Last week, Jaime and I trekked across town to our friend Maria's house. She was going to give me a lesson in cooking! I had been asking her for a while to teach me how to make Chile Relleno. She had made them for me once before and they were delicious. The thing I liked best about them was the great flavor without the fried effect that chile relleno usually has.
She said that in the town where she grew up in Mexico, Durango, they didn't fry the peppers. She said it probably had nothing to do with healthiness, it was more about saving money. Oil was expensive. Alas, through frugality came one delicious entree. So, here goes my first international cooking lesson.
The menu items: Chile Relleno and Enchiladas.
This was a fun experience and everything was new to me. I felt like I had never cooked before. It was great to hear stories about why things were made a certain way and the techniques that are used to make the food perfect.
Let's check out the step-by step.
|This is Maria putting her cerrano peppers on an electric griddle. She said she has done it in the oven before, but it works best to have direct contact with the heat.|
|We cooked the peppers on the griddle until they were bubbling and charred on the outside. We really tried to get every surface in contact with the heat.|
|Here are some of the charred peppers. Yum!|
|Now onto the enchiladas. We made enchiladas using a green sauce. The green comes from tomatillos. I guess they are kind of like tomatoes, only green. And they taste really good!|
|We added a couple habanero peppers to our peeled tomatillos. I think we also added some cilantro. Not sure!|
|These are tomatoes we roasted on the griddle. They are going to make the sauce for the chiles.|
|After the peppers were completely roasted, we put them in a plastic bag. The bag is tied up and the peppers are allowed to sit inside. The steam that is created helps the skins of the peppers peel off more easily.|
|Here is the most tedious process of the whole meal--peeling the charred skin off the peppers. Maria gave me gloves to wear just in case the peppers were too spicy--they could leave your fingers burning for hours!|
|Then, each pepper is split down the side and the seeds are removed. Another not-so-quick task, but the result is well worth it. No seeds to deal with while you are eating your delicious pepper!|
|All (or mostly) cleaned out.|
|We used two types of cheese in our chiles--Queso fresco and mozzarella. I prefer the queso fresco, but mozz is nice and melty.|
|Here is Maria stuffing the peppers with cheese!|
|Here we are frying tortillas in preparation for the enchiladas|
|Fried is extra delicious!|
|Okay--so I missed a few photos here. We put our roasted tomatoes in the blender with a little salt, sugar, and garlic. Beautiful sauce. To this we added some sour cream BEFORE the sauce started boiling.|
|Mmmm...tortillas just waiting for us to dig in.|
|At this point, we added our peppers to our simmering sauce. The only thing we need to wait for is the chiles to heat through. Mmmmm! Let's do it!|
|Another look at the yumminess.|
|Adding the cheese! Check out just how sporty Maria is here.|
|Finished plate. I couldn't wait to dig in to this meal. It was soooo delicious! I can't wait to try it myself. Although I think cooking with a master is much more fun.|
|Here's the whole spread. The glasses are even from Mexico. What a feast!|