Not Exactly The Same / No Exactamente Lo Mismo

Güerito and Cuaresmeño (jalapeño) Chiles
Sweet Baby Bell Peppers

A few days ago my blogger friend, Nora from ¿Gusta Usted?, posted a recipe for Chiles Cuaresmeños Rellenos de Queso. This is not the common chile relleno dish which is usually prepared with poblano peppers, this one is prepared with jalapeño peppers. The procedures are almost the same as with the poblanos; filled with cheese and covered in a eggy batter. However, these take the extra step of rapidly being cooked in boiling water and, beware, they are very spicy! 

I don't know about you but, every time I make chiles rellenos, I end up with extra egg batter and, even though I add some to my caldillo (a tomato broth I make for my chiles), I unhappily have to throw some away. Not any more! Nora also gave us a tip on what to do with the extra egg. She made a torta de ejotes, a green bean frittata if you will. 

I read her post in the morning, with an empty stomach. The chiles rellenos sounded and looked very appetizing for dinner so I decided to prepare some for us.  However, when going over my ingredients, I found out I had some chiles, cheese and green beans. Not exactly the same as Nora's but my recipe was inspired by hers. 

If you want an inspiring recipe follow the link to Nora's blog.  Or for another version, here is mine:

Sweet Rellenos with Green Beans

12 sweet baby bell peppers
1 lb. green beans, cleaned and cut in half
6 cups water
salt to taste

for the filling:

1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb.  mushrooms (any kind you like), finely chopped
1 leek, halved and finely sliced (a small sweet onion would work well)
1 garlic glove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Queso Fresco (if queso fresco is not available use a mild feta)
1-2 cup grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes, quartered)
Extra virgin olive oil to finish the dish

On a dry cast iron griddle, over high heat, roast the peppers for about 3 minutes on each side. Peppers should have some black spots in places but should still be firm. 

Meanwhile, prepare the filling; in a skillet, heat the oil and saute leeks, garlic and mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool. When cold, add crumbled cheese and stir to combine.

In a deep pot, bring water to a rapid boil, add salt and cook green beans to desired  tenderness, I like mine with some crunch so I only cook them for 3 to 5 minutes. When cooked, remove beans from the hot water and place them in a bowl filled with ice water so the cooking stops and beans maintain their green color. When cool, drain and set aside.

Add chiles to the same water you cooked the beans in and cook for only 1 minute or 2. Remove from hot water and place in a cold bath as the beans. At this point the peppers should be a little soft but not overcooked. Drain, remove the black skin, cut a slit along each pepper until all are done. These peppers don't have many seeds so don't bother to take out the very few seeds in them.

To assemble the dish, fill peppers with mushroom mixture. Place on a dish alternating pepper and green beans. decorate with grape tomatoes and sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil. 

This is a very satisfying vegetarian dish that can be eaten cold or at room temperature. If you like, it can be served to accompany grilled fish or chicken. Like I said, not the same as Nora's but her recipe inspired this delicious chiles rellenos.