Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Chiles Rellenos Casserole

Traditional roasted chile flavor, hearty filling, and crisp fried shell flavor without all the work! This Tex-Mex casserole is perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Are you celebrating today with Mexican food? We eat Mexican food (read: Tex Mex) a lot at our house so any excuse to enjoy it is good with us!

Chile rellenos is a popular Mexican dish. Traditionally, a poblano pepper is roasted, stuffed, dipped in an egg based batter, and fried. It's cheesy, creamy, and has a delicious crispy "shell" around it. Stuffing and frying individual peppers at home can be a drag so this recipe feeds your craving without all the work!

Browned lean beef is mixed with poblano peppers, tomatoes, and spices before being layered in a casserole dish with heaps of cheese. You whip up a simple egg batter to layer on top then bake!

Chiles Rellenos Casserole
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 pounds 90% lean ground beef
4 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained (such as Rotel brand)
2.5 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
2 large egg whites
salt and pepper

Adjust an oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 450.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until cooked through and no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer beef mixture to a paper towel lined plate. 

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat left in skillet, add poblanos, and cook over medium-high heat until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in beef mixture, garlic, cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in drained tomatoes and cook until the beef mixture is dry, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups cheese. Transfer mixture to a 9x13 baking dish and press into an even layer.

Combine flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth; set aside. In a second bowl, add the egg whites. Using a mixer fitted with a whisk, whip egg whites on medium-low until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Whisk 1/3 of the whipped egg whites into the flour mixture, then gently fold in remaining egg whites until combined.

Pour batter over beef mixture. Bake until topping is light golden and puffed, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and continue to bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Source: America's Test Kitchen

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