Chile Relleno Casserole


Scottsdale socialites first made this dish a hit, and many versions have evolved.  My favorite comes from a terrifically warm, wonderful accomplished hostess, Patti Stillman, whom I had the good fortune to have in one of my Santa Fe cooking classes a few years back.  The last day of the week-long session is always a party, and Patti was generous enough to share this favorite party recipe.  It is simpler than some versions I've had, but it is somehow finer for its simplicity.  I recommend it because it is easy and can be quickly tucked into the oven, and can even be held in a warm oven without losing its quality.

--Jane Butel


         4 Tablespoons sweet butter

         2 cups        Spanish onions, coarsely chopped

        10 to 12       New Mexico hot green chiles, parched,

                          peeled, seeded and cut into wide

                          strips (about 2 cups)

         2 cups        Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated

         2 cups        sharp Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

         6 large       eggs

         1 quart       milk

         1 teaspoon    salt

         1 cup         flour


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.


  2. Use 2 Tablespoons of the butter to coat a large oven-proof casserole (about 10 x 14 inches), preferably a brightly colored earthenware type.


  3. Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan.  Add the onion, and cook until it becomes limp.  Meanwhile, place the strips of green chiles carefully across the bottom of the casserole and extend them up over the edge to create a crust effect.


  4. Add the cheese in a flat layer. 


  5. In a bowl, beat the eggs, then add the milk, salt, and sprinkle the flour on the surface.  Fold to incorporate, then whisk until fluffy and well combined.  Pour into the casserole, being careful to create a uniform layer. 


  6. Place in a 375°F oven for 45 minutes, or until a straw comes out clean.  If necessary, this casserole can be held in a 150°F oven until serving time.  Open the door a little to reduce the heat.


  7. To serve, cut into squares and serve from the baking dish.


  Yield: 14 to 16 servings


  Source: Fiesta! Southwest Entertaining with Jane Butel (1987)