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Chiles in May and another Giveaway!

Happy May Day to all! May brings many beautiful happenings each year...planting season (here in Northern Indiana), birthdays galore (4 in the family alone!), Cinco de Mayo fiestas, end of the school year, warmer weather...need I continue? There's something in the air around our house; I suppose it could be Spring Fever. But, about this time I start thinking about chiles and what types I am going to put in the earth this year. I love all sorts of chiles whether they are fresh, dried, pickled, used as an ingredient...whatever! Last month, I was fortunate enough to win a copy of a great cookbook by Gloria Chadwick... Foods and Flavors of San Antonio. She also has a blog by the same name (if you did not already know). I grew up loving Mexican food. I love authentic Mexican cuisine, but I also love Tex-Mex (I'm not too picky). It has been so much fun paging through my new cookbook, trying to figure out what to make! Well, with thoughts of chiles on my mind, I chose to make Gloria's Chile Rellenos with Sauce. I still have to run over to the Mexican Supermercado to pick up chiles since it's too early for any to be in my garden, but that's a fun trip for me...I get lost in the market, no matter which kind it is. Okay, a little background on what else has been happening around here...I've been feeling pretty run-down and I finally went to the doctor yesterday and it turns out I have a bit of the flu (not of the swine variety, no worries). I've been getting a bit dizzy and fatigued and need my rest, so after a while of being up I've felt the need to go back down (this will tie into the story later). Chile Rellenos with Sauce by Gloria Chadwick from Foods and Flavors of San Antonio my changes in this color

6 large poblano peppers

3 Tbs. butter

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 c. coarsely chopped tomatoes

1/2 c. chicken broth

salt and black pepper to taste

1 3/4 c. grated cheddar cheese 12 oz Oaxaca cheese, grated

1 large egg, separated 3 large eggs, separated

1/4 c. flour plateful

1/4 c. vegetable oil 1" deep vegetable oil in pan w/ sides

sour cream

Make a slit down one side of each poblano. Do not cut all the way through. Place them in a 12" skillet over medium, turning frequently until skin blisters. I like to do this over an open flame, so I just put them directly over my gas burners, turning until blackened and blistered. Place them in a plastic bag and seal to keep in steam. Set aside for 20 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and remove seeds through slits, keeping peppers whole. Dry gently with paper towels and set aside. Gently rub off the skins. I usually do it under slow-running water, it helps. Some people say this washes away some flavor...I don't think so...up to you.

While peppers are cooling, make the sauce. Melt butter in a 10" skillet over medium-low. Add onion and saute until soft, ~7 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside and keep warm. I actually added about 3 scoops of SECRET SAUCE to this step. It's not secret because I don't want to tell you what's in it, it's secret because I DON'T KNOW what's in it...tee hee. Mexichef made it a couple of days ago, and I wasn't paying attention. It's basically dried chiles, garlic, cumin and tomatillos, I believe; all cooked and blended. We like extra heat and that is why I added it.

This is the Oaxaca cheese that is great for melting (it's basically a Mexican version of Mozzarella). Grate it up.

Mold cheese into 6 sausage shaped logs. Insert into each pepper. Fold the pepper tightly around the cheese filling and flatten slightly. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg white until it peaks. Add the yolk and beat to incorporate.

Put the flour on a dinner plate and roll the peppers in the flour to dust them all over. I found it necessary to hold my poblanos closed with a toothpick at this point...they just didn't want to stay shut! Holding the stem of the pepper, carefully twist each poblano in the egg mixture to coat it thickly. Not sure if mine was beaten too thickly or what, but I needed to add a couple more eggs. I would say 1 egg per 2 poblanos. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the poblano peppers, 2 or 3 at a time, for about 3 minutes on each side, using tongs or spatula to turn.

Spoon the sauce onto a dinner plate. Arrange the poblano pepper on top of the sauce and top with a dollop of sour cream. Okay, remember earlier when I told you I've been getting dizzy and fatigued easily with this flu? Well, I started to feel this way while frying the poblanos, so mexichef offered to take over. I was happy that he did, but I didn't tell him how I wanted the poblanos plated (to show off the pepper itself), so they ended up slathered in the sauce instead of sitting on top of it. I didn't have the heart to scold him since he was doing me a favor, so I gladly accepted my (paper!) plate, LOL, and took some photos of the lovely chile rellenos!

These are absolutely delicious. I love that earthy, roasted flavor of roasted chiles! And then add the ooey, gooey cheese filling and a crisped outside with some lovely sauce and I'm in heaven. Yummy, Gloria!

This brings me to my GIVEAWAY! If you think these sounded good and find yourself wondering what other great Tex-Mex recipes are in this book, Foods and Flavors of San Antonio...WONDER NO MORE! Gloria has graciously sent me another copy of her book to give to one of you! Since I'm dreaming of chiles and their many uses, I decided I would LOVE to hear about YOUR favorite uses for chiles...any type of chiles...doesn't have to be Mexican or Tex-Mex...use them anyway YOU like!

1. For 5 (yes 5) entries into this giveaway, a chance to win this cookbook, I would love you to do a blog post using or featuring chiles. Use them in a recipe. Feature your favorite kind in a history lesson. Show us beautiful pictures. Do whatever you like, but be sure to include a mention and link back to THIS POST! Then shoot me a quick email with your permalink and a photo so I can include you in my chile round-up at the end of May (enter by May 27 please)! Remember, this will earn you 5 whole entries!

But, all this talk of chiles has me excited and I thought I would throw in a couple extra prizes. I have a big jar filled with dried chiles. My favorite kinds are the ones that are still pliable...they are so easy to work with, and when I open the jar...ahhhh, a big whiff of earthy delight. Anyway, I thought I'd send a couple of different kinds of dried chiles to another lucky winner.

2. So, for another entry, leave me a comment if you are a follower of this blog (I know who you are, but my random generator will not). Or if you become a follower, leave me a comment letting me know.

3. For yet another entry, head on over to visit Gloria at Foods and Flavors of San Antonio and become a follower of her blog. Come back and leave me a separate comment on this post letting me know that you are her follower also. **quick update: Gloria has added some more heat! Head over to read her latest post and see what she's adding to the winner's prizes!

I think I may actually throw in another prize, as well. Do you remember my post on Sea Salt? Well, many people commented that they'd like to try the Chile Verde sea salt. SALT also carries a Smoked Serrano sea salt and a Habanero Heat sea salt...what do these salts have to do with this post? Yup, they all contain CHILES! So, I'll pick an extra winner or 2 to receive one of these chile-fusion sea salts.

DEADLINE FOR ENTERING IS MAY 27!!!! This gives you almost a whole month to blog up something delicious with Chiles (and mention/link back to this post). Be sure to drop me an email at girlichef (at) yahoo (dot) com to let me know the link to this post and send me a photo...I'll feature all of them in my Chile Roundup and announce the winners at the end of the month!