The start of 2017 has been a hectic one, exciting, but hectic. Giving my other half a complete makeover (this corner of the web I call mine) has been a big part of that, in addition to packed weekends, big decisions, and just the steady confusion with life in general. Don’t we all feel lost at times?
The tiny, but bright, light at the end of the tunnel is a reminder that this makeover is closer to fruition with every passing day, and so is spring.
If you’ve had chiles rellenos before, you probably know they aren’t the healthiest choice on a cantina’s menu. Often stuffed with cheese and meat, then fried, they’re certainly categorized as comfort food. This lighter version packs roasted poblano chiles with a mixture of lean turkey, black beans, crunchy jicama, spices, and a touch of cashew cream. Then a sprinkle of shredded cheese, a quick broil, and a dose of roasted salsa verde creates a satisfying meal you can feel good about.
Let’s take a moment to thank cashew cream for everything that it is. I’m serious, if you haven’t had it before, well…I’VE BEEN THERE. And I was blind. And I can see clearly now.
1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1 small white onion, quartered
1 serrano chile, stemmed
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Heat broiler to high with rack set 6 inches from element. Line baking sheet with foil.
Arrange tomatillos, onion, and serrano on prepared baking sheet and roast under broiler until charred on all sides, 15–17 minutes, turning every few minutes. Transfer tomatillos, onion, serrano, and any accumulated juices to a food processor. Add cilantro, garlic, honey, and salt and purée until smooth; season with additional salt.
If you’re hesitant about the spice level in this salsa, seed the serrano chile before puréeing or swap in a jalapeño for the serrano.
4 poblano chiles
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces lean ground turkey breast
½ cup diced white onion
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup diced jicama
½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon seeded and minced serrano or jalapeño
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup cashew cream (here’s my recipe)
½ cup shredded Chihuahua cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
Heat broiler to high with rack set 6 inches from element.
Roast poblanos until charred on all sides, about 8 minutes, rotating every few minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam 10 minutes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add turkey, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. Cook until turkey is browned, about 5 minutes. Add jicama, black beans, and serrano and cook another 2 minutes. Off heat, stir in lime juice, cilantro, and ½ cup cashew cream.
Peel skin from chiles and cut a slit, lengthwise, down one side of each chile and remove seeds.
Heat broiler to high, with rack set 6 inches from element. Stuff chiles with turkey mixture, top with cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown, 1–2 minutes.
Serve chiles rellenos with additional cashew cream and salsa verde.
Sour cream or large-curd cottage cheese can be swapped for the cashew cream.