I haven’t mentioned it in a while, but I used to grow a six-pack of tomatillos in the garden every summer and transform it in to a wonderful roasted tomatillo sauce. I made more each summer than I used up over the winter, and the stash in the freezer grew and grew. Howard finally said enough is enough, and it’s been several years since there were tomatillo plants in the garden.
There is still tomatillo sauce in the freezer, though the supply is dwindling.
At this week’s farmers market, I saw a pile of beautiful poblano peppers. I love chile rellenos, so I picked up a few. The only thing is that I’m not big on frying. Fortunately, cheese-stuffed peppers bake up very nicely.
I like the filling I use when I make jalapeno poppers, so I went the same route, combining grated cheese with cream cheese to bind it together. Lots of creamy gooiness!
How does the tomatillo sauce figure into this? The peppers need something on top, of course. I tried something new, combining the tomatillo sauce with ground sesame seeds for Pepian Sauce.
Poblanos were typically on the mild side, but the ones I used this time turned out to be somewhat spicy. The cheese helped. Good thing I didn’t go for the PepperJack cheese that I originally considered. Also, I think I drowned the peppers in too much sauce, though the tastes went together well.
Chiles Rellenos with Pepian Sauce
4 poblano peppers
4 oz cream cheese (light is fine), at room temperature)
4 oz Monterey jack, grated
5 scallions, sliced
Pepian Sauce (see below)
Char the skin of the peppers under the broiler or over a gas flame. Put the charred peppers in a covered bowl to steam. Peel the skin off the peppers. Core the peppers and gently remove seeds and ribs from the inside.
To make the filling, combine cream cheese, grated cheese, and scallions. Divide mixture evenly. Form into an oval patty, and stuff each pepper.
Cover the bottom of a baking dish that just fits the peppers with sauce. Arrange stuffed peppers. Cover the peppers with sauce.
Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.
1½ cups tomatillo sauce (recipe here) or purchased salsa verde
½ cup stock (corn or chicken) or water
½ cup sesame seeds
8-10 cilantro sprigs
½ tsp ground anise seed
In a dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds until golden. Be careful not to burn them.
In a medium pot, add the stock, toasted sesame seeds, cilantro and anise to the tomatillo sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Puree the sauce in the blender until smooth. It will take at least a minute.