Chili Relleno Casserole
This particular recipe is one I inherited from my mother-in-law, who makes some killer chiles rellenos. They are a little time-intensive, though, so she came up with this casserole to get all the great flavors without all of the extra work. You do still have char the poblano peppers, though, so you might want to wait until you (or your grill-master hubby) is firing up the grill for burgers or steaks and throw the peppers on, too, to get that part out of the way. Either way, it’s definitely worth that extra effort, I promise.
  • 10-15 poblano peppersthe more the merrier in my opinion
  • 1 small onion
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppersdepending on your personal heat preference
  • 2cans Mexican stewed tomatoesIf you can’t find these you could just use Rotel or those fire-roasted ones.
  • 1tablespoon Knorr Caldo de Pollo seasoningthis is found on the Mexican food aisle at any grocery store I have ever been in- it’s a kind of chicken bouillon
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 8-oz. blocks Monterey Jack cheeseshredded
  1. The first step here is the time-consuming one- roasting off the poblano peppers. Wash them well first, and then dry them. I use a grill pan inside or have my husband do them on the grill outside, but I have read about people charring them up one at a time over a gas burner or even using the broiler in the oven. However you do it, you need to get the whole outside of each pepper black.
  2. In the kitchen, I heat my grill pan (it’s a long one that goes over two burners) to a medium high heat. Then I squeeze hopefully all the peppers on it at once. As they heat up, you’ll start to hear some popping sounds as the seeds inside the peppers start to pop around. It takes about 10 minutes per side to get the peppers blackened all over.
  3. Once they are all nice and charred, I stick them all back in the plastic produce bag I brought them home in, and tie the bag up tightly. Let them set in the bag and sweat for about 30 minutes. Then, you can untie the bag and peel off all the black skin from each pepper. I will say, however, that this process is easier if you’re able to do it the day before and leave the bag in the fridge overnight. Whenever I have my husband do the peppers when he’s grilling, that’s what I do, and it seems like the skin comes off easier that way.
  4. However you accomplish this feat, you should now have all the peppers clean of the charred outer skin. Now, cut off the tops of each one, slice them all in half to open them up, and remove the seeds. Then, slice them all up so you have a ton of poblano strips. Set these aside.
  5. Next, you make the sauce. I suppose you could use your favorite salsa for this, but I have always done it the way my mother-in-law showed me. Coarsely chop the onion and jalapeno, removing the jalapeno seeds if desired. Throw those into a blender with the stewed tomatoes and Caldo de Pollo seasoning. Blend on high until the sauce is smooth and give it a taste. You may want to add a little more seasoning or just some salt and pepper. It’s a yummy sauce, though. Leave that in the blender for now.
  6. Moving on, you need to heat up your favorite omelet pan over medium heat. Beat up three eggs at a time and cook them nice and flat, just like you would an omelet. When it’s dry around the edges and starting to set up in the middle, flip it over and cook another couple of minutes. Remove that egg round from the pan to a plate, and cook your next three eggs up the same way. You will end up with 4 egg rounds made with 3 eggs each.
  7. Now, you’re ready to assemble your masterpiece! (I realize that there are several steps to this recipe, but other than the prepping the peppers, it’s all pretty fast and easy.)First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Take a few spoonfuls of your sauce and coat the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish. Take two of the eggs rounds and lay them on top of the sauce. The rounds will overlap, but that’s no problem. On top of the eggs, layer half of your poblano strips. Coat them with half of the sauce, and top that with half of the cheese. Repeat the process with the last two egg rounds, the rest of the poblanos, the last of the sauce, and the remaining cheese.
  8. Place that gorgeous thing in the oven, and let it bake for about 45 minutes. When it comes out, it will be oozing with melted cheese, and the sauce will be bubbling around the edges. It’s best to let it sit for 15-20 minutes so it holds together better when you cut out your servings.
Recipe Notes

This dish is great on its own, for a vegetarian dinner, but is also a great accompaniment to my Mexican Chicken (recipe coming soon). Give it a try, and let me know what you think!