Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Green Chile Relleno Salad



Green chile harvest season starts in August, but really gets going through late September thru to late October.  Industrial quantities of them get roasted in the cooling temperatures of approaching fall in rotatable wire baskets everywhere in the desert southwest.  I live in the southeastern US, so I have only been to one green chile roasting, but the can assure that the aroma of it is utterly unforgettable.  Green chiles get roasted for all kinds of culinary reason, including storage in a deep freeze; however, the one dish that is most often the reason for the roasted chile(s) in the first place are Chiles Rellenos (or Stuffed Peppers).  One unusual way to present this very native Mexican dish is in the form of a salad.  This particular recipe comes from yet another seasonal cookbook, this time authored by the queen of Tex-Mex cuisine herself:  Jane Butel.  The book is Fiestas For Four Seasons.  I suggest making the dressing well ahead of time; it tastes better if it sits for several hours.


Green Chile Rellenos Salad

4 large green chiles, parched and peeled
4 oz. or more of Montrachet, other goat cheese or cream cheese
Salsa Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

1.  Place the chiles on a cutting board and with a very sharp knife, slice the bottom 2/3's of the each chile, cutting down from about 2 inches below the stem to create "petal" about 1/4 of an inch wide that will be more pointed on each tip. (Leave the stems on and the tops whole).

2.  Divide the cheese into 4 equal logs, stuffing each chile with the cheese.  Chill salad plates at this time.

Salsa Vinaigrette

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup Fresh Garden Salsa (see below) or your own personally favorite salsa

1.  Simply mix all ingredients together.  [Better if it sits]


Fresh Garden Salsa

2 cups canned whole, good quality tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/3 cup finely diced, fresh red tomatoes, unpeeled
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. finely diced sweet or white onion
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
1 1/4 tsp. sea or kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup water (my note:  best is really cold!)
1 tbsp. pickled jalapeno juice
2 tbsp. minced chives
1 small jalapeno, minced (fresh or pickled)
2 New Mexican green chiles, parched, peeled and diced
   or diced canned green chiles
1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. Mexican oregano
1/4 tsp. cumin

1.  Put all ingredients in a glazed pottery or glass bowl and toss to blend completely.

2.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

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