So my institution is famous. Not for anything noble or medal-worthy this time. Just a little touch of the swine flu, or rather, 2000 students or 10% of the student population becoming sick within two weeks of school starting.
After a high fever for a few days and a desperate longing to get back on my feet, I decided it was time to get back into the kitchen wearing cute vintage shoes. 1940's reconstructed vintage shoes, to be exact. I can't tell you how in love with them I am, and how much more cheery they made me feel in the midst of a wave of aches and shivers.
Once I had the duds on, I did some victory rolls to my hair and realized that sometimes if you build it, wellness may come. I extended this optimism to my favorite Mexican food, the chili relleno. I've made a slow cooker version in the past that was more like a casserole than anything, but since I'm not anywhere near Chicago and can't simply order out in this college town/petry dish, I decided to take the plunge. In fact, the last time I ordered chili relleno in Pullman, I got a chili stuffed with cheddar cheese wrapped in an egg omelet. Gah.
This proved to be the best activity in which I could partake whilst in recovery. You know, since I really wasn't well enough to produce any meaningful work yet. Sometimes being ill is a slightly unfortunate euphemism for vacation.
So here's your first step: buy some peppers. I picked up some peppers from the farmer's market the week before that needed to be used, and even though they weren't the traditional poblano variety, they had a sheen to them that screamed natural oils. Perfect for chili relleno.
I had four peppers total, so I broiled them in my electric oven until they charred on all sides, turning them over once.
Once charred, I let them steam in a Zip-loc bag for about twenty minutes, or just long enough that the charred skins were easily removed. When I tugged lightly on the pepper stems, most of the seeds came out along with the stem. I used a spoon to scoop out the rest of the seeds. I've seen people wash out the seeds under running water before, but that seems like a waste to me. Keep those natural oils that get released during the broiling process!
Next, I separated about three eggs and beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold the three beaten yolks into the egg white mixture.
After stuffing the chilies with some panela cheese (you can use chihuahua or the blasphemous monterey jack) and then securing my poor torn chilies with toothpics, I dipped them in egg batter and then added them to a preheated frying pan with about 2 tbsp. of olive oil
After browning the chilies I added them to a sauce pan filled with a mixture of tomato sauce, a bit of water, very finely minced onion and garlic.
Once they had a little simmer time (I'm talking less than 5 minutes) in the tomato gravy, they were ready to be eaten.
Here is hubby's portion:
I served these with warmed corn tortillas, guacamole and refried black beans. A perfect feast for someone clinging to the shirt tails of health. Yay for Tamiflu.