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Stuffed Anaheim Chile Peppers; Another Experiment, Another Winner! New Enchiladas, Too!
Stuffed Anaheim Chiles on the Fly!
Last night, I decided to try something new! A cooking experiment that turned out so awesome that I have to share! I have made normal run of the mill stuffed bell peppers, but have never tried any of the hotter variety of chile peppers for stuffing. We love Mexican food, so Anaheim peppers came to mind. I know they are available in many restaurants as appetizers. I have never had them, but my son has and he is a fan, so I told him I would give it a try. Well, we will be giving this recipe a try once every couple of weeks from now on. I had no recipe, but I have been cooking for years and figured I could come up with my own take on this appetizer, except I was going to try it as a main course.
Easy, Easy, Easy!
- 9 Anaheim chiles (green, about 6 inches long and maybe 2-3 inches wide)
- 8 chicken tenders or 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 8 equal-sized strips
- 1 8 ounce package of good quality cream cheese (okay, I use nothing but Kraft), room temperature
- 4 ounces of shredded, sharp cheddar cheese (reserve about an ounce to top the chiles)
- 3 ounces of shredded mozarella or pepper jack cheese (reserve about an ounce to top the chiles)
- 4 chopped, green scallions
- 1 diced, red tomato (to top the chiles)
- red pepper flakes, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)
- sour cream for topping at the table
- 2 Tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro
Place the anaheim chiles in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cover, and allow to steam and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the chicken tenders. Replace the lid and allow the chicken and the peppers to cook until the peppers are tender and soft and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 more minutes. Remove the peppers and chicken to a plate and allow to cool. In the meantime, put the softened cream cheese, most of the chopped scallions (save a few to put on top of the stuffed chiles), red pepper flakes, cheddar and mozarella into a mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
Dice the chicken tenders and mix them into the cream cheese mixture. Take one of the peppers. Remove the seeds and skin and dice into small pieces. Mix that into the cream cheese and chicken mixture. You could add black olives or any number of things. Make these your experiment!
Take the cooled Anaheim chiles and carefully cut through and remove the stem. Cut down the middle, open the pepper and gently remove the seeds. Be gentle or the chiles will break. With your hands, scoop some of the mixture and form it into a shape that will mimic the shape of the chile. Place the mixture on each chile. Bring up both sides of the chile pepper to kind of wrap the mixture into the chile. I put enough of the cream cheese and chicken mixture in each chile so the chile would not completely close. In other words, I really stuffed them.
Spray an 8 X 8 inch baking pan and place the stuffed chiles side by side. Top with the remaining cheddar and mozarella. Sprinkle the diced tomatoes over that and place the pan into a preheated 350 degree oven. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the sides of the pan are bubbly. When finished baking, remove from the oven and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve sour cream at the table.
This recipe will make 4 very generous helpings. I also served a special spanish rice that I make and a green salad. Next time I make this, I will try to figure out how to peel the cooked chiles. They are very fragile, so I am a little hesitant. I think I will peel them after they are stuffed. They become sturdier and the skin should just come right off.
My son says these stuffed chiles are better than any he has ever tried in a restaurant and that he would really like to have them at least a few times a month.
Since this dinner is so good, I am guessing that the fiiling would be wonderful if used in enchiladas. Because you will use less filling in corn tortillas, this should make at least a dozen enchiladas, probably closer to 18.
- filling, made as described above
- 1 large can of La Victoria Enchilada Sauce
- 2 dozen corn tortillas
- 1 cup of additional cheese, either sharp cheddar or pepper jack, grated (or a combo of the two)
- extra chopped green onions, for the top of the enchiladas
- 1 can of sliced black olives, for the top of enchiladas (you could even add some to the filling)
- 1 cup of canola oil
Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the corn tortillas, one at a time for about 10 seconds each. You don't really want to fry these, just get them soft and more pliable. Drain them on paper towels and pat off any excess oil. Once patted dry, dip the tortillas in heated enchilada sauce, drain off the excess and one by one on your cutting board, put about 2 - 3 Tablespoons of the filling in the center of each tortilla and roll up. Do not overfill. You want the tortillas to be able to stay closed while baking.
Spray a 9 X 11 baking pan and spread some of the enchilada sauce across the entire bottom, and place the rolled up tortillas (sealed side down) side by side in the pan, each going in the same direction. Spoon enchilada sauce over each tortilla, making sure there are no dry spots on any of the tortillas. If they get too dry in the oven, the tortillas will get crispy. You want them to be soft. Sprinkle the cheese, green onions and olives over the top. Put the pan into a 350 degree oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove them from the pan with a spatula. Serve with sour cream over the top. Enjoy! I will be making these myself this week!
Felt bad about putting the enchilada recipe in without trying it first. Made them already this am to put away for dinner tonight and of course, had to sample. Is there something weird about enchiladas for breakfast? They are really, really good! So enchiladas for breakfast? it's all good!