In our CSA share last week we got a bunch of Anaheim and Poblano peppers–one is obligated to make chile rellenos when these peppers are in abundance, right? And I had good intentions, really, I did. But after spending so much time in the kitchen this weekend making chokecherry syrup, jelly, and other such goodies I had no patience left to stuff peppers, batter them, and fry them. Plus, despite my Southern roots, I really don’t eat all that much fried food. And I didn’t really feel the need for a heavy fried meal.
Years ago I found an enchilada recipe that was spectacular, the only problem was I was feeling too lazy to make the enchiladas. I must be pretty damn lazy to not want to make enchiladas, huh? Well, sometimes…yes. And I’m not ashamed. But back to the story. I had the (brilliant) idea to layer everything in a casserole dish, and thus was born The Lazy Enchilada. (If I ever open a restaurant, I’m going to name it The Lazy Enchilada, and yes, they will be on the menu). So while feeling somewhat panicked this weekend about wanting to make chile rellenos but not wanting to make them, the casserole idea sort of happened by accident. After I roasted the chiles and was peeling off the skins, some of the flesh tore, which was going to be a huge pain in the ass to stuff with cheese, keeping everything in place while I dredged them in flour, dunked them in egg batter and fried them. Then my casserole idea came to me…The Lazy Relleno! Yes, this was the perfect solution to my torn chile flesh and my lazy nature.
Chile Relleno Casserole
6 Anaheim or poblano chiles, or combination
7 6-inch corn tortillas
2 green onions, chopped into 1/4” pieces
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or any combination of your favorite cheese)
1/2 cup cooked black beans, optional (I used these because I had them and needed to use them, but I like them in it)
Place the peppers on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Turn peppers over and cook for another 10 minutes, until the skins are blistered. Remove the peppers from the oven and place in a plastic or paper bag for 10 minutes. This steams the peppers and makes removing the skins easier. Remove the peppers from the bag and peel away the skins. Cut peppers in half lengthwise. Remove stem and, if you want, some of the seeds.
Grease a shallow 9” x 13” baking dish. Place 2 corn tortillas in the bottom of the dish. Cut the remaining tortillas in half. Use 2 halves to cover the bottom of the dish. Place remaining tortilla halves around edge of dish, round side up. Place the peppers on top of the tortillas in a single layer. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese over peppers.
In large mixing bowl, add eggs, milk, salt, and flour. Whisk until egg mixture is just frothy. Stir in green onions, remaining cheese, and, if using, black beans. Pour egg mixture over peppers.
Slide the tortilla halves around the edge of the pan down into the egg mixture until the tops are almost even with the egg mixture. This will prevent them from burning during cooking.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 35-40 minutes.
Serve with enchilada sauce, sour cream, or your favorite salsa.
Isn’t it beautiful? I fell in love with this–easy, easy to prepare, and perhaps best of all–no FRYING!