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Chile Relleno Casserole

I love the breaded and fried chile rellenos from Mexican restaurants, but this is a low carb and slightly healthier version. This dish has fond memories for me as my mom made a similar recipe when I was growing up, which she always served alongside tostadas. I use fresh chiles and the meal is complete topped with sour cream, guacamole, green onions and salsa and paired with refried beans (see recipes for homemade beans under The Basics), Mexican rice and roasted veggies (cauliflower, zucchini and sweet potato are good choices) or with Mexican street corn.

Tip: Cheese bought in blocks and then shredded is always better than pre-shredded cheeses. Using the shredding function on a food processor will save a lot of time and you can either refrigerate or freeze extra cheese until ready to use.

Ingredients: · 8 whole chiles- poblano or similar · 4 cups Monterey jack cheese, shredded · 4 eggs · 1 cup cream (half and half or milk will do if short on cream) · Spices- ½ t chili powder, 1 t cumin, 1 t salt, ½ t black pepper · 1 cup cheddar, shredded · 1 cup cotija cheese, crumbled

Directions: 1. Prepare the chiles: rinse and dry and place whole chiles on a baking sheet. Broil them whole a few minutes on each side until charred and then turn off oven and let them sit for awhile (5-10 min) so skin wrinkles and becomes easier to remove. After they cool, peel skin over colander and pull off stem and clean out seeds. They are delicate- I usually allow it to break in half lengthwise, in order to stuff them. 2. Stuff each chile with ½ cup Monterey jack cheese 3. Beat eggs with cream and spices 4. Butter a casserole dish, I used a three quart oval dish, you want the chiles to be touching and not allow a lot of room around for the egg mix to spread. (a 9x13 is too big unless you increase the recipe size) 5. Place stuffed chiles in dish, pour eggs mix ensuring it coats the chiles all over 6. Sprinkle cheddar and cotija over chiles 7. Bake at 375 degrees, uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until cheese browns


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