Charred Chili Relleno with Green Rice

I am lucky in a thousand ways but got even luckier when the best Mexican in NYC opened practically right outside my door! Mexicana Mama[ serves roasted rellenos - I thought they all had to be battered, fattening and fried, no? NO! Sadly, the restaurant closes once a week for an entire day and night. So, on Mondays, I make this dish at home. It's so healthy, you might want to double the recipe because you can have guilt-free seconds!]

Total Time:
40 min
Prep:
20 min
Cook:
20 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups white rice
  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • 6 ears corn on the cob or 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 3 tablespoons corn, peanut or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained well
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/2 palm full
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, eyeball it in your palm
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 pound spinach leaves, deveined and coarsely chopped
  • 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 limes, zested, juiced
  • 1 cup shredded Chihuahua cheese, Asadero or Monterey Jack
Directions
  • Preheat broiler or grill pan to high.

  • Heat about 3 1/2 cups stock in a sauce pot with a bay leaf to boiling. Add rice, cover pot reduce heat to low and simmer 18 minutes until tender.

  • Place poblanos under broiler or on hot grill and char evenly all over, 15 minutes.

  • While peppers and rice are working, scrape the corn off the cobs or defrost frozen corn and dry by spreading out on clean kitchen towel. Heat 2 tablespoons light oil in a skillet over high heat. When the oil smokes or ripples add corn, onion, jalapenos and toss until the vegetables char at edges and onions are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-high and add in garlic, fire roasted tomatoes and season with cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook another minute or 2 then turn pan off.

  • Place the cilantro, spinach, scallions, lime zest, half a cup of stock and a tablespoon of oil in food processor and process into coarse green paste. Stir into your rice pot in the last 3 to 4 minutes of its cooking time.

  • Sprinkle the lime juice over the corn mixture.

  • Split the charred peppers open but not in half with small sharp knife then scoop out the seeds with a small spoon. Place peppers in a shallow baking dish and stuff each split pepper with lots of the corn mix, top each pepper with 1/4 cup cheese and place back under broiler to melt and char the cheese.

  • Serve peppers on beds of green rice. Yum-o!


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    This recipe is featured in:

    Cinco de Mayo