In addtion to growing those delicious berries, and offering all kinds of seasonal produce year-round, Isabel Mendez can cook! Here she shares her recipe for Chiles Rellenos (which we think would be a great use of the delicious Progress Millk Barn cheese available at the Tuesday market!) Enjoy this for a festive Lenten Friday dinner, or any dinner for that matter!
Roast peppers over a flame—or, alternatively, arrange chiles in a 9x14-inch baking dish and place the baking dish on the top shelf of the oven that has been preheated to its highest temperature. Watch and listen closely. When the skins of the peppers start to make popping sounds and to char and turn black in places, pull the dish out of the oven and flip the peppers over. Be sure to use a potholder so you don’t burn your hands! When both sides of the peppers are fairly evenly charred, remove them from the oven. Wrap each roasted chile in a dampened paper towel or place in a sealed plastic bag to steam.
When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin. It will come off easily. Cut a slit almost the full length of each chile. Make another small slit across the top, next to the stem, to make a “T.” Carefully open the chiles and pull out the fibers and seeds.
Stuff chiles with cheese or another filling of your choice. Roll the stuffed peppers in flour and sprinkle with salt. Beat egg whites at high speed of electric mixer. Roll floured peppers in whipped egg whites.
Heat oil in a skillet until a drop of water sizzles when dropped into the pan. Carefully add peppers to hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides.
Note: Stuff chiles with the filling of your choice—cheese, ground meats, hot peppers, or any combination. Fillings can be made in advance and refrigerated. Have fillings at room temperature or slightly chilled when stuffing chiles. If fillings are hot, the juices will flow out and cause the coating to slide off. Use enough filling to stuff each chile relleno as full as possible but not so much that the seam won’t hold together.
Recipe compliments of CCFM vendor Isabel Mendez
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.