Chile Relleno Tart

May 3, 2011

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Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo.  Generally, on Cinco de Mayo, we go out to one of two of our favorite Mexican restaurants. I grew up going to Casa Vega.  It truly is, in my opinion, the best, authentic restaurant in Los Angeles.  The enchilada sauce is perfection, the crispy tacos with shredded beef cannot be beat, and the margaritas kick your butt.  More importantly, it holds a whole lot of nostalgia for me. Another favorite is Lucy’s Cafe El Adobe .  There is really nothing better than their bar-b-q beef tacos!

This year we are eating home. I have planned a festive meal to share with my family and I am making some of our favorites.  Along with our favorites, I wanted to make something new.  What I really wanted to make was chile rellenos. I don’t even order chili rellenos in a restaurant, but I had an anchoring to make these. I looked through my Diana Kennedy Cookbook, a book I have had for over 30 years.  I have made several of her recipes, but she did not really have a chile relleno recipe.  Sooooo, I turned to the trusty Internet. I searched Saveur, Food & Wine, Cooking Light, and Epicurious.  Epicurious was the winner.  I found this recipe for a tart and I immediately knew that I wanted to make this dish.

The original recipe was from 1996.  In 1996 food trends were very different.  Vegan, Gluten-Free, Organic, nor Grass Fed were words that were not part of our vernacular.  And although I would love to, without guilt, make this tart with close to 2 pounds of various cheeses, I just couldn’t do it. I made a few changes and even with these changes, this tart was rich, decadent, and very tasty!

Chile Relleno Tart
adapted from Epicurious
yield: 1 11″ tart

ingredients:
Crust
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup (6 oz.) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2-3 tablespoons ice water
Filling
3 large Pasilla chiles
1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4 large, organic eggs
3/4 cup, organic 1/2 and 1/2
1/2 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese room temperature
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated organic, white cheddar

instructions:
For crust:
• combine 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 3/4 cup cornmeal and 1 teaspoon salt in processor.
• add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.
• blend in water by tablespoonfuls until mixture forms moist clumps. gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour. (can be prepared 1 day ahead). let dough soften slightly at room temperature before using.
• preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly butter 11-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom.
• press dough onto bottom and up sides of prepared pan; trim to fit, reserving scraps.
• cover dough with heavy duty foil and press into the creases. pour in pie weights. place pan on heavy baking sheet.
• bake until crust is set and edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes.  remove foil and bake 7 more minutes. if crust cracks, gently press small bits of reserved dough into cracks. transfer pan to rack and cool.
For filling:
• char chiles under broiler until blackened on all sides. place in a paper bag and let stand 10 minutes. peel, seed and chop chiles
• preheat oven to 375°F. sprinkle Gruyère and mozzarella over bottom of crust. layer the chilies over cheese. combine eggs, half + half, goat cheese, butter, salt and pepper in processor; blend well. pour into crust. sprinkle with white cheddar.
• bake tart until filling is golden brown and set, about 25-32 minutes. transfer to rack and cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

More recipes like this:
Chile Relleno Bake – Circle B Kitchen
Chile Relleno Casserole – Simply Recipes
Chile Relleno w/Tequila Shrimp – JBug’s Kitchen Antics
Puffy Chile Relleno Casserole – Cooks.com

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim May 4, 2011 at 4:42 am

I really like savory tarts and this one looks good! When there is a lot of cheese, I’m not too far:)

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2 Susan May 4, 2011 at 8:17 am

this tart certainly has the cheese! try this, you won’t be sorry!

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3 jocelyn silverman May 4, 2011 at 6:10 am

kim, i second that on the cheese factor. wow! what that looks delicious. thanks for the idea susan.

feliz cinco de mayo mi amiga.
xoxo

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4 Susan May 4, 2011 at 8:17 am

feliz cinco de mayo a usted, tambien, mi amiga! x

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5 Maria May 4, 2011 at 6:24 am

Great savory tart!

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6 marla {family fresh cooking} May 4, 2011 at 6:39 am

I am loving your cake and this savory for Cinco de Mayo! Wish you were closer :)

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7 Allison [Haute Box] May 4, 2011 at 7:09 am

I’ve been going to Casa Vega for years! How funny…1st La Frite and now Casa Vega. Are we kindred spirits?? :)

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8 Susan May 4, 2011 at 8:19 am

kindered spirits and “valley girls”. you can generally see me and my son isaac, at Casa Vega, most wednesday nights. meet us sometime!

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9 fooddreamer May 4, 2011 at 8:55 am

Casa Vega…never been there but saw all about it on Flipping Out, when they redid the whole restaurant. It always sounded like the food was amazing! But your tart is gorgeous too, I’d devour the whole thing.

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10 MyKidsEatSquid May 4, 2011 at 9:59 am

Great idea for a chili relleno. I’m wondering a few things, though–what about masa instead of the corn meal, or as part of the flour in the tart dough? I also think maybe substituting a good Mexican cheese for the goat cheese makes sense (maybe that’s just because I’m not a goat cheese fan).

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11 Susan May 4, 2011 at 10:19 am

Masa – my first thought – it’s too thick. This crust was super light, and the only thing I have thought about changing is making it gluten free. You can use whatever cheese you want. I altered mine from the original recipe a bit and I had thought about using parmesan, but realized that I didn’t have enough in the fridge. Let me know what you come up with!

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12 Amanda May 4, 2011 at 10:46 am

Super idea girl… its just gorgeous!

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13 June May 4, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Susan, thank you so much for the link to JBug’s Kitchen Antics. I’m flattered and really appreciate your referral. Your tart looks delicious and a perfect for the occasion! I especially like the combination of cheeses and I can’t wait to give it a try.

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14 Kristen May 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm

First of all, stunning photo. Second of all, this recipe looks amazing. I’m all about delicious food like this and a holiday to eat it all!

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15 Memoria May 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm

What a great idea. I don’t like chiles rellenos the normal way, but I think I would be okay with this a tart version. I’m bookmarking this recipe.

P.S. “chile”, the hot pepper, is spelled with an “e”. “Chili” with an “i” is the beef and/or bean concoction found on top of chili dogs.

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16 Susan May 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm

thanks for spell check! a big faux pas on my part. I guess I should stop writing posts at 11pm – might help me in this simple, little errors. This tart is worth the effort! thanks again.ss

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17 Nancy@acommunaltable May 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I second Kristen’s comment!!! These kinds of tarts are rich but oh so satisfying!!
This would be terrific for brunch, breakfast, lunch… oh heck, it would be terrific any time!!

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18 Betsy May 5, 2011 at 11:07 am

Susan, This looks delicious.
Also, I’ve tagged you over at my blog for a game of food tag, if you care to play!

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19 Maria @ Scandifoodie May 6, 2011 at 11:05 am

This sounds incredibly tasty and all that cheese… I am very tempted!

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