Chile Relleno Casserole with Chorizo
When we were visiting Mike and Liz at their ranch in Corning, they told us about a flea market in Orland. Orland is on I-5, about 14 miles south of Corning.
We left Corning to head to Dublin and stopped at the Orland Flea Market on the way. There were a lot of different fruits and vegetables available; we got some poblano chiles, avocados, radishes, and limes.
The radishes were amaaazing: fresh, very crunchy, and HOT. Bob was in heaven. We bought 2 pounds and we probably could have used more. (We stopped at a grocery store the day after we got home and Bob didn’t want me to buy any radishes. He knew they would be disappointing.)
We ended up carrying 5 poblano chiles five more days on our road trip. Fortunately, they were very fresh when we bought them and they survived the trip just fine.
Last night I decided to make a Chile Relleno Casserole with Chorizo. I adapted a recipe by Elise Bauer on Simply Recipes. Since Elise lives in the Sacramento area, I figured she would know a thing or two about California peppers!
I had never used fresh poblano chiles before, but Elise gave very simple instructions for charring them to get them ready for the recipe. I used my gas grill, but you could use your broiler if you don’t have a grill.
Elise’s recipe uses 8 chiles. Since I only had 5, I adjusted the amount of the other ingredients and baked it in a 2 quart (7”x11”) baking dish. It was perfect with some fresh Yakima corn which I quickly cooked “Minnesota style”.
This morning I heated up 2 leftover chiles and served them with cantaloupe and blueberries. It was a fantastic breakfast for a hot Sunday morning.
Chile Relleno Casserole with Chorizo
(Adapted from a recipe by Elise Bauer that I found on simplyrecipes.com)
5 poblano chiles
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes (I used Cento brand crushed tomatoes, which were unsalted)
¾ pound Mexican chorizo (or other spicy sausage)
¾ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (or crumbled cotija cheese, as Elise used, if you can find it)
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves (or ½ teaspoon dried)
3 tablespoons flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Monterey Jack or mild cheddar, shredded
1. Heat a gas grill (or broiler) to high.
2. Wash and dry the chiles and place them on the grill. Close the lid to maintain a high heat. Turn the chiles occasionally so they will be blackened and blistered on all sides. (I found it took about 20 minutes on my grill.)
3. Put the chiles in a paper bag. Fold the top over and let them cool for at least 15 minutes. (Longer is OK.)
4. Preheat the oven to 375˚.
5. Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
7. Add the tomatoes. Break the tomatoes up if they are whole or are in large pieces. Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Salt to taste. (Mine needed about ½ teaspoon salt since my tomatoes were unsalted.)
8. Spread a layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. (I felt there was too much sauce for my 2 quart pan, so I reserved about 1 cup of it for another use.)
9. Peel the blackened skin off of the chiles. Cut the tops off and make a slit down the side so you can open them up. Remove the seeds. Set the chiles aside.
10. Using the same pan that you used for the tomato sauce, cook the chorizo over medium heat. Break it up into small pieces and cook until done, about 4 minutes.
11. In a large bowl, combine the chorizo, ¾ cup Monterrey Jack cheese (or cotija), and the oregano. Stuff the chiles with the sausage and lay them in the casserole.
Two chiles stuffed with chorizo and a third one ready to stuff:
12. In the bowl that you used for the chorizo, beat the eggs well. Beat in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt until well-blended.
13. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheese on the chiles; pour the egg mixture over all. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheese.
14. Bake until done, about 30 minutes. Let it rest for about 5 minutes before cutting.