Chile Relleno Casserole
This is a favorite of Wellborn 2R Ranch Cowboy Chris Littlefield and his family. His wife makes this easy dish and serves it with a green salad (with avocados, diced bell peppers, roasted corn kernels, tomatoes and a lime vinaigrette dressing), a pot of beans, homemade tortillas and homemade salsa with chips. It’s a highly requested dish when his cowboy friends come for dinner.
Step 1: If you are going to make the extra effort to roast fresh green chiles do them first. Here’s how: Preheat the oven’s broiler and set the oven rack at about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place peppers onto the prepared baking sheet, and cook under the preheated broiler until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, about 10 minutes. Turn the peppers often to blacken all sides. Place the blackened peppers into a bowl, and tightly seal with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to steam as they cool, about 15 minutes.
Rinse cooled peppers under cold water to peel off the skins. Cut in half and , remove the seeds and core. Rinse the peppers inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels.
If you are using canned whole green chiles drain them, halve and pat dry with paper towels.
Step 2: In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine the ground beef with a little garlic salt and pepper to taste, add a couple shakes of cumin and paprika and saute for 5 to 10 minutes, or until browned; drain excess fat.
Step 3: Arrange half of the chile peppers on the bottom of a 9 incx13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese and top with the meat mixture. Then layer the other half of the green chiles, sprinkle the meat mixture with the remaining cheese.
Step 4: Separate the eggs. In a mixer, beat the egg whites until light and fluffy. Whisk the egg yolks together by hand in a separate bowl and slowly add the yolks to the whites with the mixer on low speed. Add the sour cream to this mixture by large spoonfuls. Add ½ tsp salt. Pour this mixtures over into the baking dish.
Step 5: Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 60 minutes. If center is still jiggly but top is getting brown, cover with foil towards the end and bake last 10 minutes covered. Let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting.