Mutant Poblanos

Nowhere have I ever read or heard that poblano chiles get spicier and hotter after you cook them. But on two occasions now, both involving chile rejanos (one classical and the other detailed later involving a chayote and chicken stuffing) we have had the occasion to be starstle by the aggresive heat of the cooked chile poblano. wassup here?

Discounting any evidence of a Mexican based conspirisy working to keep the truth from us, we decided to tackle a chile rejanos dish where the chile is not batter dipped and fried. And we wanted a fully stuffed chile but not fully with queso. We arrived at a stuffing plan that consisted of chayote, chicken and quesillo. We planned to ccok these in the oven and maybe cook some in a tomatoe based sauce. Adventures ensue

As with some many things, you start by cooking a chicken. Lourdes loves her pressure cooker and we though this would be a splended way to cook the bird while we attende to the chiles and the cayotes.

Lourdes threw half of the chiles into a red hot skillet

And let them cook till the skins blistered and charred

Meanwhile Bonita Chicata got going on the chayotes. She cut them in half and put them in a pot to boil for 2o minutes or so

And then scooped out the pulp from each shell

Now here comes another universal in the chile world. After all the poblanos are blistered and burn, they are put in a plastic bag to steam a little. This tenderizes the flesh and more importantly loosens the skin so it just pulls right off.

Of course another effect of putting them in the bag, is that they become cool enough to handle. I know, I know, all you old italian housewives out there are shouting “Paper bags. We always use paper bags” Er… no real difference.

Doesn’t Lourdes make it look so easy? Well it really is and it’s fun too.

With a plateful of gorgeous poblanos, (which are now three or four times as picante as when they were raw, little did we suspect ), it’s time to turn our attention back to the chayote part of the stuffing.

Oh, okay, I think our pollo needs some attention. We quickly take it out of the pot, let it cool and shred the meat we will require.

We put some onion, garlic, and a few chopped tomatoes is a sautepan and cook a few mintes and then add the chayote pulp.

Allowing the flavors to mingle and the chayote to surrender some of it’s juice (about 8-10 minutes), we then add the shredded chicken and some salt and pepper.

We get ready to assemble the rejanos. Gathering the cheese, the chicken and chayote stuffing and the poblanos.

We have a few stuffed when Lourdes realizes she should be putting some epazote leaf in along with the stuffing.

She makes a mad dash to the garden, to a secret location she now reveals to us, where the epozote grows.

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