Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chiles Rellanos Gratin

Chiles rellenos, which means "stuffed chiles" in Spanish, can consist of any variety of stuffings, and originates from the Mexican city of Puebla. This version is baked like a casserole - make it the next time you want to feed a crowd!

Place 8 whole poblano chiles on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Broil for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until blackened. Transfer to a plastic bag or paper bag; close the bag and let stand for 15 minutes. Peel the poblanos and discard the skins. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile, and scoop out the seeds, but leave the stems and the rest of the chile intact. Note: I found this step slightly tricky, since the poblanos were quite tender, so be gentle as you scoop out the seeds!

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped red bell pepper and cook for 4 minutes. Add 1 and 1/2 cups corn kernels (although fresh corn would be best, I used frozen tonight since fresh corn hasn't quite hit the market yet), 1/2 cup chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons pine nuts (toasted first, if you like), and 2 minced garlic cloves; cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup crumbled vegan feta (such as Sunergia) in place of queso fresco, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper.

Drain a 15-ounce can of black beans. Place half of the beans in a bowl, and mash with a fork. Add both the mashed beans and the remaining whole beans to the corn mixture. Stuff each poblano with a generous 1/3 cup of the mixture, and close the sides of the chile over the filling. Place the stuffed poblanos in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg; cook for 30 seconds, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Gradually pour in 2 cups plain soy milk (such as Silk), and increase the heat to medium. Cook until thickened (about 8 to 10 minutes) - I stirred occasionally during this phase of the process. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice once the mixture has thickened, then pour over the stuffed chiles.

Sprinkle an additional 1/4 cup vegan feta and 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs over the chiles, then bake the casserole at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and switch the oven heat to "broil." Broil the casserole for 1 additional minute.

1 stuffed chile makes a serving of 220 calories.

poblano chiles $8.53
red bell pepper $2.00
frozen corn $2.99
green onions $0.99
pine nuts $8.99
vegan feta $3.69
canned black beans $1.99
lime $0.50

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance