January 30, 2013

Chile Rellenos Casserole

Chile Rellenos Casserole with Grass-Fed Beef
For starters, I had to google chili vs chile, cuz I've always written 'chili', as does my Mom. I think of 'Chile' as the country. And then there's the Red Hot Chili Peppers band. So what's the verdict? The Spanish word is 'chile'. 'Chili' is the American version, having gotten started from Chili con Carne.

Back to my Mom . . . she's made Chile Rellenos Casserole for years. It's thee best! I put it in my cookbook. Tho I have all her ingredients right, my instructions are too vague. But I'm going to mess you up some more in this post cuz I still didn't follow her instructions, which I recently asked for again.

We have company. I made the rellenos for supper, along with what our company always request and call, "Killer guacamole". But I wanted to add our great grass-fed ground beef. I googled chile rellenos and after 6 google pages . . . they were all made with milk and flour! I knew my mom used chicken broth and masa harina for the thickening. So I returned to her recipe and added the beef. I'll tell you her recipe, and too, tell you what I did, changing it.

My Mom's Chile Rellenos Casserole Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 27oz can whole green chilies
1lb grated cheese - like a mix, but moreso jack - I used pepper jack
7 large eggs
1 cup chicken broth
5 Tb Masa Harina
4 Tb parmesan
1/2 Tb baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

The chilies are opened out and make up 3 layers in a 9x13 baking dish with grated cheese between. Then the rest of the ingredients are mixed together and poured over the top. Bake until set, about 30-45 minutes.

Marinara Sauce
Simmered and put on top last 10-15 minutes of baking-
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion and garlic clove sauted in some olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp oregano

Browning grd beef and onion
NOW, what did I do? I started browning 1 lb of ground beef and added 1 onion chopped, eventually adding several minced garlic (I always add more than any recipe calls for!!!).

Now I don't use canned chilies. That would sure be darned easy!!!! But oh the taste . . . and the fragrance of the vehicle every late summer . . . when I get a bushel of chilies and have them roasted. Once home, I freeze about 3 chilies per little baggy - that's about the equivalent of 4oz of chilies. And don't remove the blackened skins. I remove those as I use them. So for this recipe? I had to slip the blackened skins and too the seeds of seven baggies of chilies!

Roasted Anaheim Chilies I freeze every Fall - removing skins and seeds

And then I start the layering of chilies and cheese. I added half of the browned meat in the middle layer. Then added a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes and 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the 1/2 of beef left in the pan to start cooking down to add at the end. I added 2 Tb of the masa to this mixture as well as my mom's suggested spices . . . Except I don't usually have marjoram, so added extra oregano (I find them rather similar).

Bottom layer of green chilies

Added 1/4-1/3 of the grated pepper jack cheese
Another chile and cheese layer with browned grd beef and onion

Added can of diced tomatoes to 1/2 of left beef mixture to cook down

Third layer of chilies and cheese. Added last of grd beef with tomato mixture to the top and more cheese
Whisked together eggs, 3 Tb Masa, 1 Cup chicken broth, salt and baking powder and poured over the rellenos layers
I added my Mom's parmesan cheese suggestion to the very top.

We had this heated up for lunch today and it was even better!

I have made my own fresh Masa. If requested, I could post the recipe. It's a soaking of corn kernels in pickling lime water all day or night, and then ground fine. It's usually left fresh for corn tortillas and tamales. I've not tried drying it. I just freeze it in small useful portions. If you've ever had fresh corn tortillas from fresh masa . . . to die for!!!!!!

Shared with: Frugally Sustainable, Food Renegade, Make Your Own Monday, Holistic Squid, Works for Me Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Tasty Traditions, Traditional Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesdays, Simple Lives Thursday, The Homestead Barnhop, Clever Chick Barn Hop
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