A friend of mine once told me that a world without Mexican food would be a world not worth living in. While I don’t share quite such an obsessed point-of-view, I do love Mexican food and my family does as well. We love the cheesey, beany, spicy goodness but, I have to admit, it can be a bit heavy. Chiles rellenos are a favorite in my house but this recipe, from Kalyns Kitchen, lightens things up by baking rather than frying. The cheese and the spice are still there, just a bit easier on the stomach without the usual frying.
(image and recipe from Kalyns Kitchen)
1 26 oz. can roasted and peeled green chiles (or use about 24 roasted and peeled green chiles.)
4 cups grated cheese (I used 4-Cheese Mexican blend from Costco, which is a low-fat blend of Monterey Jack, medium cheddar, Queso Quesadilla, and Asadero cheese)
1/2 cup very thinly sliced green onions (optional)
1/2 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chile powder
Put green chiles in a colander placed in the sink and let drain for about 15 minutes. While chiles drain, preheat oven to 375F/190C. Spray glass or crockery casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil. (I used a 9″ X 13″ dish, but anything close to that size will work.)
When chiles are drained, use your thumb to split open each chile, scrape out any lingering seeds, and spread chiles out on a paper towel to drain more, pressing down with another towel to get them as dry as you can. (I like to make 2 piles after I do this to get the layers even.) Make a flat layer of chiles covering the bottom of the dish. (I alternated every other chile facing the opposite way because they’re slightly v-shaped.)
Top the layer of chiles with half the grated cheese, then sprinkle on green onions (if using). Make another layer of flattened chiles, followed by the rest of the cheese.
Put eggs into a bowl and beat well, then add milk, ground cumin, and chile powder, and stir until well combined. Pour egg-milk mixture over chiles and cheese, taking care to get it evenly distributed. (The egg-milk mixture will not completely cover the casserole.)
Cover dish with foil for the first 15 minutes of baking time, then remove foil and bake until mixture is bubbling and cheese on top is lightly browned, about 40 minutes total baking time. (You can cook it without the foil, but watch it carefully or the top will get too brown. Cooking time without foil will be slightly less.)
Serve hot, with sour cream and salsa if desired. This will keep in the fridge for a few days, but you probably won’t have any leftovers.