Chile Rellenos

by Mary McDougall - more of her recipes

Several years ago John (McDougall) and I had dinner at a restaurant called Los Adobes in Todos Santos, Mexico.  Meals are served in a beautiful garden setting with meandering walkways lined with cactus plants. They specialize in using poblano chilies and although most of their dishes contain meat, seafood or cheese, their vegetarian Chile Relleno was stuffed with mashed potatoes and covered with a bean sauce.  I had an interesting conversation with the chef in my limited Spanish.  This is my version of the recipe. This takes a bit of effort to put together, but the results are worth it.  If you have some leftover mashed potatoes, it will save you some time.

Preparation Time:  1 hour
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Servings:  2-4

4 large poblano chili peppers
2 cups garlic mashed potatoes (recipe below)
1 ½ cups fat-free refried pinto beans
½ cup tofu sour cream (recipe below)
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

Preheat broiler.  Lay chilies in a single layer on a dry baking sheet.  Broil about 4 inches from broiler until chilies are blistering and charred on all sides, turning frequently.  This will take about 15 minutes.  Put chilies in a large metal bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.  Remove skins with your hands, rubbing with a paper towel, if necessary.  Set aside on paper towels to dry.

Place the beans, tofu sour cream, water and chipotle powder in a small saucepan and heat gently until warmed, stirring frequently.  Do not boil.  Place about 1 cup of this mixture in the bottom of a medium baking dish.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut a slit down the side of each poblano and carefully remove the seeds.  You may leave the stem on for presentation, if desired, otherwise remove it along with the seeds.

Stuff the poblanos with about ½ cup of mashed potatoes each.  Close the poblanos and place in the baking dish.  Drizzle with about 1 more cup of the sauce.  Cover and bake for 20 minutes, uncover and bake about 10 more minutes.  Serve with the remaining bean sauce and Mango salsa to spoon over the top, if desired.

Hints:  Depending on what else you are serving for dinner, each person may eat either 1 or 2 of these stuffed peppers, hence the 2-4 serving suggestion.  Use 1 can of fat-free refried pinto beans if you do not have leftover smashed beans in your refrigerator.  Fat-free black refried beans can be used instead of the pintos with delicious results. Prepared Mango salsa is available in some markets and will cut down on the preparation time. Purchased fresh tomato salsa may be used instead of the Mango salsa, if desired.  Poblano chili peppers are dark green, rich flavored mild peppers.  They are usually about 2 ½ to 3 inches wide and 4 to 5 inches long, tapering from top to bottom in a triangle.  Poblanos may also be charred over a gas or electric burner until the skins are well blistered (use tongs for this). This will take a bit longer because they have to be done individually.  The peppers can be placed in a brown paper bag to cool, instead of in a bowl, if desired.  Cooling the peppers in a covered bowl or bag helps to loosen the skin, making them easier to peel.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Cooking Time:  20 minutes
Servings:  makes 2 cups

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup unsweetened soy milk
Several twists freshly ground white pepper
Dash sea salt

Peel potatoes and chop into chunks.  Place in a stainless pan with water to cover.  Add 2 whole cloves of peeled garlic.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Drain.  Mash in pan using electric beaters or use a hand masher, adding the remaining ingredients as necessary to get a smooth consistency and delicious flavor.

Tofu Sour Cream

Preparation Time:  5 minutes
Chilling Time:  2 hours
Servings:  Makes 1 ½ cups

1  12.3 ounce package soft silken tofu
2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 ½ teaspoons sugar
dash salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.

Mango Salsa

Preparation Time:  10 minutes
Servings:  makes 2 cups

2 cups peeled, chopped, ripe mango
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon warm water
several twists freshly ground black pepper
dash salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.