Welcome to another edition of the 8 Days of Cabot, a culinarilogical examination of cheese as seen through the lens of Cabot Creamery Collective cheese. (Actually, I think I made up the word culinarilogical, but it sounded sort of like something theyâ€™d say in the opening of a Discovery channel show.)
Anyway, yesterday we made a cheese pizza using garlic and herb cheese. Today weâ€™re going to leave pizza (albeit briefly) to explore a little sizzle south of the border. Today weâ€™re making
The idea for this dish came from watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay. In this particular episode, he challenged two gentlmen to a chili relleno throwdown. Chef Flayâ€™s relleno was pretty much what I would expect from a chilli relleno: a deep fried poblano pepper stuffed with cheese and veggies.
However, the competitors were doing something completely different. The pepper was roasted and filled with a vegetarian mix of tomatoes, mushrooms, nopales (cactus), olives, and other goodies. It was an eye-opening experience for me and one that got me interested in trying to make my own chili rellenos, but it was not until I received the gift of good Cabot cheese that I finally got the motivation to get into the kitchen and cook.
Chili Rellenos â€“ Cabot & Throwdown Style
I went with the Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar for this one. It has good cheddar flavor, but the taste is not as distinct as say the habanero or extra sharp cheddar.
There was enough big flavor in the filling that I didnâ€™t want to have the cheese overpower it. Instead, I went with a milder cheese that would complement the flavors and found that the Cabot light cheese worked perfectly.
You will need:
- 4 poblano peppers
- 6 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 10-12 black olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup nopales (I used store bought, they were okay)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 2 cups shredded Cabot light cheese
Preheat your broiler.
Coat the poblanos with 1 tablespoon of olive oil each. Put the peppers on the highest rack of the broiler and cook until the skin is completely black, which can take anywhere from 4-10 minutes depending on the strength of your broiler and how close the peppers are to the heater. However, turn the peppers after 3 minutes.
When the peppers are done, put them in a paper bag for at least 5 minutes to steam them. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
Put the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet over medium flame. When hot, add the onions, garlic, and a pinch of salt. When the onions start to turn opaque, add the red and green peppers and cook until soft. Next, add the mushrooms and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes have given up all their juices.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese and cook for another 60 seconds. Take the skillet off the heat.
To assemble the chili rellenos, remove the peppers from the paper bag and peel off the black skin. Use a sharp knife to make an incision down the middle of the pepper. Donâ€™t cut the pepper in half, just slice one side.
Put a cut at the top of the pepper to make a T so that you can open the pepper. Remove the seeds. Then fill with the mixture and top with a 1/2 cup of cheese.
Repeat with the other four peppers and bake in the oven until the cheese melts.
Serve with good salsa and enjoy!