Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chiles Rellenos Gratin

We both decided this was pretty much a perfect dinner. It was beautiful, delicious, and pretty healthy (even though we doubled the sauce - which I would recommend you do if you make this). We loved it and will definitely make it again. It is a little time consuming but is worth it.

Substitutions: I put in panko instead of standard breadcrumbs, used a Mexican blend of shredded cheese instead of queso fresco, and, as I mentioned before, doubled the amount of white sauce. I like my changes. You may notice I did not omit the cilantro. That's right. I used fresh cilantro! Gasp! Haha.

OK so one more week and then we're back to a normal cooking schedule!!!

Chiles Rellenos Gratin
from Cooking Light, May 2003

Unlike traditional stuffed chiles, this dish is baked like a casserole. The chiles are smothered in a creamy, spicy white sauce and topped with a cheese-rich breadcrumb mixture that crisps as it cooks.

8 poblano chiles
cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled queso fresco, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper, divided
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and divided
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% low-fat milk
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

Preheat broiler.

Place chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 3 inches from heat 8
minutes or until blackened, turning after 4 minutes. Place in a zip-top
plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and discard skins. Cut a
lengthwise slit in each chile; discard seeds, leaving stem intact.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat.
Add bell peppr; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add corn, onions,
nuts, and garlic;
cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup
cheese, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper.

Place half of beans in a bowl; mash with a fork. Add mashed beans and
whole beans to corn mixture. Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into each
chile; fold sides of chile over filling. Arrange stuffed chiles in an
8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; add 1/8 teaspoon
ground red pepper, cumin, and nutmeg, and stir with a whisk. Cook 30
seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add flour and stir with a whisk;
cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk. Stir with a
whisk until blended.

Increase heat to medium. Cook milk mixture 8 minutes or until thick.
Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Pour milk
mixture over stuffed chiles.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup cheese and breadcrumbs; sprinkle over milk
mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.

Preheat broiler.

Broil 1 minute or until top is golden brown.

Yield: 8 servings

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