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Stuffed Peppers, Yucatan Style (Chiles Rellenos)

ingredients

serves 4
4 Large green or red peppers
50 ml (2 fl oz) 1/4 cup Olive oil
2Medium onions, diced
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 Dried small hot red chillis, crumbled
1/2 kg (1 lb) Minced (ground) beef
1 tsp Dried oregano
1 tsp Salt
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbs Flour
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Beef stock
3 Tbs Tomato puree (paste)

for the sauce

225 g (8 oz) 1 cup Cream cheese
125 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup Single (light) cream
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
75 g (3 oz) 1/2 cup Seedless raisins

method

1. Cut the tops from the peppers and carefully scoop out the pith and seeds, leaving the peppers whole.

2. Set aside. Remove and discard the stems from the tops and chop the flesh into small dice.

3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, garlic, chillis and diced pepper and fry until the are soft. Add the meat, oregano, salt, bay leaves and Tabasco and fry until the meat loses its pinkness. Stir in the flour, stock, tomato puree (paste) and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Preheat the oven to moderate 180°C (Gas Mark 4, 350°F).

5. Remove and discard the bay leaves from the beef mixture. Carefully spoon the mixture into the peppers and arrange the peppers in a shallow, well-greased baking dish. Put the dish into the oven and bake for 40 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Put the cream cheese, cream, salt and cayenne into a small saucepan and simmer gently until the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly. Stir in the seedless raisins and simmer until the sauce is hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat. Pour the sauce over the peppers and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and serve at once.

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