It’s chile season in New Mexico. Lucky for me Arizona is close enough to benefit from the abundance of fresh chiles. I recently stuffed some with left over pinto beans. Here’s how I did it:
When using New Mexico chiles you need to peel them. I like to grill them to char the outside, flip them as often as needed. You’ll notice that the skin begins to bubble. But if you just let them cool they will still be difficult to peel. So first put them in a large plastic container and seal the lid. Let them sit until they cool. Then peel the skin from them, taking care to keep them whole and not puncture the flesh. At this point you can also freeze them, whole or chopped.
Make a small slit in the side of each chile, not all the way down, just an inch or so at the top. If heat is an issue for you then you can remove the seeds but you’re more likely to damage the chile and create holes. Besides, where’s the fun in mild chiles?
Hold them up and using a small (cocktail) spoon, slowly fill them with mashed beans. Some will fill easily and some will require a little manipulation to get the beans to the end or just about to the end. Keep filling until you reach the top. Lay the chile in a baking pan and place the last spoonful of bean mixture in the opening. Don’t panic if you accidentally split one. Just keep the beans in place and gently arrange it in the pan. If that doesn’t work then grab a flour tortilla, sprinkle it with cheese, place the chile in the center, roll it, heat it, and enjoy!
Top the entire pan with a little grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees until it is hot and sizzling.
Serve the rellenos as a side dish or main course. In fact you could make a meal of these by stuffing half of then with beans and half of them with a (cooked) meat mixture! I served mine for breakfast with scrambled eggs and salsa.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have real New Mexico chile available you can substitute Anaheim peppers or Poblanos, but they just aren’t as good. Diaz Farms will ship their chiles (in my opinion some of the best in New Mexico) in 35 lb bags so if you’re serious about chile check out their on-line store. They also have pinto beans and many other regional foods, all grown in New Mexico.
Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!