This is one recipe that I totally made when I was in the laziest mood ever AND I was totally not going to photograph it for the blog. It was just a real-life dinner that got caught up in the maelstrom that is food blogging, you know? But I have a feeling that, like most happy accidents, this little number is going to put a big smile on all of your faces.
See, here’s the thing: I love a good chile relleno. I like mine extra cheesy, extra large, extra fried – which probably explains why I have one approximately every 4 years or so. Like the Olympics (or maybe more appropriately the World Cup) a good chile relleno can’t be an every week affair – the world (my stomach) just doesn’t have that capacity. But the times I DO eat them it’s pretty much epic.
When I made this casserole I was originally planning on making some kind of healthier baked relleno, and then Monday happened. You guys know Monday, right? Like the one day a week you drop an entire quart jar of cold brew iced coffee and it shatters in a bajillion pieces, even under your fridge? Or the one day a week when toddler tantrums are at an all-time high? Or the one day a week you forget to work because the current state of uncleanliness in your house is too much to bear?
Yeah, Monday. We’re familiar.
So anyway, Monday happened. I gave up on life and took my boy to the pool. And then 2 blissful hours later realized that I still needed to make dinner, at which point I was tired and figured that everyone likes a good cornbread and that I could certainly use a throw-it-in-the-oven kind of recipe. Deconstructed chile relleno casserole was born!
I used about 1-3/4 cups of beans using this recipe, which is my favorite bean recipe ever. HIGHLY RECOMMEND. And I charred my own peppers, but another easy option is to used canned whole chiles. You can totally make this as simple or as complicated as you like! The only have to though is that you have to let it sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting into it, otherwise you’ll end up with a pool of cheese and beans. Completely scoopable and delicious, but not the prettiest plating. Serve hot and enjoy!
DECONSTRUCTED CHILE RELLENO CASSEROLE
Makes one 9- x 13-inch pan
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 whole eggs
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5-6 large chiles, charred and seeded and skinned
- 1-3/4 cup refried beans
- 6 ounces sliced cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 450. Spray a 9- x 13-inch pan with nonstick spray and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, eggs and milk until smooth. Gently fold in the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until just mixed. Pour half of the mixture into the prepared pan. Gently lay a full layer of the chiles on top of the batter, then evenly dot the beans on top of the chiles. Lay the sliced cheese on top of the beans, then evenly pour the remaining batter on top. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. LET SIT FOR 10-15 MINUTES!!!! then serve hot 🙂