Simple and wholesome ranch goodness. Hot and fluffy eggs, sweet and savory roasted green chilies, and some melty cheese makes me nostalgic for being a kid at grandma’s kitchen table. This hearty protein packed casserole is a great dish for breakfast or brunch and will sustain you throughout the day’s adventures.
The Spanish word relleno means “stuffed”. The tasty genius of stuffed chilies are a result of the fusion of African, South American, and European peoples, ingredients, and cooking styles that began with the rather problematical arrival of the Conquistadors in the America’s.
Chiles rellenos poblanos, a classic Mexican version of a chili relleno, generally consists of a fire roasted poblano chili stuffed with meat, cheese, battered in egg and flour, and then fried. Poblano are a mild dark-green chili first originating from the state of Puebla, Mexico. It is grown throughout much of Mexico as an important ingredient in regional cuisine. It often has a bit shorter and squatter appearance than the similar but more elongate pasilla pepper.
Some other green chilies that are used in relleno recipes are jalapenos and New Mexico varieties like Hatch and Anaheim chilies. The New Mexico group chilies were first nurtured and cultivated by the native Pueblo peoples of New Mexico to grow in the regional soils and micro-climates found there. The chilies developed from these heirloom strains and grown in the terroir of Hatch Valley, New Mexico are known in particular for their superior flavor and texture.
Our Southwest relleno adaptation skips some of the the fats and carbs by baking, instead of frying the dish, but still keeps the yummy trio of egg, cheese, and green chili. When they are locally in-season I like to fire roast poblano and use them. The canned Hatch Valley chilies, however, are just as tasty and have more of an “earthy” sweet taste that is perhaps more authentic to a regional Tex-Mex flavor. If you want, substitute the regular cheese with a good quality vegan cheese. I like to use Daiya in block- form, grate it, and then mix it in with the eggs as it seems to melt a little better than some of the pre-shredded varieties. The dish can be prepared ahead of time and cooked in the morning. I like to have my rellenos with a bit of salsa, a spoon of sour cream, and a slice or two of avocado! I hope you take a little time and “relleno” yourself with a bit of this recipe for breakfast!
Feathered Pipe’s Chili Rellenos Casserole
Makes 5 – 8 servings
— 27 once can Hatch Valley whole green chilies, drained
— 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
— 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
— 5 organic eggs, beaten
— 1 1/2 cups organic milk or soy milk
— 3 – 4 tablespoons whole wheat or gluten-free flour
— 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
— 1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
— pinch black pepper, freshly ground
— kosher salt to taste
— Grease a Pyrex or other suitable casserole pan with butter or olive oil.
— Drain the canned chilies in a colander for a bit. When they are fairly dry open them and stuff with grated Jack cheese using a table spoon or two. Lay them down into a single layer in the prepared pan.
— In a bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, and seasonings. Pour over the stuffed chilies and top with a bit more grated cheddar.
— Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the eggs set up and brown just a little on top, about 35 to 40 minutes.
— Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes so the cheese will set a bit.
— Serve with traditional breakfast accompaniments.