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Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed Chillies) with Cheese

1 Sep

(I did not use a filter on this)

Ok, I know what you’re thinking… That’s not REAL Mexican, look at all that cheese. C’mon – in Mexico they’d dip these babies in batter and deep fry ’em. This is the healthy(ish), cheese lovers version. It is also super quick to make.

The long, banana chillies (as we call them Australia) are in season at the moment. They’re crunchy, sweet and vary in colour from bright red, to yellow or green. I got a bag full for $4 recently and had lots of cheese at home and some leftover Enchilada Sauce. We just had simple cheese stuffed chillies, but there are lots of tips at the bottom of this post for how you could change it up a bit. They are another great way to use up leftovers.

This dish is all in one pot, in the oven. In addition, all you need is a packet of tortillas, or some Mexican Rice, a little guacamole or sour cream and some extra hot sauce for the chilli desperados among us. Oh, and salad, I guess. If you must.

Here’s what you’ll need…

4-6 long, large ‘banana’ chillies

Approx two cups Enchilada Sauce

Approx 2-2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (nothing fancy or strong flavoured, just regular mild cheddar)*

That’s it!!

Here’s what you do…

Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees celsius.

1. Prepare the chillies: With a pairing knife, make an incision width-ways in the pepper just under the stalk. Then Make a long incision down one-side (the same side as the cut at the top) of the chilli, making sure not to cut all the way through to the other side. Try to wedge your fingers in the chilli to scrape out most of the seeds. There will be a clump of them at the top near the stalk. Do your best to get these out. Rinse under the tap to get rid of loose seeds, pat dry and set in your flat oven-proof baking dish.

2. Stuff the chillies with the cheese. Don’t worry if they look messy. Save a little cheese for sprinkling on top at the end.

3.  Pour over the Enchilada Sauce and place dish in the oven. Bake for around 20 minutes or until peppers are soft, the sauce is hot and your cheese has melted and started browning a little.

4. Serve with plenty of hot tortillas to wrap pieces of yummy peppers, and mop up the sauce. Alternatively, serve with Mexican Rice, beans, salad and accompaniments such as sour cream, guacamole, fresh lemon and coriander for a more ‘complete’ meal at a dinner party or family gathering.

Muy rico!

* You can use other cheeses if you like: a combination of queso fresco, fetta, ricotta, cottage cheese, anything really!

Other suggestions for this dish…

  • Leftover chilli con carne
  • Some shredded meat (like this pulled pork I make for tacos),
  • Chopped and fried chorizo sausage
  • Some beans or re-fried beans

Let me know if you have other ideas or a great chilles rellenos recipe! Love sharing!

Breakfast Fajitas with Leftover Enchilada Sauce

23 Jan

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This is how we used the leftover enchilada sauce this morning

Tortilla Soup or ‘Sopa Azteca’

22 Jan

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This soup isn’t bold and strong but rather mild and delicate, but I promise that after your third or fourth mouthful you’ll be absolutely loving it. There are a few ingredients in this soup that may be quite hard to find in some places – in particular, the pasilla chillies which are typically used to enhance the fragrance and texture of the soup. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t have them. Nor does it matter if you don’t have any enchilada sauce to add. It is nice the way I make it but if you conduct a basic google search for tortilla soup you will soon see that there are literally hundreds of different versions of this soup. It’s just the basic idea that I love. I’ve put a note on substitutions and variations on the theme at the bottom of this recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need

Serves 6 as an entree or 4 as a main

1 cup vegetable oil

6 small corn tortillas

1 dried pasilla chilli, stem and seeds removed, sliced

1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 litre chicken stock

1 small chicken breast or 6 chicken tenders

1 cup enchilada sauce

1 ripe avocado, diced

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1 tablespoons or around 50 grams mild crumbly feta, crumbled

1 lime, quartered

Steps…

1. Heat oil in a medium sized saucepan to a good frying temperature – around 185 celsius, 365 fahrenheit

2. Cut tortillas into 1 inch strips and fry in the hot oil. Drain on paper towel or in a colander. Set aside.

3. Tip out most of the oil except about 2 tablespoons. Fry the pasilla chillies for about 20 seconds. Drain on paper towel and when cooled crumble the chillies slightly to break them up. Set aside.

4. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil until translucent. Add chicken stock and enchilada sauce along with chicken. Simmer on low heat until chicken is cooked through – 10-20 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and shred or cut into pieces.

5. To serve, you can either put out all of the garnishes and let people serve themselves at the table, or divide the tortilla strips between shallow bowls and top with a small amount of each garnish. Pour two or three ladles of hot soup into the bowl and enjoy!

Substitutions…

Use mild cheddar instead of the feta. It goes melty and delicious. If you have a local deli that sells queso fresco – this is traditional and delicious.

Cooked black beans, kidney beans, or even leftover re-fried beans are tasty and could replace the chicken.

Any vegetable can be added to the soup – chayote/choko, capsicum, potato, zucchini or squash are all nice.

A sprinkle of cayenne pepper instead of the pasilla chilli would be fine if you don’t have a Mexican importer nearby.

Any other suggestions? Add them in the comments section! 

Enchilada Sauce! WHO CAN? MEXICAN!

22 Jan

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I made this recently for family. We used it in both the first and second courses of a Mexican feast – a ladle full added to chicken broth to liven-up Sopa de Tortilla and smothered over pulled pork stuffed tortillas, sprinkled with cheese and cooked under a hot grill to make super tasty Enchiladas. You can also hike up the heat factor in this sauce and bottle it as a hot condiment for all manner of dishes and snacks – on eggs, added to fresh salsa/pico de gallo, on steaks

. It keeps for ages in a sterilised jar in the fridge.

Here’s what you’ll need…

… to make about 1 litre of sauce…

Around 500 grams fresh, ripe tomatoes (any variety), roughly chopped

Two small onions, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled

3-4 sprigs thyme, or coriander with roots attached

1/2 cup water

salt

1/2 – 1 whole habañero chilli**

75 grams butter

** These chillies are the dark red and bright yellow ones pictured above. They are EXTREMELY HOT and have a delicious sweet, nutty flavour. Be warned – wear gloves while handling these chillies and if you are not used to spicy food, perhaps you could make the sauce with a milder variety (like the others pictured) or some mild chilli powder.

IMG_8878Here’s what you do…

It’s dead easy… Put all the ingredients except the butter in a blender or food processor and blend until very smooth (1-2 minutes).

Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan until very hot and frothy.

Pour the contents of the blender into the pan – be careful as it may splutter a little. Stir butter and sauce together, reduce heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, for about 30-40 minutes. The consistency you are after is about the same as store bought tomato passata.

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two4six8! Who do we appreciate!?! 😉

WAYS TO EAT IT…

1) Use it as a base for quesadillas – smear some on a tortilla, top with cheese and another tortilla, pan-fry both sides. Serve with sour cream and guacamole. Add some fried chorizo or grilled veg. Drool.

2) Put it on toast with cheese and grill it after a night out!

3) Shred the meat of a rotisserie chicken, mix some of this sauce through it and use it as a stuffing for enchiladas, burritos, chimichangas, flautas etc.

4) Serve it as a sauce with tacos.

5) My favourite… Put a ladle full in some chicken broth for Sopa de Tortillas.

6) Freeze it and dream up something yummy…

Any other suggestions? Please share in the comments section 🙂