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

CATEGORIES
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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