Friday, May 6, 2011

Cinco de Mayo and Chili Rellenos

Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo so I started the day listening to Juanes.

I made a new necktie purse with a Jerry Garcia necktie. Jerry Garcia isn't Mexican, but his name sounds Spanish, so I thought it was close enough. I put it in my Etsy shop this morning.

Next up - dinner. It was a rainy, cold day (I even had the wood stove burning) so Mexican food didn't seem as if it would be in order. Even so, I decided on chili rellenos and guacomole. I went to Zup's grocery and was able to choose four poblano chilis out of the six they had.

First - the guacamole.

Open an avocado and remove the flesh. Squash it around in a bowl. Add a little finely chopped onion, tomato, cilantro, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 of a lime's juice. Mix it up and eat it with tortilla chips and a beer.

I have Rick Bayless's Mexico One Plate at a Time cookbook. I decided combined two of his recipes for the chili relleno. I liked the stuffing from the traditional fried rellenos, but I wanted to bake them in sauce.

Sharee's Chili Relleno

2 T olive oil
2 medium onions
1 tsp salt
2 24 oz cans good quality whole tomatoes
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pepper

Chop the onion and saute it in the olive oil with salt. While the onions cook, puree the tomatoes in a blender. When the onions are beginning to get a little brown, add the tomatoes, cinnamon and pepper to the pan. Simmer that on the stove while you prepare the peppers. Let it simmer about 25 minutes until it gets thicker.

Chilis and stuffing:
4 poblano chilis
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3/4 lb. ground pork (use any ground meat you like)
2 ears of corn, kernels cut off
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tsp cider vinegar

Toast the almonds in a dry, hot skillet. When they are toasted, remove them from the pan. Put the pork in the pan and saute until browned (if the meat is too lean, add a tablespoon of olive oil). Add the corn kernels, cider vinegar, and two cups of the tomato sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro and toasted almonds.

Meanwhile, slit the chilis lengthwise about 1/2 inch down from the top and stopping about 1/2 inch from the bottom. Carefully use your finger to dislodge the seeds near the top by the stem. Shake seeds out and rinse to remove the rest of them. Let dry on a paper towel.

Stuff the chilis with your stuffing mixture and place in a deep casserole pot:

Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the chilis and bake, covered in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, remove the cover and drizzle with 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Put back into the oven for 25 minutes or until the cream is looking brown and bubbly.

Eat it!!!

We only ate two so we still have two to eat tonight!

NOTE: Most recipe books have you char the skin off the peppers before you stuff and bake them. I decided to try it with the skin on. No problem! Delicious. If you did char the skin off, your baking time could be cut in half. But I'd rather eat the guacamole and have a cocktail while the dinner is cooking instead of spending a bunch more time charing and peeling the peppers! You decide.

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