Thursday, June 30, 2011

Winging It

As I mentioned, and as you can probably imagine from all the posts about the upcoming 2 summer weddings,  I have spent a lot of time away from home lately.  For days, meals have consisted of leftovers, some sort of frozen, almost-fast-food, sandwiches, or even just store-bought hummus and whole-grain crackers.  I was home most of yesterday, so last night I wanted to do better.                                                                                                                                                             
I wanted to cook.  I wanted to make a whole meal.  I wanted it to be healthy, but fun or interesting...To have some zing to it.                                                                                                                                     
Princess Bossy once told me how Chili Rellenos were her favorite vegetarian dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  I'd never had them before, so after that, a frozen version caught my eye at Costco.  They were like a large and deluxe version of Jalapeno Poppers, which I love.  I'd looked up recipes soon after that, and have been craving more ever since.  Last night, I 
remembered I'd bought several Anaheim peppers, which were probably about to go bad from being around so long, and we actually had cream cheese on hand.  So it was time to try them out.                                       
I really didn't care about getting a recipe exactly right, with sauce and all.  I was also planning to serve chicken breasts and quinoa, cooked in enchilada sauce, so only wanted the pepper to be big Jalapeno Poppers... I was only after the approximate flavor.  Mostly, I was too tired (lazy) to re-research recipes and follow any details.  So I contrived my own plan, and hoped for the best.                                                                                                                
I think the photos are self-explanatory, but just to be clear,  I started with the peppers, and fresh bread ends crumbled and toasted to make the crumb coating.  I dipped the seeded peppers in flour, then egg, then the crumbs, and fried in a little oil.                                                                                                      
The crumbs didn't want to stick.  When I fried them a little too fast and the skin blackened and bubbled so easily, I realized I probably should have charred, then peeled them.  This would have eliminated the blackening and bubbling problem, and maybe helped things stick better.  I peeled off the black skin and the bit of overdone crumb coating, added a little more coating, and cooked them at a lower heat.  I put a lid on the pan to bake them through a bit more.                                                                                                                                                                                  
To serve, I cut each pepper in half and served it with the quinoa, shredded chicken, and enchilada sauce, with a dab of sour cream.   The only bad part, other than mediocre appearance, again, was the skin.  A little bitter and hard to cut, but not too terrible.  Next time, though, it's out of there.                                                            

Next, I'd like to try Easy Jalapeno Bacon Appetizer, a recipe shared by Carolyn at Adrift on the Lake.
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