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Monday, March 1


     As I have mentioned before, in addition to the daily responsibility of feeding my two teens I frequently cook for Joe, a committed carnivore who visits us often, and tonite I'm also having his college-student son over for dinner. Junior was also less than enthusiastic about out change in diet. The two of them, with my own 6 foot 4 inch son, make for some serious eaters, so I've been putting a lot of thought into what I'm going to prepare tonight. This re-post from Meatless Mondays inspired me to go with a Tex-Mex theme that I know they all like. http://www.meatlessmonday.com/fiesta-fantastica-wrap/?utm_source=Meatless+Monday&utm_campaign=31a5fad8d2-Eater%27s_Digest_Monday_03_01_2010&utm_medium=email

       In a further effort to draw Joe over to the light side I want to serve this Chili Rellano casserole (recipe follows), probably with tortilla chips, as the appetizer. I chose this because I know Chili Rellanos is one of his favorite dishes, and it is almost always vegetarian, so it wont feel altered to him. Well, at least I'm hoping it wont. I have never prepared it for him, he gets it when we go out for Mexican and he reminisces about when he lived in California. I have avoided it because in the traditional recipe the chilies are dipped in oil and fried, and I avoid frying whenever possible. I'm trying to  eat as healthy as possible, and that didn't seem to fit the bill. This is what the real deal looks like.

You can see for yourself that this is not a very healthy way to prepare a vegetable. But I found this casserole version, that while still rather high in fat with all of that cheese, seemed a worthwhile compromise. I'm going to give these a try and will post photos and reactions. Feel free to send me any advice you have in the meantime.

Chili Rellano Casserole

•4 eggs
•1 1/2 cups milk
•2 Tbsp all purpose flour
•1/2 tsp pepper
•1/4 tsp salt
•12 fresh or 3 7- oz cans whole green chilies, split open
•4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 1 pound)
•4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 pound)
•1 cup cilantro
•3 tomatoes, diced (canned or fresh)
1.Lightly grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.
2.Beat the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.
3.Arrange chilies from one can in the bottom of the baking dish, completely covering the bottom.
4.Sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese mixture.
5.Repeat layering twice.
6.Pour egg mixture over the cheese and let stand 30 minutes.
(Can be prepared 1 day ahead-covered and refrigerated)
7.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
8.Bake until casserole is slightly puffy in the center and golden brown on the edges (about 45 min).
9.Garnish, let cool for 20 min and serve.

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