“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I am proud, as an Englishman, to say that this country now produces the hottest little chili pepper in the known cosmiverse. The Dorset Naga is a little red bugger that can be found at Tesco's, of all places, and has entered the record books as the hottest pepper around. What amazes me is looking it up on YouTube and getting all these videos of loony people trying to eat a whole one to see what happens. The results are as you would expect, lots of sweating and spitting and gagging and drinking copious amounts of liquids. For those of you who want to know more about this thing, go to the website where you can even buy the seeds to grow these suckers. It's called Peppers By Post.

I like peppers, generally speaking, but not to this extreme. The only time I've ever used more than a smidgin of hot sauce is when I've had a serious cold, and by serious I mean the kind that make you unintelligible to other humans (by dose id blogged!) and I usually only get one of these every 10 years or so. I then blast my sinuses clean (albeit temporarily) by adding splashes of hot sauce to soups and stews etc, to provide a little relief.

That being said, Thai, Mexican and Indian cuisines are among my favourites. I sometimes like to make a Chile Relleno casserole, something that I was introduced to in the great state of Washington. If you are at all familiar with Mexican food, you'll know that Chiles Rellenos are whole poblano peppers de-seeded and stuffed with an egg-flour-cheese combination and then baked, sometimes after being breaded on the outside. This dish gives you the flavor of the Chile Rellenos without the hassle. It's really a very simple thing to make, and you can vary the heat factor somewhat, according to taste. Only you know what your heat preference is. I like to go medium, usually, but even the mild is nice because it's lovely and cheesy and eggy and warming. It's really good for breakfast, a light lunch, or even for dinner with a green salad or a couple of veggies.

Almost all the recipes I found online used a crust, rather like a quiche. I never needed one, I find it lifts out of the baking dish quite well without it. Some call for whole chilies, like the original Chiles Rellenos that this is a variation of. But I always used the canned, diced green chilies which I find give a more even chili distribution ratio within the casserole. Some people like to layer the ingredients, with the chilies in the bottom, then the eggs and milk combined, then the cheese and flour... you get the idea. Since it looks the same when it's done anyway, I just toss it all in together.

What you need is: (bear in mind that you can tweak this)

2 small cans diced green chilies (Mild, medium or hot -your choice)
3 or 4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk or so
About 16 oz. grated cheese - again, your choice
2 Tbsp plain flour

Preheat your oven to about 350F/175C. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray, or grease with a thin layer of margarine. Open and drain the chilies. Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and combine thoroughly, then transfer to the baking dish. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Serve.

It should cut into squares nicely. If you're feeling adventurous you could throw in some chopped ham or cooked chicken before baking. Now, go to it, my friends, and report back!

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