Saturday, August 21, 2010

Roasted Green Chilis and Chili Rellenos Casserole

The fresh produce co-op that I've been a part of for the past 2 1/2 years had green chilies and tomatoes for sale in last week's offering. I love green chilies and can't stand paying $2 for a tiny 2 oz jar. So I ordered a 25lb bag of green chilies and 25lbs of tomatoes.

I guess I didn't realize how much 25lbs really is. It was a WHOLE LOT of chilies, as you can tell.

I did a little research on how to roast chilies and Focus New Mexico's page had the best set of directions. I'll let you read them for yourself. However, I am going to share photos of how my chilies looked along the way and a few of the "Note to self..." moments that I had.

"Note to self number 1 ... leave the chilies whole. Don't try to clean them out." I cleaned out all but the chilies in this photo. I definitely wouldn't do that again. I thought it would save me a step at the end, but I found it was easier to "gut" the chilies after they were soft from roasting, then it was to cut them open and carve out their guts while they were still fresh.

"Note to self number 2 ... the blacker the better." Roast the whole darn pepper. The parts that didn't turn black were harder to peel.

"Note to self number 3 ... don't overestimate how long it will take to blacken the chili." I found that the chilies roasted a whole lot faster than I was expecting (I did burn a whole batch *opps*)

So all the labor paid off in the form of a DELICIOUS Chili Rellenos Casserole. It was soooooo wonderful, with the fresh roasted chilies. I usually use canned chilies, so if you're not willing to slave over a hot grill (it was 110 degrees outside while I was roasting), then canned chilies will also work.

Chile Rellenos Casserole
by The Mesquite Tree

  • 15 oz can whole green chilies
  • chili rellenos
  • 1lb Monterrey Jack cheese

  • 12 eggs
  • 2 TBS flour

  • 4 TBS butter

  • 12-oz can evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9"x11" pan. Remove seeds from green chilies. Slice cheese into 1/4" slices. Layer chilies, then cheese in casserole dish. Sprinkle flour and butter on top, then add another layer of chilies and cheese.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and milk with wire whisk; pour over casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with salsa.

*I'll save you the pain and agony and not post the nutritional information for a serving of this're welcome!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Peanut Beef Stir-Fry -- Monochromatic Goodness

I was looking for something different. I'm tired of the same-old-same old. So I started thinking about stir-fry on the way home from work. Once I got home I browsed through one of my favorite recipe sites -- -- and found a recipe for Peanut Beef Stir-Fry. Now the recipe didn't have any pictures, and I usually avoid any recipes without pictures, but it had a bunch of great reviews. I love peanut butter and so I decided to give it a try.

The recipe was super simple. I made a few substitutions, because I can't stand celery -- it's a whole stringy texture thing -- and I had a red pepper that I needed to use.

The finish product smelled amazing; however, it was very monochromatic - brown beef, with brown sauce and just a splash of color from the red peppers. To liven up the plate I steamed a few pea pods. Fortunately the Peanut Beef Stir-Fry tasted anything but monochromatic. I loved the subtle peanut/nutty flavor with the saltyness of the soy sauce. The peppers added just a small bite of sweetness. You've really got to try this recipe.

Peanut Beef Stir-Fry
by Rita Reifenstein

  • 5 tsp cornstarch

  • 1-14.5oz can beef broth

  • 2 TBS soy sauce

  • 3 TBS peanut butter (the original recipe calls for 2 but I added another, yum)

  • 1/2 tsp sugar

  • 1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, thinly sliced (I used "stir fry beef")

  • 1 c. sliced onions

  • 1 c. red bell pepper (the original recipe calls for celery, yuck)

  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (the original recipe calls for 1 tsp, not enough)

  • 2 TBS sesame oil (the original recipe calls for vegetable oil)

  • 1/4 tsp. sesame seed oil (the original recipe doesn't call for this, but I liked the additional enhanced nut flavor)

  1. In a bowl, combine the cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, peanut butter, sugar and sesame seed oil until smooth (I found it helped that I nuked the beef broth for a bit first, because it helped melt the peanut butter); set aside.

  2. In a large skillet or wok, stir-fry the beef, onion, peppers, and garlic in oil for 5-8 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.

  3. Stir the broth mixture and add to the pan. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens.

  4. Serve and enjoy!