On my first evening in Cabo San Lucas I enjoyed a splendid chili rellenos dish at Mi Casa, under a thatched roof on a hand painted table in a room full of celebration. It was Christmas Eve.
The dish was pleasing to me, it featured one perfectly presented, delicious poblano chili, filled with pork and beef. I was amazed at how the pepper retained its firm texture and yet was peeled of all its skin and cleaned of every seed. To finish the dish the chef poured a sweet corn cream sauce over the stuffed pepper and garnished it with a scatter of pomegranate seeds.
When returning to my kitchen in Sag Harbor I intend to recreate this dish following the Mi Casa theme, I find the idea of a pepper roasted, not fried, very appealing.
To prepare Chili Rellenos:
4 poblano peppers, charred over open flame then finished in a steel bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Seed and peel carefully when cool.
1/2 pound pulled pork. From a shank braised in chicken stock with onions and chili’s until soft.
1/2 pound ground beef, browned with 1 small, finely diced onion until cooked through. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.
Remove any excess fat from beef, combine with pork and season with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, salt and black pepper to taste.
Allow the mixture to cool and stuff peppers in advance.
Cover with plastic and hold cold until service.
For the Sauce:
Roast 3 ears of sweet corn @ 350 degrees for 30 min. Remove the kernels from the cobs. Make stock by simmering the cobs in 2 cups chicken stock with 1 jalapeno, 1 cup of softened mirpoix (dice celery, onion and carrot sauted in butter) & 1 teaspoon of salt, for 30 minutes. Strain and cool.
For service, place the stuffed peppers in a roasting pan and warm in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until 120 in the center. Add 1/2 cup of corn stock to the pan to keep the peppers hydrated.
Place the corn kernels in a blender with 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, 1/2 cup heavy cream, 1/2 cup corn stock, 2 tablespoons agave nectar and 2 tablespoons roasted garlic puree. Bring together at high speed until smooth, then place in a sauce pan and simmer until warm. Add 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro just prior to finishing the dish.
Place one stuffed pepper in the center of each plate and pour warm sauce over each. Then finish by sprinkling 3 tablespoons
of pomegranate seed over each pepper.