Chile Relleno

My husband and I are big fans on the web series Hot Ones with Sean Evans. If you are not familiar with the series, Evans interviews celebrities and notable personalities while both interviewer and interviewee consume progressively hotter hot sauces. Most of the interviews start out interesting and ultimately deteriorate as the guests experience the effects of hotter and hotter sauces.

We actually decided to try this experiment at home and recorded it as a podcast for posterity. My biggest takeaway from the experience was finding an amazing new hot sauce called Bliss and Vinegar. It is moderately hot, 6200 scoville units if you are counting, and contains strawberries and coconut in addition to red serranos for heat. The fruits add an amazing flavor and complexity to the spicy condiment. It pairs amazingly well with my homemade chile relleno.

Making chile rellenos is no small undertaking, so I save this for a weekend brunch or dinner. In order to create the correct texture in the batter, you need to beat egg whites to form peaks, then fold in egg yolks. I also sought out queso oaxaca for this recipe, because you want a cheese that melts really well and provides a stringy texture like melted mozzarella.

Chile Rellenos

Roasted and stuffed poblano peppers
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 2


  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 3 tbsp diced onion
  • 3 tbsp diced tomato
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup oaxaca cheese shredded
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack shredded
  • 1 egg separated
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup white flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable

For Serving

  • 1/2 cup prepared enchilada sauce (I like Fronterra brand)
  • 1 cup prepared rice
  • 3/4 cup prepared refried beans
  • hot sauce (I like Bliss and Vinegar)


  • Roast poblanos using your oven broiler on high and turning peppers frequently until most of the skin has blackened.
  • Remove peppers from oven and place them in a covered bowl to allow them to continue to steam so that you can remove the skin.
  • While the peppers are cooling, saute onions and tomatoes for a few minutes until they are translucent. Add garlic, salt and pepper and saute for another minute.
  • Remove onion mixture from heat and allow to cool.
  • Add cheeses to onion mixture and stir to evenly combine.
  • When peppers are cool enough to handle, gently remove the skin from the peppers. Make a lengthwise slit in the pepper and remove the seeds and membranes. (Don't make yourself crazy getting all of the seeds out. Just try to get out as many as you can. You can also skip this step, it will just change the texture of the cheese filling a bit and make the dish a bit more spicy.)
  • Gently insert the cheese mixture inside the cavity of the pepper, being careful not to make additional tears in the pepper. Secure the hole in the pepper with toothpicks to hold in the filling.
  • Using a stand or hand mixer, season the egg whites with salt and pepper and beat them until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites until combined.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan or dutch oven. Use a thermometer to heat the oii to ~350 degrees.
  • Dredge the peppers in seasoned flour and gently shake off the excess flour, then coat them in the egg mixture.
  • Gently place the battered peppers in the hot oil and fry for ~2 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.
  • Remove the peppers from the oil and drain on paper towels.
  • Serve atop a bed of red or green enchilada sauce with rice, beans and hot sauce.

Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Broccolini – Easy on the Pasta

I love cozy pasta dishes all year round, but in cool weather they are especially comforting.  In order to keep them in the weekly menu, I’ve looked for ways to reduce the pasta in favor of healthier ingredients.  This combination is a particularly successful lower-pasta pasta dish.  You can even make it without pasta at all and it’s still great!!

I love to make this dish spicy.  I use the spicy oil from my favorite hot peppers when I make this.  You could make a mild version of this by omitting the crushed red pepper and using a sweet Italian sausage instead of a spicy one.

Pasta (or not) with Chicken Sausage with Broccolini

A comforting pasta dish that's light on the pasta.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: broccoli, healthy, pasta
Servings: 4


  • 4 links Italian style chicken sausage (Trader Joes and Isernos both have a spicy and a sweet Italian chicken sausage. I love the spicy one.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch broccolini (baby broccoli), chopped in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup cannelini beans (Garbanzo beans also work great in this dish.)
  • 3 TBSP olive oil (I use 1 TBSP of oil from a jar of Mama Lil's spicy peppers, and 2 TBSP of regular olive oil.)
  • 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 3 handfuls whole wheat or regular penne pasta
  • shaved parmaggiano reggiano to taste


  • Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to package directions.
  • Heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a medium skillet to medium heat.
  • Squeeze sausage out of casings into skillet and cook for ~4 minutes until mostly browned.
  • Add broccoli, garlic, and crushed red pepper to skillet and cook for ~1 minute until garlic is staring to brown.
  • Add 1/2 cup of pasta water and bouillon to skillet and stir to distribute.  Then add beans, cover and turn heat to low.
  • When pasta is al dente, lightly drain it add it to the skillet and stir to combine.  Remove from heat and stir in remaining 2 TBSP of olive oil.
  • Garnish with shaved parm and additional olive oil if desired.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Salad with Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette

I love Kelly’s Jelly Strawberry Habenero Jelly.  I love it with cheese and crackers, but I do find that it would take a LOT of cheese and crackers to use up a jar.  This is another great use for this delicious product.  You could also make this with a mixture of hot pepper jelly and sweet jelly.

Continue reading Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp Salad with Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette