Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chile Relleno

Chile Relleno is a mexican specialty.  Poblano peppers are usually used to make this. They are milder in taste and make a tasty cover for almost any stuffing. Stuff these with rice,beans,meat,cheese or even polenta. They taste equally delicious.
                    There are a few steps to the recipe like roasting,stuffing and broiling (usually deep-frying). This is a lighter version of the original Chile Relleno.


4 medium size poblano peppers charred until just soft (not mushy) ,peeled

For Stuffing-
1/3 cup Polenta (cornmeal)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped peppers
1/2 onion chopped
1 tea sp chopped garlic
1/4 cup grated Monterey jack cheese (substitute queso fresco -delicious!)

For coating the peppers-
1/4 cup all purpose flour mixed with 2 tb spoon water (wet batter)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs,1 tb spoon parsley,salt and pepper (dry coating)

for tomato sauce-
1 and 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 clove of garlic chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
half onion chopped
1 tb spoon oregano
1 tea spoon parsley
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Start with charring the peppers. Use the oven broiler or direct heat (if you have a gas burner). To broil, pre-heat the oven on 400 F and char the peppers for 2-3 minutes on each side.Once charred from all sides, transfer them in a plastic bag and let them cool. Peel off and discard charred skin.Slit peppers in the middle lengthwise (make sure not to cut all the way through). Remove and discard seeds.
    For the stuffing, heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic and sauté until fragrant  Add chopped onion, peppers and let them soften. Add polenta, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add boiling water to the mixture slowly, stirring continuously to get rid of any lumps. Once the polenta starts to thicken, stir occasionally. Once cooked, remove from heat and let it cool down a bit.
   To make the tomato sauce, heat oil in pan. Add garlic,jalapeno pepper and saute until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes,oregano and parsley. Add water and season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture come to boil, reduce heat to medium and keep cooking it for another 10-12 minutes.Remove from heat and set aside.
  Once the stuffing is slightly cooled, stuff the charred peppers and seal the peppers with toothpick to ensure that the stuffing doesn't come out. Dip the stuffed peppers into the wet batter and dip the coated peppers into the mixture of breadcrumbs and parsley. Transfer the coated peppers onto a baking sheet. Drizzle peppers with little oil and bake it for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown at 400 F. Remove toothpicks before serving.
     Warm the tomato sauce and serve baked peppers,hot out of the oven.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Green Tomato Chutney

As the summer is progressing, the tomato plants in my yard are getting bigger and fuller. I have so many tomatoes, I have to use them whichever way I can. This tomato chutney is at top of the list.
                Use the 'recipe' as merely a guideline. This is how my mom makes it and so do I. Adjust chilies and jaggery suitable to your taste.


2-3 green tomatoes
2 green chilies,cut in pieces
1/8 cup sesame seeds
handful of cilantro
salt to taste
jaggery 1 tb spoon
1 tb spoon oil

Wash tomatoes and quarter them. In a pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add quartered tomatoes and chopped chilies. Fry until tomato skin is slightly blistered (just couple of minutes). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
      To make chutney, mix cooled tomato and chilies, cilantro,sesame seeds,salt and jaggery in blender. Pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve with parathas/ rotis/ even a slice of bread.
        You can use cilantro stems for this chutney as well.  The stems have stronger flavor and goes very well with the green tomatoes.