Tuesday, December 8, 2009

so good Vegan Chile Rellenos

I should say that this was NOT my original recipe, but one I adapted after finding it originally at veganrepresent.com. NOTE: I use fire roasted whole chiles from the can, a little cheat perhaps, but having tried this recipe using both options I know they taste exactly the same, and I only needed to experience the IMMENSE annoyance that is chile peeling one time before opting for the easy route. I left the instructions on how to prepare fresh chiles intact from the original recipe so that you can try it if you like...and then you can decide to use the canned ones after that.


6-8 large Anaheim Chiles


1 1/2 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces beer

the filling (adapt at will):

10 oz. Daiya Cheese (or 1 package "Follow Your Heart" mozzarella vegan cheese if you aren't lucky enough to live some place where Daiya is plentiful)- diced
a couple of cloves of diced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
3/4 cup of soft tofu
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
Red Sauce. I used a can of "Hatch Enchilda Sauce - Medium"

First, make the batter:

Combine 1 cup of the flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Gradually add the beer, whisking until the batter is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate while you do the rest.

Second, char and skin the chili's:

Now, you need to skin the chile's. If you don't already know, there is a very thin membrane over the chile flesh, that is the skin.

If you have a gas stove, you can just do this over the flame. I don't, so I used my broiler pan in the oven, and broiled the chile's on HI for 5-7 minutes each side. They will bubble up and discolor, that is normal. Once they are charred, put them in a bag, or a bowl with a damp towel and let them "sweat" for 10 minutes or so, this will loosen the skin. Tip, while the sweating is going on, skip ahead and start making the filling.

After sweating, remove the skin from the chile while holding it under running cool water. Its kinda a pain. Be gentle, don't tear the chile flesh into pieces.

This is the most difficult part about the recipe. I'd suggest practicing on a single chile before you make anything at all, if you are concerned. If you screw up, you can always stir-fry the remains.

Third, make the filling:

Sautee the onions, garlic, and other fillings until cooked and soft (NOT the cheese). Remove from heat and let cool until it won't melt the cheese. Mix with the cheese. Add as much red sauce to it as you want, but only as much as it gonna get absorbed, you don't want soup. I ended up with extra filling, you can always throw it on top of some rice or beans as a side dish.

Fourth, stuff 'em:

Make an incision the length of each chile and remove the stems and seeds. Mine were so floppy they basically flipped inside out and I just rinsed the gunk out. Imagine scenes from The Predator. Be careful not to tear them up. Gently stuff them with filling. Set aside.

Fif, batter 'em:

I had trouble with this step. I wanted a really thick batter to make them reminiscent of the types I used to eat, and since I wasn't going to fry them, I thought a thick batter would bake better. The problem is, a thick batter is harder to get onto the chile, and you risk ripping the chile in half while dipping it. I have another untested idea, which is to make more of a dough, and roll it out, and then wrap the stuffed chiles in it, more like a calzone, but I haven't tried this yet. So, go with the batter recipe as listed above to make a runny batter.

Put the remaining 1/2 cup of flour on a surface or plate.
Prepare a greased baking dish that will hold the chiles
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

While holding the slit side of the chile facing up and trying to keep it closed, dip the stuffed chile in the batter. Ideally, you don't want much batter getting into the chile, because it will cook slower and you might have gooey raw flour in the middle. Remove it and dredge it through the flour.

Put it in the dish and repeat.

Sixth, bake them:

All of the parts have already been pre-cooked, you are only baking to set up the batter. I forgot to time this part. Do it for about 10 minutes and check it. At this point, you can spoon some red sauce over them, if you like. Then cook 10 minutes more, or until you think the batter is cooked.

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