Chile Ancho Rellenos with Plantains

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    These rellenos are inspired by some I saw made on an episode of Rick Bayless' "Mexico One Plate at a Time" (I think the recipe is close to, but not exactly, what was shown there. The episode showed them being made at a restaurant Chef Bayless was visiting; the recipe wasn't one of Bayless' own but rather from chef Ricardo Munoz-Zurita.) Instead of being a battered, deep-fried Poblano, these use a rehydrated dry Ancho (which is a ripened, dried Poblano). I really like these; I think the flavor is pretty complex and there's a nice mix of subtle spice and sweetness.

    I served these for dinner tonight on top of some greens (mostly Romaine) from this week's CSA share and strips of mango dressed in an olive oil/lime/agave nectar vinaigrette.

    Ingredients

    4 whole dry ancho chiles
    1 plantain, ripe to the point of being black
    1 plum tomato, diced
    1 small onion, diced fine
    1 red jalapeño chile, seeds removed, diced fine
    1 clove minced garlic
    2 tbl. agave nectar (or raw sugar, or piloncillo)
    1/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
    large pinch of Mexican oregano
    salt
    black pepper
    olive oil

    Directions

    Wrap the plantain in a foil pouch and bake in a 350°F oven for about half an hour. Remove from the oven and cut into a small dice.

    Soak the Anchos in boiling water for 5-10 minutes to (mostly) rehydrate them. Carefully cut a slit in the side of each and remove the seeds and veins, trying to keep the Ancho whole.

    In a saute pan, heat the oil until shimmering, and add the onion and jalapeño and cook over medium heat until soft. Add the garlic, cook until fragrant, then add the tomato, plantain, and agave, plus salt & pepper to taste, and heat until warmed through. Add the oregano and cheese and combine well.

    Stuff the plantain mixture into the Ancho chiles through the slit you made, leaving enough room to overlap the edges of the seam when you close them up. Plate with the seam side down, and top with sour cream and a little more oregano.

    I just shot these in the available light in the kitchen, on a tripod and firing my Nikon using the timer to deal with the resulting longish exposure. I didn't play too much with the composition here (hey–I was hungry!)

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