On Saturday I made it to the Elkins Farmers Market for the first time this season, and was excited to see some gorgeous dark green poblano peppers for sale. I bought a few to make chiles rellenos. Later I thought about the deep frying, and the whole process/ordeal! I have an alternate dish that tastes so similar and doesn’t require the frying. It came from a friend in Elkins by way of Barbara Weaner. So today I made and recommend Judy’s Chile
Relleno Casserole. The process isn’t difficult, but it does take time to roast and peel the chiles, and to remove the seeds. Other than that, the dish is a snap. Very delicious!
To roast several chiles, I prefer the broiler. Lay them out and turn them several times till they are charred almost all over. This took about 30 minutes. Put them in a covered container till they are cool enough to handle. (While they cool, you could grate your cheese and measure the other ingredients.) When they are cooled off, peel off the tough skins and open them up to remove the seeds. If you are using peppers with some heat, use gloves so you don’t irritate your skin with the capsacin they contain.
When you have prepared the peppers, separate the eggs and whisk half the buttermilk into the yolks. Add the flour and whisk till it’s smooth, then whisk in the other half of the buttermilk. Beat the egg whites till stiff and fold them into the yolk mixture.
To assemble the casserole, layer the peppers, the cheese, and the batter in an 8×8 baking pan. I added dollops of refried beans to make it more substantial. (I think chilies rellenos sometimes have beans inside.) End with some grated cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. It will be very puffy when it’s done, and the middle won’t jiggle much at all. When it cools it will fall back down. Here are some photos of the process.