It was an exhausting, emotionally harrowing couple of weeks. And I know I should blog anyway, because I have a responsibility to my readers and all that crap, but you know what? There's like ten of you. And I love you dearly. But I was just too damned tired.
So but anyway. Chile rellenos.
I should preface all this by saying that I make outlandishly good chile rellenos, normally. Dorian loves them--which means that they are a giant pain in the ass to make. I do it maybe twice a year. So I'm always on the lookout for ways to capture that deliciousness without destroying my kitchen and my sanity. Rick Bayless has never let me down before, so I didn't see this coming AT ALL. And it sounds so good: roasted poblanos stuffed with pulled smoked chicken, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, and fresh corn. Yum! Bonus: They are baked in a casserole dish, smothered in cinnamon-tomato sauce, with just a touch of crema drizzled over top. So they are not only easier than The Good Ones but way healthier, too.
This recipe is great because it uses up those tiny bits of chicken you salvage from the carcass between dinner and stock-making. And it can be made ahead. If you remember to do either of these things, you're golden. (2)
Anyway, they weren't tough to make, just time-consuming. And I got the traditional Bayless Scars on my forearms from flying speckles of nuclear tomato sauce (3). But the dish was, overall, surprisingly bland. Okay for a first try, but certainly not worth to the time/effort/money that went into its preparation.
The take aways:
- Roasted poblanos make anything taste good.
- The chicken was wholly unnecessary; Dori confirms. (5)
- The method is sound. Easier by far than battering and frying, and with little reduction in taste/texture. At least not in proportion to calories/mess.
(1) Which I guess means the leftovers in the fridge are no longer a valid backup meal plan.
(2) Of course I did neither of those things. Because I am a masochist.
(3) WTF, Rick? Who heats a cast iron pan until it smokes, THEN adds tomato puree?!?! (4)
(4) Answer: People with maids.
(5) This is bliss, because here is a typical conversation at our house:
DORI: We should be vegetarians.
ME: Awesome. Here is your vegetarian dinner.
DORI: This would be great with some meat!