Before I consider buying a cookbook, I turn to several recipes in it and assess whether I think I can actually get my hands on the ingredients inside and if the processes for cooking are more complicated than I want to do or take lots of specialized equipment.
Unless I think I can accomplish it with foods from the hometown grocery store and regular kitchen implements, I put the book back on the shelf.
When I saw this week’s recipe for a green chile bake, I figured I could find everything I needed easily, so I decided to go for it. Boy, was I wrong. I hit a brick wall trying to find a large can of whole peppers. I couldn’t find one anywhere.
With that in mind, I’ll tell you what I did for my version that’s not listed in the recipe below in case you run into the same trouble.
I bought six, large poblano peppers (you could easily use Anaheim peppers, too). I lined a baking sheet with foil, moved my oven rack to the top of my oven, and roasted the peppers under the broiler, turning them every few minutes, until the skin was bubbled and blackened in spots.
I then transferred the peppers to a large bowl and put plastic wrap over it for about half an hour to let the peppers sweat.
When they were cool, I removed them from the bowl, peeled the skins off and seeded them. Then I was able to continue just as the recipe says. It took more time, but it was very good, and I was still able to find my ingredients locally.
This recipe was posted by Kalyn Denny on her website, “Kalyn’s Kitchen,” where she specializes in low-carb recipes. You can find it at http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2015/01/beefy-cheesy-low-carb-green-chile-bake.html. I doubled the spices in my version and used fresh whole peppers instead of canned.
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Beefy and Cheesy
Low-Carb Green Chile Bake
56-ounce can whole roasted, peeled green chiles, drained
1 pound ground beef or turkey
salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar)
1 small onion, chopped
4-ounce can diced green chiles
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
Brown the ground beef over medium-high heat and break it apart. Add salt and pepper to taste. When it’s almost done, add the chopped onion and cook until it is soft, then add the can of green chiles along with its juice and cook for a few more minutes.
In another bowl, beat the eggs with a fork and then whisk in the sour cream, cumin, and chili powder.
Remove seeds from the whole green chiles, cut them so you can flatten them in a single layer and spread half of them out in the bottom of the baking dish.
Layer in half of the ground beef mixture, half the cheese and pour half the egg mixture over the top. Make another layer of whole chiles, beef, cheese and egg.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 25 minutes or until browned nicely.
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This reheated really well out of the fridge, and it wasn’t overly spicy, so if you’re not into burning your mouth off, you won’t have to worry too much about this one.
I might’ve broken my own rule a little by having to get fancy with peppers to make this casserole, but it was worth it for something nice and cheesy on a cold evening.
Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at email@example.com.