A healthy, vegan adaptable, Roasted Chile Relleno Recipe – that is lightened up with the addition of black beans. Simplified by roasting (instead of frying) the peppers with the Salsa Ranchero Sauce ingredients – all baked together on one sheet-pan – saving a step!
- 4–6 extra-large poblano peppers, leave whole with stems on. (see notes)
- 6 ripe, medium tomatoes, ( roma, or vine-ripened)
- 6 fat garlic cloves
- one large onion, sliced into ½ inch wedges or slices
- 2 small jalapeños
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed -seasoned (see notes) or Cuban Style are nice
- 6 ounces grated jack cheese or Mexican queso fresco (or 1 cup vegan Herbed Tofu Ricotta )
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional, but good)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro plus more for garnish
- 1/4–1/2 cup water or broth ( to the desired consistency)
- READ DIRECTIONS ALL THE WAY THROUGH
- Preheat oven to 45oF
- ROAST Poblanos and Sauce ingredients: Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange them on the sheet pan. Add the sliced onions to sheet pan, along with the whole garlic cloves, halved jalapeños and whole poblano peppers, making sure they are not overcrowded. You may need to use two sheet pans. (You can also char the peppers on a gas burner, see notes) Drizzle all with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on the middle rack and check after 15 minutes. (If your oven runs hot, you could turn it down to 425 if needed.) If the peppers are tender remove them (pasilla peppers will cook much faster than poblanos- please see notes) and check the garlic, removing it if tender. Otherwise continue roasting with the tomatoes and onions another 15-20 minutes, until peppers and onions are tender and tomatoes are juicy.
- In the meantime make the filling: Mix the canned beans (drained, rinsed) with the cheese. OR If going vegan, mix the beans with 1 cup of vegan herbed tofu ricotta. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. If using plain black beans, add a teaspoon of cumin and chili powder.
- When the poblanos are just tender, take the sheet pan out of the oven (leave the oven on) and let it cool.
- Add ⅓ of the onions, chopping them up, and add into the filling mixture and stir.
- Blend up the Roasted Ranchos Sauce: Place the remaining onions into a blender along with the tomatoes, pan juices, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, oregano, salt, tomato paste and fresh cilantro, adding a little water (or broth if needed) to thin it out, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- STUFF POBLANOS: Carefully cut a slit in the poblano peppers from stem to pointy end and using your fingers, gently remove seeds while rinsing them under cold running water. If the thin skins slip off, let them, but don’t worry about actively peeling them, especially poblanos – their skins are quite thin -leaving some of the skin on is perfectly fine. Pasillo peppers have thick skin and should be peeled. In a large greased baking dish (or oven-proof skillet) pour a little of the roasted tomato ranchero sauce to coat the bottom (use about half the sauce). Place the peppers over top of the sauce, slit side up, then spoon the black bean filling into each one. Pour the rest of the flavorful ranchero sauce over top. At this point, you could add more shredded cheese to the top, or leave it off.
- Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes in a 425F oven- or until the filling is warm and melty, uncover and bake 5 more minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves, toasted pumpkin seeds and sour cream if you like.
If you have an electric oven, or your oven runs hot, lower heat to 425F
PEPPERS: Get the biggest Poblano Chilies you can find. The peppers you see in the photos were abnormally large poblanos (like 8 inches long!). One pepper was one serving. If you only have smaller ones available, ( like 4-inch ones) get double the amount, you may need to serve 2 as a serving. Poblanos (vs Pasilla peppers) are easiest to work with- they are sturdier! They will most likely take 30 minutes to roast while pasillas roast much quicker, so be sure to check pasillas after 10-15 minutes or they may get too soft to handle, and hard to stuff.
You can also blacken either of peppers on a gas grill or on a stovetop gas burner (easiest) rotating with tongs until charred on all sides, then wrap up in a paper bag, or foil for 8-10 minutes to allow them to steam and soften before seeding and peeling under cool running water.
MEAT: If cooking for mixed households you can bake these individual baking dishes or even in mini cast iron skillets like you see here – which is especially nice if cooking for both vegans and meat-eaters. You can easily add browned, seasoned ground meat to some while keeping others vegan or vegetarian. If adding meat, this Mexican Turkey chorizo is nice, as well as cooked shredded Chicken Carnitas.
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