5.10.2008

Mexican Series #9: Chiles Rellenos:Stuffed Ancho & Poblano




My entry for Dhivyas A.W.E.D Mexican.

My Gujju heart says that Chiles Rellenos is only Bharela Marcha by a different name, localized with Mexican Ingredients. Bharela Marcha is a stuffed chile( either the mild long one or the Capsicum) that is sometimes fried as a fritter or Bhajiya. Big picture settled, the details are very very important. Mexican cuisine is all about the marcha or the chile. They have n number of chile varieties, which when they combine with n number of fillings leads to billions of variations and that spins my head round and round and round......

uh coming back to Chiles Rellenos, it is, then, a classic Mexican dish of stuffed, battered and deep fried Poblano , Ancho or even Jalapenos or Habaneros in different regions of Mexico. In a way, Jalapeno Poppers, that cheese creamy hot goodness is a Chiles Relleno.

Do check out my other vegetarian Mexican recipes here.

Donot get intimidated by the long list of ingredients or the equally long method, this dish is worth the work. This recipe does not deep fry the chiles for a healthier chiles Rellenos. It is a main course dish and you can eat it by itself.

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The two most common Chiles Rellenos, have to be the stuffed Poblano and Ancho. Poblano is a deep green, fresh, long and mild pepper while the Ancho is a deep red dried Pepper. Both are easily available in local Mexican or farmers markets.Images from Happynews.com and Wikimedia

Check out Asha at Foodies Hope who has a detailed post on the stuffed Poblano Chiles Rellenos. I guess the only things I could add to her detailed instructions is you could also char the poblanos on a gas stove top, cover it for ten minutes and then peel it. Remember that you should char the poblanos only until they are black and blistered. Too much and you wont be able to peel them. Also, try not to wash them under water because that dilutes the flavor. Dont worry about little bits of skin, they taste damn good!

Stuffing Anchos Chiles is a slightly different procedure, you have to first rehydrate the chiles. This recipe is from a book called Rosa's Mexican Table which I liked for its beautiful pictures and slightly unconventional stuffing.


Stuffed Poblano Peppers & Ancho Peppers in a thin tomato sauce:
Chiles anchos rellenos de puntitas de res:

To rehydrate the Anchos:
2/3 cup Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup piloncillo or jaggery or 3 tbsp brown sugar + 2 tbsp molasses
8 Large Ancho chiles, dry but pliable

For the filling
1/3 cup of soft goat cheese
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1.5 pounds trimmed beef tenderloin ( I substituted with TVP made from Soy. You could also use Rice- Brown or white - Works out to about 2 cups-cooked)
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
6 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed chopped
1 large white onion finely chopped
2 medium jalapenos, chopped finely
11/2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2.5 tsp dried oregano crumbled
salt to taste
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:
6 medium tomatoes roasted in an oven at 400 degree F for 10 minutes( if you find yellow tomatoes use them for a beautiful color contrast)
1 habanero chile
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (11/3cups)small white onion finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Blend all the sauce ingredients except the onion. Take some oil in a saucepan and heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add the blended sauce and cook the blended sauce until it thickens. The Author recommends 40 minutes, I did not have the patience and I used a thinner tomato sauce, tasted just great.


METHOD:

First, Rehydrate the Anchos: Take six Dried Anchos in a Large bowl. Combine 4 cups water with the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, Stirring until the piloncillo is dissolved. Add the water to the Anchos. Put a heavy weight on top of the Anchos so that they are submerged. Soak for about an hour until they are soft. Drain. Carefully make a slit on one side and remove most of the seeds. Make sure the stem does not fall off and try not to tear the chile.

Prepare the filling: In a pan with add the oil, add the cumin, onions, rice or tvp, jalapenos, garlic, oregano, salt and mushrooms and saute until the onions are cooked and the mushrooms are lightly browned and all the water from the mushrooms have evaporated.

When cooked add the goat cheese and cilantro.

Stuff each chile carefully. This mixture should fill around 6 Anchos. The extra anchos are in case any chile tears or does not become soft.


Place the chiles in a baking dish, add the tomato sauce to upto half way up the chiles. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degree F.







Variations:
From Recipes from Regional cooks of Mexico Diana Kennedy
1. Chiles Rellenos con Calabacitas Chiles stuffed with Zucchini
2. Chiles Rellenos de Elote con Crema Chiles tuffed with corn and cream
From The Art of Mexican Cooking by Diana Kennedy
3. Chiles stuffed with Cheese
4. Ancho Chiles stuffed with Potato and Chorizo
From Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless
5. Pan fried Chiles Rellenos with sauce and without
6. Black Bean Chiles Rellenos
From Cocina dela Familia by Marilyn Tausend
7. Chiles en Nogada Stuffed Chiles wih Walnut Sauce
8. Chile Rellenos de Fiesta Unstuffed Stuffed Chiles
From Elise of Simply Recipes
9. Chiles En Nogada
10. Chile Relleno Casserole

6 comments:

DK said...

This is my all time fav Mexican delicacy esp my significant other's. From your list, I find that I have not tried few steps. Would def give it a try. Droolworthy pic. :) Thanks for sending it for the event.

Uma said...

wow, lovely entry. It looks like a lot of process though. But the end product must have tasted great.

pedatha.com said...

Agreed that we all love seeing variations and similarities between dishes of different countries. Mexican food is yummm...I mean the mexican Indian food he he. But this recipe sounds so detailed, so well researched and well discovered that I am sure the end result must have been fabulous. Enjoyed reading your snippets dispersed through the post.

gujfoodguide said...

Just stopped by to say hi. And thanks for stopping by.
You piqued my interest with Gujju and Tamil references! :D I'll check up and cross reference more often when posting my own attempts at Gujju food...

Hetal said...

hey thanx for explaining the recipe in so much detail,nice recipe.Would love to see u on my blog and get ur comments.

chiles jalapeƱos said...

The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information