Chile Relleno Casserole

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IMG_20140729_212329[1] 07/08/2014

This is my version of a Mexican dish I had on my travels called chile relleno. I had it with spicy rice and refried beans and it (my single portion) was served on a platter the size of… an extremely large platter. The peppers were loaded with gooey cheese and dipped and fried in an eggy batter.

My baked casserole version is slightly healthier but just as fulfilling and oozing. The feta cheese lends a salty edge to the dish which cuts through the richness but I sometimes leave it out all together to enhance the chorizo flavour. The green bell peppers are because I can’t find traditional poblano peppers here in Nottingham, England but they work well as the firm flesh holds well and still provides texture once charred and peeled.  

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 2 green or red chillies
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ carton passatta
  • Salt
  • 3 chorizo sausages (skin removed)
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Cheddar cheese, grated

 

Instructions:

  1. Cook chilies and peppers on stove top until blistering and black all over, a few minutes on all sides. Put chilies and peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film. Let sit 15 minutes.
  2. While the chilies and peppers are cooling, heat olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the passatta and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Carefully peel and discard the blackened skin off of the chilies and peppers. Cut off the stem ends, remove the seeds and discard. Set peppers aside on a layer of paper towels to dry. Slice and add chilies (with their seeds for a nice heat) to the passatta.
  4. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook chorizo, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until cooked through, about 4 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8×12 inch baking dish (the tomato sauce should be the consistency of a thin spaghetti sauce. If it is too thick, thin it out with a little water).
  6. In a large bowl, mix chorizo, feta, and oregano. Stuff the bell peppers with sausage mixture and lay them on top of the tomato sauce in the pan.
  7. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle peppers with half of the cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over the peppers and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  8. Bake until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.
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