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chile relleno casserole

We have tried twice now to duplicate a chile relleno casserole that is made here in southern Baja by a local restaurant. While our results are good there is something about the texture that we are not getting right. We are, of course, first roasting the chiles. We did not fry the tortillas first - maybe that was a mistake. We are using ideas from several different recipes -- we have now learned that we should beat the egg whites separately and fold them into the slightly beaten yolks. There is just something illusive - does anyone have suggestions? Muchas gracias

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  1. I add a tablespoon of flour for every egg yolk and a pinch of salt. I don't make a casserole, so I don't know where the tortillas come into play because I deep fry them. Not too sure what you are trying to duplicate, sorry.

    1. Here's a recipe that I got from the LA Times years ago. I don't know how authentic it is or how it resembles what you're trying to achieve but it's easy and tasty.

      Chiles Relleños Casserole

      • 21 ounce canned whole green chiles -- of course you can use fresh ones but be sure to blister and remove the skins and remove the seeds and ribs
      • 2 pound Mexican blend cheese or combined cheddar and Jack cheeses
      • 4 eggs, separated
      • ⅔ cup evaporated milk
      • 1 tablespoon flour
      • 1 tablespoon sugar
      • ½ teaspoon salt
      • 4 slices fresh tomato

      Rinse chiles, slit open and remove any seeds. In 13x9-inch baking dish, alternate chiles with cheeses to make two or three layers.

      Beat egg whites in a bowl until stiff. In another bowl, beat yolks until foamy. Beat in evaporated milk, flour, sugar and salt. Fold egg whites into yolk mixture. Pour over chiles and cheese.

      Bake at 325˚ for 25 minutes. Arrange tomato slices on top. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes longer.

      Let sit 15 minutes to firm up before serving.

      This is something I always make in rented condo kitchens when we go on ski vacations since it's so easy and requires so little in the way of equipment. We have cornbread with it.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rainey

        Re: madwrk: I also never had a chile relleno casserole with tortillas. If you are using them, though, I'm sure you should fry them a bit in oil before adding them.

        I have always had trouble with a c.r. casserole because I always overcook it, or the temp of the oven is wrong, etc. It'd sure be wonderful to have a really good recipe as it's soooo much less trouble.

        1. re: oakjoan

          cook it in a water bath like a custard, it takes a little longer, wait for the cheese on top to brown, it takes a little longer, keep checking, IT TAKES A LITTLE LONGER! but it will happen. cheese nice and brown, eggs nice and fluffy.

      2. Since it's a restaurant dish, I'll bet they're using canned, not 'home made' chiles... Here's the recipe I've been making for 20 years; but there's no tortillas in it; just as there are no tortillas in Chiles Rellano as a plated dish.

        Chiles Rellano Casserole
        6 Eggs
        1 large can Hatches Whole Green Chiles
        6-8 cups Cheddar Cheese
        1-3/4 cup Milk
        2 Tbsp Flour
        1/2 Tsp Pepper
        2 Tablespoons Cumin, to taste
        1 Tablespoon Chipotle powder

        Mix eggs, milk, flour & pepper together. With a finger, split each chile down one side and open them out. In 9x13 pan, alternate layers of chiles and cheese, ending with cheese. Dust each layer with cumin. Pour the egg mix over the whole thing. Let stand 30 minutes while the oven preheats to 350F. Baking the casserole for 30 minutes. Dust with the chipotle powder or regular. Bake again 30-45 min until puffed in the middle & golden brown on the edges. A chopstick inserted should come out clean, not wet, when it's done.

        3 Replies
        1. re: KiltedCook

          Nope, definitely not canned chiles. It is a very small restaurant in a very small town in southern Baja. We were using local Mexican cheese with a bit of cheddar added. It's not so much the flavor as the consistency we are having trouble with. That seems like a lot of cumin - maybe we'll try a little bit first the next time we give it a go.

          1. re: KiltedCook

            Do you grate the cheese? Or chunk it? Or what? Same question for Rainey---
            Actually both recipes sound easy enough to give 'em a try. I've never had chiles rellenos en casserole, but what could be bad???????

            1. re: BerkshireTsarina

              I've always used packaged, shredded "Mexican" blends for the simplicity. Mind you, this is NOT proper chiles relleños but it is tasty and hearty. And for making a satisfying meal in an unfamiliar poorly equipped kitchen this recipe is made to order.

          2. madwrk, when you have a few minutes, would you mind posting what you do in more detail? I'm intrigued with the idea of having the tortillas in the casserole, and would love to try it.

            And since I haven't been fortunate enough to dine in southern Baja, I won't be comparing it to the original.

            3 Replies
            1. re: bear

              The recipe is at my friend;'s house - I will try to get it in the next couple of days. Basically we were grilling the chiles first, grating the cheese - using Mexican cheese and cheddar, putting the Mex cheese inside the chiles, beating egg whites then egg yolks with flour - folding whites into yolks. Sprinkling the cheddar over the chiles - then spreading the egg mixture. The controversy is that she found recipes that called for corn tortillas torn and scattered on the bottom of the dish before the chiles went in. I thought that was peculiar. I will try to get the exact recipe and post it soon.

              1. re: madwrk

                Thanks, madwrk. Sounds really good, and pretty easy. Anything with poblanos has to be good. No rush on the recipe, though, since I'll be away for a few days so I won't be cooking.

                I'm thinking that I would soften the tortillas in oil first, then, as I do while making enchiladas, and maybe add a bit of traditional salsa roja or verde for chiles rellenos.

                1. re: bear

                  Layer roasted chiles with cheese. (I like to use sharp cheddar, although it's not authentic -- but then, neither is chiles rellenos casserole!) Make a batter of beaten egg whites, beaten yolks, a little flour folded in along with salt and pepper. Bake until firm and serve with a very thin tomato/chicken stock sauce. Lose the tortillas.

            2. I'm not quite understanding. You say the recipe you are using calls for torn tortillas on the bottom, which you find "peculiar." Yet you are trying to copy a dish you have tasted. So, were there tortillas in it? This would add a flavor not often found in chiles rellenos!

              1. When I make enchiladas I steam the tortillas first instead of frying them. It makes them tender/pliable without all the extra fat/calories. I put water in the bottom of a broiler pan and place on a lower rack in the oven, preheat oven to 350, when the oven is preheated, it is also steamy...be careful opening the door. Then place the top of the broiler pan with tortillas on it on a seperate oven rack above the one with the water, cook approximately 5 minutes. I don't know if this will help your recipe, but I use this technique quite often when working with corn tortillas.

                1. Is this restaurant still in business? I'd like to go there when I'm in southern Baja.

                  Have you ever gotten this recipe perfected?