Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chili Rellenos - The Ultimate Cheesy Comfort Food!

Chili Rellenos

So, this is one if the ultimate "comfort foods" in my book. Although it has been well over a decade since I've last eaten the stuff...and I couldn't even tell you why that is. So imagine my pleasure when a relative suggested I make it for BellinieBits?? I was happy to comply with the request, and being that it was also my first attempt at making it, it was a learning experience I got to share with you! I love to try new things just for those who watch, so that you know that NOTHING is a cause for fear. Everything is, and can be, easier than it looks! So, I'd like to offer a HUGE thank you to Charles Wetlaufer for sending me the recipe. Here it is:

Chili Rellenos Casserole
28 oz can green chilis, whole or diced
16 oz Colby jack cheese
8 oz pepper jack cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese
1 TBSP olive oil (or vegetable oil if you don't have any)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 TBSP jarred minced garlic)
½ large onion, diced
4 eggs
1 cup flour
1 1/3 cups milk
½ tsp salt (optional)
2 ½ cups shredded chicken or beef (optional...use if making a main dish)

Make sure you preheat your oven to 400 degrees before you're ready to bake this. Grease a 9 x 13" casserole dish too.

In a large bowl, combine all the cheeses and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium high, and sauté the onion and garlic just until tender and translucent. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, eggs, and milk. Whisk until smooth and resembles runny pancake batter. Set this aside also.

Drain the chili's and cut into strips or dice (whichever is your preference) if they are whole. Make sure you also remove the skin (while they are still whole) if they haven't been removed already. Mix the chilis with the sautéed onion and garlic. Layer about 1/3 of the chili mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish. Add a layer of cheese in top of that. If you are adding shredded meat, add a layer now. Then start over again with the chili mixture, cheese, meat, so on, until everything has been used. Now you can evenly pour the batter over the entire dish, trying to make sure you evenly distribute everything. If you want to prevent over browning, cover dish with a piece of foil. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Then drop the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake for another hour. At this point, I took the casserole out of the oven to cool, but in Charles' recipe, he indicated you could turn the oven off and let it stay in for another half of an hour and it will be fluffy and settle a bit. It will resemble a quiche. Add whatever toppings suit you (I like sour cream and diced tomatoes, but I'll bet avocado would be nice too) and ENJOY!

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