Chile Rellenos Casserole

My latest installment for the Dark Days Challenge is a riff of the Simply Recipes recipe for Chile Relleno Casserole.  “Chile rellenos” means “stuffed chiles.”  The traditional way to prepare the dish is to roast and peel whole poblano peppers, stuff them with cheese, dip them in fluffy beaten eggs, and deep fry. They are then simmered in a flavorful tomato broth—probably the best Mexican dish ever and no one makes it better than me. Needless to say, it is neither a healthy dish or quick to prepare, so we have it a few times a year.

I grow poblano peppers on the farm and then roast and peel them.  I freeze them in bags in meal sized portions.  I add these to various dishes.  This preparation is one of my favorites.  Unlike the Simply Recipes recipe, I do not stuff the chilies here.  Since I am working with frozen chilies, I cook the chorizo, onion, and garlic and then add my homegrown tomato salsa.  I use this as the bottom layer and then add the chilies on top, followed by local cheese (instead of the cotija listed in the recipe), and then our own eggs.  I do add the small amount of flour and baking powder. For us, the flour is our GF blend.

This is a great make ahead recipe.  You can prepare and then stick it on the fridge–baked or not.  It also keeps well and is great reheated in the microwave.  You will notice, I made a portion without cheese to accomodate my daughter’s dairy allergy.

We added a green salad with radishes and carrots (harvested from our high tunnel), and homemade applesauce made from local apples.  Here is the complete tally of sources:

Our Farm:  garlic, onions, eggs, poblano peppers, tomato salsa, oregano, radishes, carrots

Goose the Market: chorizo sausage

Cheese–can’t remember farmer’s name, but it’s a Munster from local Amish farm.

Other items: GF flour blend, baking soda, olive oil

Making Chorizo

It has been a long time since I have posted.  It is certainly not for lack of material, but rather because of lack of time.  I have about a dozen new posts in my head, but have not had the time to put them down.  I have decided I can’t catch up all the happenings on the farm, so I will post what I can and just jump back in.  Farming in spring is crazy busy.  With the high tunnel, it is double the work. Add to that the busiest time of year for the restaurant, having to get both new lunch and dinner menus to bed, and serious school commitments and it was the perfect storm.  A great storm, but a storm that had me staying up late and getting up early.  A storm that forced us to create a part-time job here at the farm.  Planting, harvesting, weeding, etc. is nothing compared to spreading 8 yards of compost, turning downed trees into logs, building 30 4 foot tall tomato cages, and putting up more fencing.  It just was not possible without help.  For a year, there have been 50 beautiful wooden chairs that need some TLC sitting in our garage. They will be given a new life at the restaurant where they are desperately needed.  Tile for the new fireplace surround was purchased a year ago and is still sitting on the back porch.  I am not complaining. It is great to have so many things you want to do, but sometimes we feel we are being pulled under.  Now it’s June and much has been accomplished.  I still have two flats of annuals that are not int he ground yet, but this 95 degree day is keeping me indoors baking.

The slideshow goes through the process of making chorizo.  We love it (who doesn’t if they are a meat eater?), and local farmers do not offer it.  I decided to try my hand at charcuterie.  So we got 10 pounds of ground pork through our friends at Thistle Byre Farm and made a batch.  Their pork is so flavorful and wonderfully lean. We use their sausage at the restaurant as well.  Paco spoke to his mom and she said get a recipe online for chorizo from Toluca—where it originated.  I used the recipe from the website Lo Mexicano.   The process was simple enough.  The verdict: Ok, not great.  I think I was heavy handed with the cinnamon.  I think next time we will add some spicier chilies as well.  The can’t all be winners the first time around.  We will use it up and them try another batch.

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