Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chile Rellenos - Dried Stuffed Ancho Chiles with Plantains and Cream

One of Mexicos most best-known dishes Chile Rellenos (stuffed chiles) is often prepared with fresh poblanos fried in light batter and heated in tomato sauce but there are many regional variances on this popular dish. Jalapeno, manzano, dried pasado, pasilla de Oaxaca, and chili ancho take your pick.

Although I'm a big fan of the battered poblano recipe I wanted to try something different with the poblanos dried cousin the chile ancho. I was soon inspired by a creation of Ricardo Munoz Zurita on the Rick Bayless show "Mexico - One Plate at a Time". How can I go wrong with a the culinary genius of Ricardo Zurita. Ricardo is the chef behind Mexico City's Azul y Oro and author of 4 cookbooks including the 600-page Encyclopedia of Mexican Gastronomy.

This recipe was not listed on Rick Bayless site and the exact measurements were not discussed so we pretty much had to eyeball it and take notes.

Stuffed Chile Ancho with Plantains and Crema

Ingredients

Serves 10

12 Chiles Ancho (Always purchase a few more then you need some might fall apart when you are removing seeds and veins)
4 very ripe Plantains
4-5 Garlic cloves crushed
1 whole chopped onion
3 chopped roma tomatoes
3/4 pound of panela chesse
1 small piloncillo cone
1/2 cup of grated piloncillo
dash of salt
dash of pepper

(Piloncillo is an unrefined sugar from Mexico produced in "cone" shapes of various sizes)

Garnish

1 pound of Mexican Crema
Parsley

Dissolve the whole cone of piloncillo in hot water, cover the chiles in the hot water, pushing them down into the water so that they are totally submerged. Soak for 10 min, Ricardo recommended 5 min but we did not achieve the level of softness we were looking for. You also do not want to soak the chiles to long or they will get to soft and fall apart.

Remove the chiles from water and carefully make a slit on one side and remove veins and seeds. Make sure the stem does not fall off and try not to tear the chile.

Bake the plantains for 10 min at 350

Chop tomatoes, queso panela and onions, crush the garlic and ground 1/2 cup of piloncillo. Remove plantains from oven and chop into cubes.

Heat oil and saute onion and garlic. Add tomato and cook for 5 min. Add plantains and cook for another 10 min. Add piloncillo powder, pinch of salt and pinch of pepper and mix well. Remove from heat and add queso panela.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of filling to each chile ancho. Fold crease over and place on a plate with crease down. Garnish with Crema and Parsley.

As I was shooting the final shots I caved in and took a bite.

Stuffed Chile Ancho with Plantains and Crema

The Chile Ancho is mild in spice and has somewhat of a fruity flavor. The flavor profile of the ancho played well with the plantains and we were very pleased with the results. I have been craving Chiles en Nogada but they are not in season yet so this was a nice alternative that is much easier to make. I guess we will have to go for the trifecta and feature the ever so popular battered Chile Rellenos soon.

Chiles en Nogada

Chiles en Nogada

16 comments:

KirkK said...

Hey MA - Those look fabulous!

Micaela said...

mmmm, que rico!!! Oye mira, can you get the piloncillo already ground up? I've never seen it that way, but I never really look at the piloncillo because I had no idea what they were for, I thought it was some sort of sweet for children (in PR, we have the pilon, which is kinda like a lollypop/sucker candy thing). Sheesh, yet another recipe of yours I need to try!

Dennis K. said...

Hi MA, doesn't sound so bad for winging it! :) Looks delicious..

brightlights said...

La Gringa asks, What is "piloncillo"?

Masa Assassin said...

Hey Kirk... Thanks it is a fairly simple dish to make, I think the hardest part is to get the chiles to the desired texture.

Hi Micaela...Ha that's funny thanks for sharing that. Actually we just used a cheese grater on a Piloncillo Cone.

Hey Dennis.... Thank you it was definitely a guessing game as far as ingredient measurements.

Hey Brightlights... Piloncillo is an unrefined sugar from Mexico produced in "cone" shapes of various sizes. I think I'm going to add that post, Thanks.

Diane-The WHOLE Gang said...

Looks right to me. I too watched this show and thought I would love to make this dish. I have to change up a few ingredients as I have to live gluten and dairy free. Love Mexican foods and I'm diving into them more and more. Can't wait to check out your site.

Lesley said...

Oh god. Those look so good. Here I was, before I read this post, thinking, "I'm going to cook a lot more soups and plain vegetarian things without a lot of fat in them." But the cream. The CREAM. I have to make these.

I love Ricardo Muñoz Zurita. I live in DF, and just scored a copy (a signed copy!) of his Gastronomic Dictionary last month. I was at Azul y Oro, his cafe at UNAM, and he happened to be selling them. Going to blog about it soon -- this book is seriously like my bible.

So happy to have found your blog! Going to add it to my blogroll.

Masa Assassin said...

Hi Diane... thanks for stopping by I'm sure you can find alternate ingredients whats not to love about Mexican food.

Hi Lesly ... Its always great to here from fellow Mexican Food Lovers. You are so lucky to get a signed copy of Ricardos great book. DF has such wonderful Restaurants and street food I would never run out of things to write about their.

afotogirl said...

I grew up with my parents always using fresh roasted Anaheim chiles for chile rellenos. As an adult, I've grown fond of using fresh roasted poblanos. Now, I'm quite curious to try my hand at using these ancho chiles. Plus, I've never used dehydrated chiles as I've always used fresh or powdered. Yay! Something new to try during Lent! Thanks for the post!

Masa Assassin said...

Hi fotogirl ...

These would be perfect for Lent! The texture is very different from the fresh poblanos. You have some amazing photos on your blog, thanks for dropping a line.

Kathleen is Cooking in Mexico said...

Great recipe, great photos! I recently made chiles rellenos using duxelles as the filling. Filling possibilities are endless.

Kathleen is Cooking in Mexico said...

Forgive my very humble Spanish correction which I respectfully submit: in Spanish, the noun and the adjective agree in number. So if "rellenos" is plural, "chiles" is plural. Or they are both singular without the "s". North of the border, this is a common error.

Masa Assassin said...

Thanks Kathleen, and yes its Chiles Rellenos.

D @ Kitchen Closet said...

Those look delicious, and its great being able to learn about the regional variations of Mexican cooking.

Stella said...

These sound and look absolutely wonderful. I somehow doubt that I could find those peppers though (not around here) or the sugar for that matter (sigh)...

otehlia cassidy said...

Wow, never thought of rellenos in dried chiles. I love it! Very nice to find your blog. Today I am going to try tres leches cake.