Chili Rellenos and Mexican Rice
Chilly nights make me long for spicy food and I turn to Mexican dishes as well as Indian curries. They can warm your tummy and brighten up a dull day with vibrant flavors. Curries and Mexican food can be hot as in super spicy; depends on the pepper type and quantity added. I love zingy food but, my idea of spicy is probably on the mild side compared to many folks. Of course, you can always up the spicy ingredients, the jalapeno pepper in this comes to mind. Or cut back if you want it milder.
One of my favorites that I don’t get to eat these days are chiles rellenos. Spicy peppers stuffed with cheese, battered and fried. I bought a few poblano peppers at the farmer’s market for this purpose. I had Mexican cheese in the fridge. The rest of the ingredients were on hand. I do say that next time I will try it with Monterrey Jack cheese; in many of the recipes I previewed in my search for a suitable one that was the cheese of choice. I think it would have a bit more flavor and more melty quality so I do suggest you use that. I made 4 peppers; the recipe I altered was for 6, next time I will do six for sure. I did find the poblanos to be on the hot side for me. Thinking Anaheim for next time. I’m always tweaking recipes to make them more perfect, for me anyway!
The Mexican rice was to be from scratch and I wanted to go a bit more healthy; I used par cooked brown rice; cooked it 7 min in my IP. I think 6 minutes would be enough. If you use regular brown rice you will need to cook it much longer; more like 25 minutes so I suggest the par-boiled rice for quicker cooking.
I started the peppers; charred them in my broiler for about 5-6 minutes on opposite sides and then covered and let stand 10 minutes while I got the rice going. Once it was in the IP and the lid on I went back to the chile rellenos recipe and they both were done around the same time. Success!
6 big mildly hot peppers; choose Anaheim or Poblano
3 eggs, separated
6 sticks of Monterey Jack cheese; ½ inch dimeter and the length so they fit inside the pepper.
¼ cup white rice flour mixed with ¼ tsp. sea salt; on a plate
Canola oil to put 1/4-1/2 inch deep in medium fry or sauce pan. 1-2 cups
1 Tbsp mild olive oil
2-3 Tbsp. minced onion
¼ tsp. cumin
4 ounces tomato sauce (half an 8 ounce can; the rest gets used in the Mexican rice)
Directions: turn on oven to broiler. Place the whole peppers on a piece of aluminum foil on a small sheet. Broil 5-6 minutes until charred; take out and turn over with tongs or fingers. Do other side 5-6 minutes. Do stay near by to yank out before they get over done. Cover with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Then peel off skin of peppers, don’t worry if you can’t get all of it. Then cut a slice in one side and remove all the seeds. Then stuff the pepper with a fat stick of cheese. Fasten with 1-2 toothpicks to keep cheese in. Place on plate until you are ready to finish the dish.
3-4 Tbsp. mild olive oil
1 ¼ cup par boiled brown rice (do not rinse)
¼ cup chopped onion
½-1 jalapeno pepper minced, no seeds unless you want it hotter
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 ½ cup water mixed with one veggie bouillon cube
4 ounces tomato sauce *the other half of the 8 oz can
1 carrot diced
½ cup frozen peas
Directions: turn IP onto sauté. Add oil, let warm a moment and add brown rice, stir with oil; let brown for 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes. Add minced pepper and garlic. Stir and cook 2-3 minutes. Add broth you created with water and bouillon cube, the tomato sauce and the chopped carrot. Stir up and put the lid on. Cook under pressure 6-7 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Release pressure, open, add peas, put lid back on (no need to lock) and let stand 2-3 minutes. Open, fluff gently with fork so peas are getting a bit blended in without breaking the rice grains. Serve and enjoy! This would be perfect with almost anything Mexican like tacos or enchiladas.
Continuation of peppers: while the rice cooks in the IP: fry those pepper babies up!
Use a small electric mixer to whip whites in a medium mixing bowl until they are stiff and then add egg yolks one at a time and blend briefly to make an even mixture. Heat the oil on your stove until hot but not smoking. I used an 8 inch fry pan that would hold 2-3 peppers at a time. Then roll the stuffed peppers one at a time in flour mixture. Next, dip them in the egg fluff coating and gently lay one in the hot oil. I tried to get as thick a coat as possible and cover the entire pepper. Get a second one ready and put it in there too. Turn them over gently once the bottom is a nice medium brown. I used a long big metal spoon with holes in it, tongs might help. As they get done remove them to a oven safe plate lined with paper towels. Add a third once you take the first pepper out. And so on; Put the plate in the oven warmed to 200 degrees while the rest fry. Meanwhile I put the sauce oil and onion in a small pan and let them cook 2-3 minutes. I added the cumin and stirred it. Cooked 30 seconds, added tomato sauce and cooked on low for 4-7 minutes.
Serve by placing some sauce on the plate and top with the fried peppers; 2 per person. Add Mexican rice to the dinner plate. I had a salad too afterwards to settle my fiery tummy, LOL! Those poblanos were a bit hot for me! Still delish…Ole!