Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chile Rellenos

We love peppers, in any shape and form. Sometimes, I even splurge and make restaurant style chile rellenos, battered and fried. Tuesdays are not the day for battering and frying. As my children have gotten bigger, they love to help in the kitchen. So, I save deep frying for times when Mike is home. Makes me feel a little safer about the whole thing.

This recipe is from Southern Living, as so many of my recipes are. It is an easier form of a classic Mexican dish served for Independence Day (September 16). Last night, I used an uncooked tomato sauce (throw some tomatoes in the food processor and hope for the best) to top the peppers with. I, um, forgot that tomato sauce cooks down quite a bit. So, these had a huge amount of sauce. No worries--I just made some white rice, and we ate them over the rice, with lots of gravy. If I hadn't known that it was a mistake, I'd never have suspected.

This is a fun meal for us, because it uses both tomatoes and peppers from the garden. I love eating stuff from the garden, and the fabulous Tomato King is always proud to know that he grew supper. Plus, I can throw in the Mexican Independence Day thing, and, for a moment, my kids are fascinated by history.

Also, I cook for 4, but 2 of those are little people. One ate seconds of this--probably as much as an adult serving--, but no pepper. One licked his bite, turned up his nose, and ate a peanut butter sandwich. There was enough for the two adults, plus leftovers for one lunch. So, this recipe is a truly "serves 4" for us. Also, this recipe would be wonderful with some jalapenos and/or cayenne added to the filling. But that little one that actually eats (!), well, he isn't a hot head. So, I'm learning to tone it down in the kitchen and add hot sauce at the table.

Pork Stuffed Poblano Chiles with Walnut Cream Sauce
Southern Living, November 2001

8 large poblano chile peppers (I used 5 Italian frying peppers--that's what I had)
1 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 small apple, chopped (a perfect use for the last apple lounging in the drawer!)
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup diced almonds, toasted (I used pecans, which worked great)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (used brown rice vinegar, which is what I had)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup tomato sauce (I used 3 fresh tomatoes, pureed)
1 teaspoon sugar (I omitted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
Walnut Cream Sauce (I did a half recipe of this, and it was plenty)

Blacken peppers in skillet or oven. Place in a bowl with lid for 10 minutes to loosen skins. Peel peppers. Gently split chile peppers open lengthwise, keeping stems intact; remove and discard seeds. Set aside.

Cook pork in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Add chopped onion and next 4 ingredients; cook, stirring often, 7 minutes or until onion is tender.

Stir in tomato and next 4 ingredients. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt.

Stir together tomato sauce and next 3 ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat 5 minutes.

Spoon about 1/2 cup pork mixture into each pepper, and place in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour tomato sauce mixture over peppers.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Top with Walnut Cream Sauce.

Note: Small green bell peppers may be substituted for poblanos. (Do not roast.) Proceed as directed. Bake 45 minutes or until peppers are tender.

Walnut Cream Sauce
Southern Living, November 2001
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (I used pecans--walnuts are better, but my mom has pecan trees)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.

Thanks for enjoying supper with us! I hope you enjoy this meal. For more recipes featuring tomatoes (my favorite!!), check out this week's recipe swap at Tammy's recipes. We're on day 34 of eating fresh tomatoes. Are you enjoying tomato season???

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