Apr 6, 2008

Not THAT kind of Mexican Cheese!

I was thinking of trying a few new recipes (Including Chile Relleno Casserole) this weekend, so I sent my DH to the grocery store, looking for Mexican cheese and unsweetened Cocoa.

Poor guy. I'm pretty sure I told him that the cocoa would be in the baking section, but I guess he didn't hear me. Instead, he searched high and low in the hot chocolate section until he did, indeed, find packets of unsweetened hot cocoa! (Why would anyone make such a thing?)

Then I went to make the casserole, which called for Mexcan, or Cotija, cheese. I see it in the stores all the time in the cheese section. When I went to pull the cheese out of the refrigerator, I couldn't find it! So I asked DH to find it, and he pulled a bag of pre-shredded jack/cheddar mix, labeled "Mexican Style."

"Oh!" I remarked, "I didn't mean THIS kind of Mexican cheese!"

He responded with, "Well, it says right there that it's Mexican cheese."

And he was right. So I used it in the recipe, left out the chorizo (which I don't like), and it turned out great. I know 12 sounds like a lot of eggs, and I was tempted to try it with fewer, but it turned out just right! Just like the picture in the magazine.

I think the key is to pick a large chile pepper (which are not usually very hot), and plan for about one chile pepper per serving. Don't pick too deep of a baking dish, as you'll want to see the peppers to find the servings.


Chile Relleno Casserole


8 green chiles
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves
12 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded jack cheese or cheddar cheese


1. Roast chiles until blistered and somewhat charred, and put into a closed paper bag to "sweat". After all peppers are roasted and have rested at least 15 minutes, remove from bag and peel. (Don't worry if you can't get all the skin off. It won't hurt you.)

2. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, mix cheese and spices. Stuff chiles with mixture and lay them in an 8- by 12-in. baking dish.

3. In a large bowl, beat eggs , then whisk in flour, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle chiles with 1/2 the jack cheese. Pour egg mixture over chiles and sprinkle with remaining jack.

4. Bake until top starts to brown and the eggs are set but still soft, about 30 minutes.

Adapted from Sunset Magazine, March 2008