Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chipotle Shrimp & Bacon Chiles Rellenos

Introducing the first of (hopefully) many posts on one of my favorite subjects: food!


Allow me to preface this by stating that I realize this is NOT an authentic recipe for chiles rellenos.  That doesn't mean it's not going to be darn tasty.  And it's probably healthier than most other recipes, as it doesn't involve deep frying.  But have no fear, there is still BACON involved!  And while I'm busy prefacing things, I'll also add that I don't really like my point-and-shoot camera so most of the time I take photos with my phone--so please excuse the poor quality!


I started from a recipe for Shrimp in a Chipotle-Lime-Cilantro Remoulade from Tasty Kitchen.  I don't know why this recipe only has 3 stars--it's super easy and quite delicious.  I often make the shrimp and put it in the middle of a BLT sandwich.  Chipotle shrimp BLT?  Amazing.  


I used this recipe to make a shrimp salad by chopping up the shrimp and adding some crumbled thick-sliced bacon.  By some stroke of fate, I ended up with a bunch of leftover shrimp salad... and after I noticed the Anaheim peppers at the farmer's market, an idea was born.


Chipotle Shrimp & Bacon Chiles Rellenos with Roasted Red Pepper Salsa and Queso Fresco


"Isn't she lovely?  Isn't she wonderful?"


Ingredients


For the peppers:
  • 1/2 pound Large Shrimp (deveined, coked, and coarsely chopped)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Mayo 
  • 2-3 cloves Fresh Garlic 
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder OR 1/2 a dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Lime Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Thick-cut bacon, cooked and coarsely chopped.  
  • 4-6 mild green chile peppers.  (I used Anaheim peppers because they were available at the farmer's market, but Poblano are more traditional.  The number of chiles you will need will vary based on their size.)
  • Queso Fresco 
For the salsa:
  • 1-2 Red Bell Peppers
  • a handful of Cilantro
  • 1/2 medium Onion
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper (quartered with seeds and ribs removed)
  • Lime juice
I know this recipe seems like a lot of work, but it's really not too bad--especially if you have a food processor.


Preparation


Preheat your broiler to high.  Line a broiler pan with foil.  Lightly coat the Anaheim Peppers and the Red Bell Peppers in olive oil and place them on the broiler pan.  Broil them for 10-12 minutes, periodically turning them until the skin is blackened all the way around each pepper.  Once the peppers are blackened and blistered, take them out of the oven and put them in a zip top plastic bag to cool.  The bag will trap the steam and make peeling the skin off the peppers much easier.  


Preheat the oven to 375°F.


Meanwhile, combine the mayo, cilantro, garlic, chipotle, lime juice, and olive oil in the food processor.  (Note: If you're using dried chipotle peppers, you may want to give them a whir first to break them up before adding the other ingredients.)  Process for a few seconds until everything is chopped up.  Add salt & pepper and adjust any other seasonings to taste; don't be shy with the flavors here, as the flavor of the filling will be tempered by the pepper in which it's stuffed.  Mix the bacon, shrimp, and remoulade together and set aside.  Rinse out your food processor bowl.


Place the onion and jalapeno in the food process until finely chopped.  Peel the skin off of the red bell peppers, remove the stem and seeds and add to the food processor along with cilantro and lime juice and process until coarsely chopped.  Set the roasted red pepper salsa aside.


Take the chile peppers out of the bag and remove the skins.  Cut a slit in the side of the pepper and remove the ribs and seeds from the middle, leaving as much of the pepper intact as possible.  Fill the pepper with the shrimp-bacon-remoulade, fold the seam over to close, and place seam side up in a baking dish.  Repeat until all peppers are stuffed.  Top with roasted red pepper salsa and crumbled queso fresco.


Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot.


Chipotle Shrimp & Bacon Chiles Rellenos with Roasted Red Pepper Salsa, Queso Fresco, and a side of Mexican Rice.


I served the peppers with a side of Mexican Rice.  Fortunately, my loving husband washed all of the dishes for me afterwards (like he always does.)

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