Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Serves: 6 to 8
I love classic chiles rellenos—I make them a lot in the summer, when poblanos are in season—but the traditional method of dipping them in batter and frying just a couple at a time makes them hard to cook for a crowd. This casserole solves that problem. It has all the fresh flavors I love, but I can make it ahead of time and then put it in the oven just before my guests show up. It even makes a great brunch dish; just assemble it the day before and throw it in the fridge overnight so it’s ready to bake the next morning.
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for greasing
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
6 poblano chiles, grilled, skinned, and pulled into strips or one 28-ounce can fire roasted green chiles, drained
1 pound freshly grated Monterey Jack
12 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 × 13-inch baking or casserole dish with the butter.
2. Spoon one-fourth of the tomatoes (and their liquid) into the dish ( just enough to moisten the bottom of the pan) and spread them out evenly. Spread one-fourth of the chile strips evenly across the tomatoes, then scatter one-fourth of the cheese evenly over the vegetables. The ingredients will have lots of space in between them. Repeat this layering process three more times with the remaining ingredients to make 4 layers, reserving the last quarter of the cheese.
3. Whisk the eggs and cream with the salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the casserole, adding it evenly to all parts of the dish. Let the casserole sit for 5 minutes so that the egg soaks in (you can use a fork to push the ingredients down into the egg if something looks dry). Sprinkle on the reserved cheese.
4. Bake the casserole for 40 to 45 minutes, until it looks puffy and has a golden top. Let it rest for 15 minutes to firm up, then cut into squares and serve warm.
From The Ranch Table by Elizabeth Poett. Copyright © 2023 by Elizabeth Poett. Reprinted by permission of Magnolia Publications/William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Photography © B.J. Golnick.
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