Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chili Relleno Bake

This comforting and light casserole was inspired by two things and made rather late in the evening, when my energy level was uncharacteristically high.

First, I'm clearing out my over stocked freezer, pantry and refrigerator with things gone past their prime, discovering things I'd forgotten I purchased, discovering MANY duplicates purchased because I'd forgotten I already had it, all in preparation for making a "Pantry Inventory" to post on this blog.

I seriously overshop. I think part of it is entertainment and part of it is stress reducing, but I could blog about that for pages and bore you to tears. Fellow groceryovershoppers will already know. What I plan to do is post my inventory and begin crossing off some of the items as I use them, and invite suggestions from my fellow bloggers -- e.g., Hey, Kate, did you know you have every ingredient on your list to make my Grandma Ruby's Beanie Burger Surprise?

Second, I had a package of Sargento Ultra Thin Cheese to use and I do mean ultra thin. That stuff is like "Cheese Paper" -- which appeals to my delicate sensibilities. You can see your hand through it. I wanted the calorie content of this gossamer cheese slices, so I visited the Sargento website and landed on a recipe for Chile Rellano Bake. As I scanned the recipe, it occurred to me I had every single ingredient and best of all, many of them were on my "use it up quickly" list.

In a word: Delicious.

It's a cross between a lasagne-tamale pie and a chile rellano quiche. The torn tortillas mixed throughout make a masa flavored layer which helped puff up and support the eggy quiche. The ultra thin cheese I told you about? I used three slices to lay across the top before it baked. You can see how thin it is because all the ingredients show through.

This could be breakfast, lunch or dinner -- it's so versatile. I'm hoping it freezes well, as I'll have only a slice or two myself, and then cut it into portions to freeze for portable breakfast on weekday mornings.

On with the recipe!

Chili Relleno Bake

1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded reduced fat Mexican flavored cheese, divided
(I used 1 cup of reduced fat mozzerella, 1/4 cup of low fat diced cheddar, and 3 ultra thin slices of cheddar)
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated skim milk
3/4 cup (6 oz.) Egg Beaters®
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, torn into 2-inch pieces
(I had three kinds of small, 4-5 inch soft handmade corn tortillas almost past their prime. I used two each of plain, green chili, and mild red chili flavored tortillas)
2 cans (4 oz. each) chopped green chilies
(I used 2 whole, canned, green chilis, chopped and it was plenty)
1/2 cup mild chunky-style salsa
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
Fat-free or light sour cream (optional)

Coat 10-inch deep dish pie plate or 8x8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine 1 cup cheese, milk, Egg Beaters, tortillas, chilies, salsa and salt, if desired, in medium bowl; pour into prepared dish. Bake in preheated 375°F oven 35 minutes or until set. Remove from oven; sprinkle with remaining cheese and cilantro. Bake 1 minute more or until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

(I chose to mix all of the loose cheese in the custard, and only used 3 slices of thin cheese for the top, because the custard seemed awfully wet to me and I thought the cheese would help thicken it up. I need not have worried, the tortillas did their job. I'm not sorry I made this adaptaton, however. The filling was light and fluffy and just cheesy enough without melting into goo. I used an 8x16 inch pan so it was thinner, which made it cook and set more easily. I don't feel it required any sour cream -- skipped it).

Verdict: Seriously delicious
Skill: Not much (as if anything on this blog would require skill)
Repeat: Absolutely
Use It Up Factor: High. Used up stale tortillas, egg beaters, canned chilis, a few spoons of salsa left in a tub, and an oldish can of evaporated milk. Only the cheese was a recent purchase.

Nutritional Stats, compiled using my adaptations, and cut into 10 portions (cut the 16inch pan down the center, long direction, and then across, 4 times, for 10 pieces)

Calories 102.3 per serving
Fat 5.5 g
Cholesterol 18.2 mg
Sodium 187.4 mg
Potassium 203.4 mg
Carbohydrate 4.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
Sugars 3.8 g
Protein 8.4 g

1 comment:

  1. Drool! This looks so delish. I love these kind of recipes, so comforting.