Chile Relleno Casserole

Feel free to play around with the stuffing, Mexican chorizo is great for this, but we've also used hot Louisiana pork sausage. Or you can skip the pork all together and just use a jack cheese stuffing. Note that this casserole serves 8; you can easily cut the ingredients in half and use an 8x8 dish for the casserole.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 poblano chiles
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo (or other spicy sausage)
  • 1 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled (can sub feta)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
  • One dozen eggs
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup Monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Special equipment:

Method

1 Char the whole poblano chiles: The first step is to char the outside skin of the poblano chiles. The easiest way to do that is directly over the flame of a gas burner (see How to Roast Chiles over a Gas Flame).

You can also do that over a grill, or in a broiling pan under a broiler (don't use a thin baking sheet or it will warp under the high heat). Just put the chiles close enough to the heating element so they char and blister on the surface.

chile-relleno-casserole-method-1

Turn the chiles so that they get completely blackened all around. Place the blackened chiles in a bowl and cover with a plate or damp towel. Let the chiles steam in their own heat for several minutes.

2 Sauté onion, garlic, add tomatoes, salt, and simmer: While the chilies are cooling, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan, on medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Add the tomatoes (break up any whole tomatoes before adding to the pan). Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3 Peel the blackened skin off the poblanos: Carefully peel and discard the blackened skin off of the chilies. Cut off the stem ends. Carefully remove the seed pod without tearing the chiles (which you will stuff later).

chile-relleno-casserole-method-2 chile-relleno-casserole-method-3

4 Cook the chorizo: Put the Mexican chorizo in a large frying pan and set the heat to medium high. Break up the chorizo with the edge of a metal spatula as you cook it. Cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes.

5 Spread tomato sauce over bottom of baking dish: Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread the tomato sauce over the bottom of an 9x13 inch baking dish. The tomato sauce should be the consistency of a thin spaghetti sauce. If it is too thick, thin it out with a little water.

6 Make stuffing: In a large bowl, mix together the stuffing of the cooked chorizo, cotija, and oregano.

7 Stuff chiles with chorizo mixture and place on top of tomato sauce in the baking dish.

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8 Whisk eggs, flour, baking powder, salt: In a large bowl, vigorously whisk the eggs. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt.

9 Sprinkle chiles with cheese and pour egg mixture over them: Sprinkle chiles with half of the jack or cheddar cheese. Pour egg mixture over chiles and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

At this point you can make ahead and chill for several days. Add 10 minutes to cooking time in the next step if you make ahead and chill.

chile-relleno-casserole-method-5

10 Bake: Bake at 375°F until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.