Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Better, Healthier Chili Relenos

I always think about ordering Chili Rellenos at the mexican and tex-mex places we go to. What stops me is that nearly every time I am disappointed.

A few places know how to make them well most do not. Most of the Rellenos you find are sorry deep fired messes.

The best restaurant rellenos I have had recently came at Cylcone Amelias on Shepard in Houston.
But even they can't match my own version ... IHO

Chilli Rellenos
6 Pobano Peppers, pick large ones with smooth dark skin as staright as possible for ease of prep.

1 lb cooked shredded chicken, this is a great way to use up leftover roast (or roticery) chicken.

1 med/lg onion chopped
4 jalopaneo peppers, chopped
1/4 lb mushrooms,chopped
1 sm can diced tomatoes, drained reserving liquid
4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2-1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1 cup shredded jack cheese

The Poblanos must be first charred all over and then put in a plastic bag or container while hot to loosen the skin. I usually then rinse the skin off in running water. The tops are then cut off and the seeds and membrane removed, if this is not done you will end up with a meal that is hotter then you will like, I promise!

The onion and garlic are browned in olive oil and then the jalopeno peppers and mushrooms added and cooked until softened. I then add the tomatoes and meat and nuts and stir until bubbling hot and thouroly mixed. remove from heat.

As soon as it has cooled enough for you to handle, I mix in 1/2 the cheese.
As much of the mixture as possible is stuffed into the peppers.

The peppers are arranged in a baking dish and the leftover stuffing poured over the top as well as the liquid drained from the tomatoes. The rest of the cheese is sprinked over the top.
Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until is is bubbling and the poblanos are fork tender.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

pizza, pizza

That reminds me of the slogan for Little Ceaser's Pizza(R) . This is what I first thought of as pizza, dare I say, good pizza when I was a young child. I have since been edumacated on Pizza, of course I grew up in Chicago (Go Barrak!!) so I had a head start. And of course I also ended up being partial to deep dish although I do enjoy a good coal/wood fired pizza.

Weirldy one of the pizzas that made an impr3ssion on me recently was a seafood pizza I had in the Grendaine islands of the carabean. We have been trying to replicate it. And getting closer but am not there yet. We did make this one with shrimp and red snapper and it was good. The fish was parcooked before baking. Lots of basil, red bell pepper, motzarella cheese and a bechamel type sauce.

I do make my own crust and I use the over night method as that seems to add that yeasty flavor I expect in a pizza crust.

I will post more details later on my techniques, such as always baking at high temp ~500F