Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vegan Chiles Rellenos

Kind of a chile relleno, kind of a (cumin-spiked) twice-baked potato.

There are a few different steps involved but none of them are complicated. You can break up the cooking time by preparing the poblano peppers and/or the potato-bean filling in advance.

6 cups yukon gold potatoes, washed and chopped
6 poblano peppers, washed
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus additional oil for brushing
1 onion, washed and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 15- ounce can (1 and 1/2 cups) black beans

Poblano peppers

Slice each poblano pepper in half length-wise, and gently remove the seeds and membranes, being careful not to cut through the pepper's outer wall.

Place the poblano pepper halves face down on a broiler-safe baking tray. Broil (monitoring carefully) until the peppers' skin bubbles and begins to turn black.

Remove the peppers from the broiler and use tongs or a spatula to place them in a large paper bag. Roll the bag shut and allow the peppers to sit for 15 minutes.

Take one pepper out of the bag, and carefully peel off the skin. (It's OK if not all of the skin will peel off, just be sure to get the bubbly/loose parts.) Repeat with the remaining peppers. Set the peeled peppers aside.

Potato-bean filling

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add the potatoes, and cook 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-low heat. Add the cumin seed and onion and cook for about 10 minutes (until the onion is soft), stirring occasionally.

While the onion is cooking, pour the cooked potatoes into a large bowl and mash.

Once the onions are soft, stir in 1 teaspoon salt, then mix in the mashed potatoes.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in 1/2 cup water and the beans.

Assembling and baking the chiles rellenos

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Lightly brush a baking sheet (or two) with canola oil.

Pick up one of the poblano pepper halves. Use your other hand to scoop up about 3/4 cup of the potato-bean mixture, and gently pat it into the pepper. Place the stuffed pepper onto the baking sheet. Repeat until all of the pepper halves have been filled.

Bake the chili rellenos for 25-30 minutes, or until the potato-bean filling begins to brown on top.

Serve immediately.

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