By January 19, 2014 2 Comments Read More →

Chile Relleno Casserole with Ranchero Sauce

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Heavenly, cheesy eggs layered between roasted poblano peppers, topped with soft, melted muenster cheese and warm, spicy tomato ranchero sauce. That’s chile relleno casserole! An easy way to get the flavor of Chile Rellenos without the fuss of frying.

This casserole can be made with canned chiles, which are Anaheim chiles, but I prefer using  poblano chile peppers that I roast myself. Poblano peppers are classified as a mild-to-medium hot chile pepper. For the most part, I find them to be very mild. But occasionally, I run across some that have a bit of heat. If you cannot tolerate any heat, you might want to stick with Anaheim peppers, which are classified as mild. To determine how many peppers are needed, I simply fit them into my 8″x8″ baking dish.

Poblano Peppers

Buy enough peppers to fill the baking dish.

Don’t shy away from the idea of roasting the chile peppers. It’s a very simple process. If you have never roasted peppers, Tori Avey has a detailed post on her website, The Shiksa in the Kitchen, demonstrating various methods of roasting peppers. I char my peppers on a gas grill. I’ve found the trick to removing the seeds is to first cut down one side of the pepper, then cut around the top stem in a circle. This allows the stem and seeds to be removed in one whole piece. Flip the pepper over to remove the skin. Some cooks recommend removing the skin by rubbing it with either a cloth or paper towel. This method has never worked for me. I pull the skin off with my fingers. Usually the skin peels off very easily in big pieces. However, sometimes you get a stubborn pepper. In which case, I gently scrape the skin off with the edge of a knife.

Removing seeds

Removing the core and seeds.

Assembling the casserole is a breeze. Layer the peppers and cheese, pour in the egg mixture and bake.

What sets my chile relleno casserole apart is the muenster cheese and ranchero sauce. I got the idea of using the muenster cheese by eavesdropping on a conversation in the grocery store. I overheard a woman asking an Hispanic shopper what they thought was the best cheese to use in enchiladas. The Hispanic shopper told her to try El Viajero brand muenster cheese. I was familiar with El Viajero  muenster cheese but I had never thought adding it to Mexican dishes. It’s the perfect cheese for my chile relleno casserole. It adds that extra bit of gooey cheesiness that is desired in a chile relleno. Don’t go to the expense of buying a big block of muenster cheese. I buy a few slices from the grocery deli department. If you don’t have El Viajero muenster cheese available, use another brand of muenster cheese, or use jack cheese.

Casserole with muenster cheese

Topping the casserole with muenster cheese.

Ranchero sauce is similar to a warm, chunky salsa only with added spices and vinegar. It’s the icing on the cake.

Ranchero Sauce

Simmering Ranchero Sauce.

For a follow up, second night’s dinner, try a chile relleno burrito. Warm a slice of the casserole in the microwave, roll it in a flour tortilla, then crisp the burrito in a hot skillet. To spice it up a bit, add a pinch of chili powder to the ranchero sauce.

Chile Relleno Burrito

Chile Relleno Casserole with Ranchero Sauce

Servings 6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 15 minutes
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 4 - 6 poblano chile peppers
  • 4oz pepper jack cheese (grated)
  • 4oz cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 Jumbo eggs
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cups whole milk
  • pinch black pepper
  • thin slice muenster cheese (recommend El Viajero brand')

Ranchero Sauce

  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano (substitute, regular oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Directions

Step 1. Prepare the peppers (this can be done ahead of time). Roast chile peppers on a gas grill or under the broiler 4-5 minutes per side, or until charred on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap: let rest for 15 minutes. Slice the peppers open: remove core and seeds. Peel off charred skins.
Step 2. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking oil. Layer 1/2 of the chiles, half of the jack and cheddar cheese; repeat with remaining peppers and cheese.
Step 3. Whisk together the eggs, flour, milk and pepper; pour over the chiles and cheese.
Step 4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Gently remove the casserole from oven; cover the top with slices of muenster cheese. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let the casserole rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving. Top servings with Ranchero Sauce.
Ranchero Sauce
Step 5. While the chile casserole bakes, prepare the Ranchero Sauce. Sauté the onions, over medium heat, in a small amount of oil until they begin to become soft. Add the minced garlic and sauté another minute (do not let garlic burn). Sprinkle the flour over the onions; stir to coat the onions. Add the Tablespoon of olive oil and continue cooking until the flour begins to bubble. Stir in the canned tomatoes, water, beef bouillon, cumin, oregano, and vinegar. Simmer approximately 10 minutes until onions are soft and flavors meld. If sauce becomes too thick, thin with a few drops of water.
Posted in: Main Dish, Mexican, RECIPES

2 Comments on "Chile Relleno Casserole with Ranchero Sauce"

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  1. CJD.Sign says:

    Wonderful recipe! Thank You! CJ

  2. 'Colorful Cory' says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes! Who wouldn’t like tried, tested and true everyday or fancy recipes from a fabulous Cook??

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