

2.  Stuff each chile with a quarter of the cheese.  Reshape and secure the opening with toothpicks.  put all but 1 tablespoon of the flour on a plate.  Dust the stuffed chiles with flour and reserve on a plate.

3.  Put the egg whites in a large bowl, and beat until foamy.  Add the salt and beat until stiff peeks form.  Beat in the egg yolks, by hand, one at a time.  Beat in the reserved 1 Tbsp. flour.

4.  In a heavy skillet, heat about 1 c. vegetable oil until hot (375 degrees).  One at a time, dip the flour coated chiles in the egg batter to coat.  Gently place the chile into the hot oil.  Cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.  Drain on a paper towel or wire rack.  Remove toothpicks and serve hot with the tomato sauce spooned over top.  Garnish with additional cheese, if desired.

Salsa de Jitomate para Chiles Rellenos (pg. 43, "1,000 Mexican Recipes")
(tomato sauce for stuffed chiles)

4 lg. ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped white onion
2 med. garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. dried Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp. ground Mexican cinnamon (I prefer a 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3/4 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper

1.  Using a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic.  Heat the oil in a medium saucepan then pour in the tomato mixture.  Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the tomato juices reduce a little, 3-4 minutes.

2.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 12 - 15 minutes, to blend the flavors.  Serve hot.

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