Chef Donna Willey
Chilies rellenos, a popular vegetarian option at Mexican restaurants, is given a creative spin at Canonita. The roasted poblanos are stuffed with a potato mixture and topped with a fennel-tomato sauce—a preparation that also provides diners with a hefty portion of vegetables.
1 fennel bulb, trimmed
1 yellow onion
2 Roma tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. blended oil
1 3/4 lbs. yellow onions, 1/2-in. dice
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
2 1/4 lbs. potatoes, peeled, 1/2-in. dice (approx. 3 potatoes)
2 1/2 cups cream
12 poblano chilies
1 lb., 2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Prepare fennel sauce: Heat oven to 350 F. Cut fennel bulb into 8 wedges. Cut onion into quarters. Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Leave garlic whole. Toss everything in olive oil, salt, pepper and picked thyme leaves. Place vegetables on a sheet pan in one even layer.
- Bake for approximately 1 hour, until tomatoes begin to char. Remove from oven and cool. Puree in blender, adding salt and pepper if needed.
- Prepare dish: Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onions, thyme and salt. Saute until lightly caramelized. Add potatoes and cream and cook for approximately 20 minutes until potatoes are cooked through. Let cool.
- Heat broiler in the oven. Place poblano chilies on a sheet pan and broil until completely charred, about 10 minutes per side. Place peppers in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap (or place in a paper bag and seal) for 10 minutes. Peel peppers, cut an opening lengthwise and remove the seeds.
- Mix shredded cheese into potato mixture. Fill each pepper with about 2/3 cup of cheese mixture.
- Heat peppers in a 400 F oven on a banana leaf for 10 minutes or until center is 140 F. Serve with cilantro rice and black beans on fennel sauce.
Photo courtesy of Idaho Potato Commission