Did your mom ever tell you “you’re going to like it when you grow up” when you refused to try a certain food when you were little? I can remember my parents telling me this all the time when I turned down peppers, guacamole, mole, guisados and tons of other things they made when I was growing up. Chiles rellenos were one of those things I used to think were super spicy and would never eat. Little did I know that one day this dish would be in my monthly meal rotation.
I have to say, my mother-in-law makes the best chiles rellenos! She knows the way to our heart by making a batch of these every time we visit. Her chiles inspired me to make my own without regular flour. I have tried chiles rellenos with both coconut flour and tapioca flour and tapioca was definitely the winner. While the coconut flour worked well, it seemed to get too hard and crunchy when cooked in oil. I enjoyed these chiles with a side of my Mexican cauliflower rice and sliced avocado.
Oh by the way, Happy Fiesta if you live in San Antonio! Fiesta is an 18-day city-wide party filled with live music events, food, festivals, parades and cascarones! While I think 18 days of non-stop partying is a little crazy, I totally enjoy the lively feeling the city has during this time.
Paleo Chiles Rellenos
Makes 6 chiles
Ingredients for chiles:
6 poblano peppers
1 cup finely ground tapioca flour (starch)
2 pastured eggs, beaten with a hand mixer for 4 minutes until fluffy
3 tbsp coconut oil
Ingredients for meat filling:
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1/2 small onion, diced
3 pitted dates, chopped
1 tbsp pecans, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Mexican oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Directions for meat:
1. Season ground beef with garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, using a wooden spoon to stir and break up the meat as it cooks.
2. Add in coconut oil and onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes until meat is fully cooked.
3. Stir in dates and pecans and cook for additional 2 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
Directions for chiles:
1. Turn on oven to broil.
2. Rinse and dry poblano peppers and put them on a baking sheet lined with foil.
3. Place peppers in oven and broil for 8 minutes, turning the peppers half way through. Peppers should be charred and blistered when you take them out of the oven.
4. Wrap peppers in a moist kitchen towel and let them cool for about 5 minutes.
5. When peppers are cool enough to touch, carefully peel off the skin. Rinse peppers under cold water to help remove any excess skin.
6. Cut a 1-inch slit in each pepper and carefully remove the seeds with a spoon. Leave in a few seeds if you like your chiles spicy. Don’t worry too much if your slit is a little larger than an inch.
7. Add coconut oil to a pan and turn on heat to medium.
8. Stuff each pepper with meat and carefully dip into the egg and then coat with tapioca flour, holding the slit shut so that no egg or flour gets inside the pepper. (Use toothpicks to hold the slit shut if it’s hard to hold.)
9. Place stuffed peppers (in batches) on pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side until the flour turns to a light brown color.