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My hubby really likes chile rellenos. I have been scratching my head for months trying to figure out a way to make them tasty without stuffing them with cheese.
Solution: making a creamy polenta flavored with shredded Parmesan and adding a spicy chipotle chile sauce. The result? Heaven. As declared by my hubster. He even told his friends.
Note: The sauce needs to be prepared at least 2 hours ahead of the peppers.
For the peppers:
Preheat oven to 425 ºF. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
Remove a 1″ (lengthwise) strip from each pepper, leaving the stem intact. Carefully remove seeds. Place peppers open-side down on baking sheet and spray tops with olive oil spray. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through, until peppers are softened and lightly charred. (Note: this can also be done on the grill– mine was buried in snow).
For the polenta:
Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until tender. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Gradually whisk in cornmeal. Cover and reduce heat to low. Mixture will thicken gradually. Stir frequently. When mixture reaches a porridge-like consistency, remove from heat and stir in butter, salt and cheese.
For the chipotle sauce (prepare ahead):
In a medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until softened (2-3 minutes). Add tomato paste, wine, and chipotle peppers and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in water, honey, vinegar, and cumin. Simmer for 3 minutes then remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes.
Add mixture to a food processor and puree. Add more water if thinning is needed. Place in a glass container and chill for 2 hours (can be made a few days ahead also).
When preparing peppers, heat sauce in a small saucepan.
Fill peppers with polenta. Drizzle 1/4 cup sauce over each pepper and serve!
If you have sauce leftover, place it in a glass jar in the refrigerator and use for a hot sauce!
Nutrition info per 1 stuffed pepper with sauce: 188 calories, 5 g fat, 7 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber