Happy Belated Cinco de Mayo!

I love Cinco de Mayo!  Why you ask?  I’m not too sure, but I think it relates back to the couple of days a week in college where my girlfriends and I would go to the local Mexican restaurant and spend hours eating cheese dip and drinking big beers and margaritas.  Awww, fond memories but can anyone say freshmen (and sophomore, and junior, and senior) fifteen!   Not that I would take it back…in fact, Grace if you’re reading this can we plan a date soon down memory lane-I think Manolo still has your cell number so I’m sure he’d appreciate a visit!  But I digress….now my Mexican meals have turned a little classier than big beers out of straws.  Chiles Rellenos happens to be the one Mexican dish that I have not tried and have honestly never even thought to.  I’m not sure what made me want to try it out this Cinco de Mayo but I’m certainly glad I did!  It’s not a pretty dish but by golly it’s a delicious one!  And because it’s almost like an egg casserole, you can have a great excuse to eat it for breakfast!  Don’t let the egg throw you off (it did me-I mean Mexican egg casserole does not exactly sound appealing), it’s surprisingly fabulous-I might even go so far as to say it’s a little fiesta in your mouth 🙂

Chiles Relleno Casserole

adapted from simplyrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 8 poblano chiles (I used a combination of jalapeno and serrano peppers because they were out of poblano)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can tomatoes ( or 2 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes)
  • Salt
  • 1 pound Mexican chorizo (or other spicy sausage)
  • 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese (I used Monterrey Jack)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 12 eggs  (12 seemed like a lot so I used 10 and thought it was perfect)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup Monterey jack or mild cheddar cheese, shredded  (I did a combo of the two)

 

While the chilies are cooling, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan, on medium. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of oregano. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat to low. Gently simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Carefully peel and discard the blackened skin off of the chilies. Cut off the stem ends, remove the seeds and discard. Set chiles aside on a layer of paper towels to dry.

Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of an 8×12 inch baking dish.  Wipe the dish clean and cook the chorizo with 1/2 tsp oregano over medium heat about four minutes.

Preheat oven to 375.

Layer the cup of cotija or Monterrey jack cheese over the tomato sauce and then place half the chiles on top of the cheese.  Pour sausage over the chiles and then layer the rest of the chiles.  Whisk together the eggs, baking soda, and a pinch of salt until smooth.  Pour over casserole and top with Monterrey jack/cheddar cheese.  Bake about 30 minutes.  Top with salsa and sour cream.

*Beware because jalapenos and seranos are a hotter chile, if I was able to find the Poblano chiles I think I would have enjoyed a little milder heat

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