I was very hesitant to attempt making chiles rellenos, but I decided to go for it. My hesitation was warranted - it was tough! The whole dinner was a lot of work, but it was good. I started by putting the green Anaheim chiles on the gas grill until they were blackened. While they were grilling I started some brown rice and made the sauce. The sauce was pretty easy - chop some tomatoes and part of an onion and slice a garlic clove, then put them all into a blender until it was a sauce. This was then simmered with some olive oil on the stove for 5 minutes and the sauce was done and set aside.
The next part was the really tough part - peeling the chiles and pulling the seeds out. My first mistake was not grilling the chiles long enough. They looked blackened when I pulled them off the grill, but they were not that easy to peel. The 2 larger ones were not too bad, here's a pic of one of them after it was peeled:
One of the 4 chiles did not make it through the peeling process, it was just too tough and was falling apart. Not sure if this was due to not being grilled long enough, or because the chiles were not fresh enough. Once each chile was peeled, I made a slit down the length of it to remove the seeds. This was difficult to do without ripping the chile apart! The whole peeling and de-seeding process took quite awhile. Then I inserted a slice of monterey jack cheese inside each chile and tried to re-close them.
Next I whipped up a couple eggs to dip the chiles in for frying. I found several websites that explained this process - separate the whites and yolk (I used 2 egg whites and 1 yolk), then whip up the whites for several minutes using a hand mixer until it made small peaks, almost like whipped cream. Then I added the yolk and mixed it for another minute or so. I heated up some olive oil in a frying pan until it was pretty hot, then coated each chile in flour, dipped it in the egg mixture, and added them to the frying pan. Some websites called for deep frying the chiles in vegetable oil, but I chose to pan fry them in olive oil and I think this worked just fine. Here's what they looked like when they done frying:
While I was cooking I also heated up a can of organic low fat refried black beans (I prefer black beans over pinto). The chile process had taken awhile, so I reheated the red sauce. One of the chiles didn't look so good after the frying process, so two ended up surviving. That was just the right amount for my dinner anyway :-) My completed dinner - 2 chiles rellenos with a red sauce, refried black beans, and brown rice:
By the way, if you're like me and can't handle spicy, this dinner had zero spice. The spicy part of the chiles is the seeds, so make sure they are all removed and it will be a completely mild dinner. If I try this again I'll probably add some spice to the red sauce, but it tasted pretty good as it was. The cheese inside was nice and melted:
So the dinner turned out pretty well, but I'm not sure it was worth all the work, it took almost 1 1/2 hours when all was said and done! And I used a lot of pans and dishes, so there was a lot of cleanup as well. Next time I order chiles rellenos at a restaurant I will definitely respect the work that goes into it.
Yesterday I also made black-eyed peas with tomatoes in the crock pot, but I had to freeze it because I am not able to eat it this week. I'll blog about that when I defrost it. That was pretty much everything from my CSA basket this week! There are a couple of basil leaves left that look ok, and some arugula, quite a bit of garlic and half of an onion. I will need to figure out something to make for dinner tomorrow, before I get another bag of goodies on Tuesday!