The traditional prep method involves multiple steps with charring, peeling, stuffing, battering and frying. Umm, no thanks.
I love cooking but even I don’t want to spend that much time in the kitchen. I also don’t want the fat traditionally associated with the recipe. With that said, here is the quickest and healthiest reinvention I could muster. The key difference is that these chiles rellenos are baked, not fried. I actually prefer them baked because the smokiness of the peppers gets to shine. Plus, baking them saves so much time that I often prepare them as a side dish.
Chiles Rellenos with Cheese and Mushrooms
- 8 poblano peppers
- 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 8 ounces shredded cheese (The cheese makes or breaks this dish. I splurge on high-end cheese for these babies. My favorite cheeses for chiles rellenos are queso fresco, habenero cheddar, pepper jack, blue cheese, goat cheese or manchego.)
1. First, char the skin. The easiest way to do this is to use your broiler. Place the peppers into the broiler. You’ll start to hear the skin blistering. After 8 minutes, check on the peppers. The skin on the peppers should be puffy and blistering, light brown to dark brown. Flip the peppers and char the skin on the other side. Remove after 5 minutes or so.
2. Place the peppers in a sealed plastic bag for 5 minutes. This steams the peppers and loosens the skin. I make these chiles rellenos so often that I keep a Ziploc bag just for that use.
3. While the peppers are steaming, preheat the oven to 350. Roast the mushrooms in a baking tray for 5 minutes or until just tender. I’m so lazy that I’ll reuse this baking tray for the chiles rellenos.
4. Open the bag and let the peppers cool slightly. After steaming, the skin should come off nicely. You just need to find a good spot to pinch and a big chunk of skin usually comes off. Don’t worry about getting it all off, just enough.
5. With a knife, slice open the peppers along one of the flat sides. Scrape out the seeds and membranes. Membranes=spiciness.
6. Stuff each pepper with 1 ounce of cheese and a good helping of mushrooms.
7. Place the chiles rellenos on a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes at 350.
Serving Size: 2 chiles rellenos
WW Points+: 6 per serving
Calories 268, Carbs 10, Fat 18, Protein 18g
Chiles rellenos can be stuffed with just about anything- beans, rice, onions (I’ve even seen recipes with polenta). If you want a meat stuffing, I would recommend: