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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Culinary Combat : Throwndown Chili Relano

La Casita Mexicana on Urbanspoon

I had made chili relanos a few weeks ago as a first trial . They came out pretty well but not a lot of the batter stayed on . On Throwndown with Bobby Flay, I think I found out techniques to make mine better.

Bobby Flay battered and fried his. He had a beer batter.
The Mexican owners roasted theirs without a batter. They had cactus was in which possibly gave them the edge. Also what gives them the edge is recipes that a level above ordinary fare. Three uniquely flavorful moles: burgundy-hued poblano; pepian (pumpkin seed) verde with Serrano chilies; and burnt-orangerojo . Azteco plantain leaves with four Mexican cheeses, nogales(cactus strips) and mushrooms. Winning include roasted poblano peppers stuffed with ground meat, dried fruits, walnuts and candied cactus, topped with pecan-cream sauce and pomegranate seeds (wow I will have to make these as they seem so different from any place).
Fish is on the regular menu. Flaky spiced sea bass steamed in cornhusks is interesting. Desserts include fresh guava drizzled with eggnog and a fried tortilla purse filled with rice pudding and smothered with pecan-cream sauce.

The owners won and their recipes are winners too. Bobby’s was pretty good and there recipe is below that I will have to try.

Eggplant and with Manchego Filled Chile with Red Pepper-Balsamic Sauce
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay, 2008>

Eggplant filling:
• 3 Japanese eggplants, skin on and cut into 1/2-inch dice
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
• 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 1 cup grated Manchego cheese
• 1 cup grated Monterey Jack
Red Pepper Sauce:
• 3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
• 3 to 4 roasted garlic cloves
• 3 to 4 tablespoons creme fraiche
• 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoons honey
• 1 tablespoon chopped adobo
Balsamic Reduction:
• 3 cups balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon honey
Dark Beer Batter:
• 1 bottle dark beer (1 1/2 cups)
• 3 large eggs
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 to 6 medium-sized, poblano peppers, oven roasted, seeded and carefully peeled
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
• 4 cups peanut oil
• Freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish
For the eggplant filling:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the eggplant with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place onto a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and toss with the garlic and oregano and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes, until the eggplant is lightly golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven, add the parsley and gently toss to combine. Let cool slightly.
Place the eggplant into a bowl and toss with the cheeses. Set aside.
For the red pepper sauce:
Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
For the balsamic reduction:
Bring the vinegar to a boil in a small nonreactive saucepan and cook until thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup. Stir in the honey and set aside.
For the dark beer batter:
Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.
For the poblanos:
Divide the eggplant filling among the peppers, compressing it into the shape of the pepper (the roasted pepper is very delicate and may begin to tear, but it will be fine).
Place the flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the pepper completely in the flour and tap off any excess. Dip the peppers into the beer batter and allow excess to drain off. Place the cornmeal on a plate and season with salt and pepper and dredge the pepper in the cornmeal.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil to 370 degrees F.
Fry the peppers in batches, turning until lightly brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Spoon some of the sauce in the middle of the plate. Place a relleno on top of the sauce and drizzle the relleno with some of the balsamic reduction.
Garnish with parsley.

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