Fate is a funny thing. How else would my husband and I have wound up together. We only grew up a mile apart but we didn’t meet until college. We even started the college the same year with the same majors and yet we didn’t meet in class. We actually met at a football game at our university (Go Badgers!) in a stadium with thousands of people. Fate is definitely a funny thing.
Fate had to be involved when I found this recipe. My husband and I were cleaning our house before some guests were going to arrive. I had the June 2010 copy of Bon Appetit sitting the coffee table like usual. It was a beautiful day and we had the windows open. I went to dust the coffee table when I noticed that the magazine was open to a page with a bunch of recipes. I asked my husband if he had been reading the magazine and he denied it, but he did ask one question. “Are there any good recipes on that page?” I responded saying that some of them look good and then he asked for an example. This is where I said “Goat Cheese and Mushroom Chiles Rellenos with Red Chili Sauce” and then words I did not expect came out of his mouth. He said “make that”. What? Really? It sounds good but, really? Chiles rellenos? I’ve never even had chiles rellenos and what’s the chance I can find all the necessary ingredients for that in northeast Wisconsin? He kept encouraging me and so I finally agreed. I went about grocery shopping and I was actually able to find most of the ingredients except for a few dried chiles. I was pretty impressed.
Then came the time to make it. My husband even agreed to help me make it. I said he could make the sauce and I will make the chiles. Neither task was easy, but neither was too challenging.
In the end though, it was worth the effort. The red chile sauce is amazing. I normally prefer my own red chile sauce recipe, but this one had the perfect amount of spice and sweetness and even tanginess. It was delicious. I have actually considered canning this and saving it for when I make enchiladas. It’s that good. It was even that good although I could only find dried ancho chiles and so I was forced to leave out the dried New Mexico and Anaheim chilis. I could only imagine how it would have tasted then. The chiles were excellent too. The filling is just wonderful. I had a little left over and I ate it all by the spoonful. It was so good and I even had enough of the ingredients left over the next day that I made another batch of the filling and put it over some sautéed chicken breasts.
I hope fate brings you to my blog and that you then decide to become a little adventurous yourself and try this recipe. After this success I have decided that every month I am going to pick a random recipe out of my Bon Appetit magazine and make it. I’m going to try really hard to try to pick something I would not normally pick (this might involve some help from my husband again, but oh well, I love cooking with him).
Recipe: Goat Cheese and Mushroom Chiles Rellenos with Red Chili Sauce (from Bon Appetit, June 2010)
Note: I halved the chiles rellenos recipe, but made a full batch of the sauce.
8 large fresh Anaheim chiles
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup minced shallot
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme
6 cups assorted sliced mushrooms (such as cremini and stemmed shiitake)
1/4 cup dry sherry
4 oz soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
8 – 4×1/4×1/4 – inch pieces of Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp AP flour
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 large egg white
Red Chile Sauce (see recipe below)
Sour Cream/sliced avocado/crumbled Cojito cheese (optional for on the side)
Char chiles directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in plastic bag and let steam for 10 minutes. Using small knife, scrape off blackened skin, taking care not to tear chiles. Carefully cut slit in each chile, from stem end to tip. Remove seeds, keeping chile intact.
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and thyme; saute until shallot is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are browned, about 7 minutes. Add Sherry; stir until almost dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Refrigerate mixture 10 minutes. Add goat cheese and cilantro; stir to incorporate.
Place 1 piece Monterey Jack cheese lengthwise inside each chile. Divide mushroom mixture among chiles; press openings to seal. (Do ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Generously brush rimmed baking sheet with oil. Whisk flour and cornstarch in shallow bowl. Brush chiles with egg white; roll in flour mixture to coat. Transfer to prepared sheet.
Bake chiles until browned and Jack cheese melts, about 8 minutes per side. Ladle 1/4 cup Red Chile Sauce onto each plate and garnish with desired sides.
Red Chile Sauce:
3 large dried ancho chiles
2 large dried New Mexico chiles (I couldn’t find these so they were left out)
2 large dried Anaheim chiles (I couldn’t find these either so they were also left out)
2 cups water
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 small garlic cloves, peeled, sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup vegetable broth, divided (I used chicken broth since I had it on hand)
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp packed, dark brown sugar
Stem and seed chiles; tear into 1-inch pieces. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add chiles to dry skillet and toast until beginning to smoke, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to boil. Remove from heat and let stand 20 minutes to soften. Drain.
Stir cumin seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until slightly darker and aromatic, 3 to 4 minutes. Cool. Transfer to spice mill; process until finely ground.
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; saute until golden, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and ground cumin. Add drained chiles and 1/2 cup broth; sprinkle with salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. Add 1/2 cup broth.
Working in batches, puree sauce in blender until smooth. Add vinegar and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. (Do ahead: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.)