Jan 19 2010

The Making of Low Carb Chili Rellenos

January 19th, 2010 at 10:09 pm (AST) by Krystyana Richter

After a year of making chili rellenos with jalapeño peppers instead of the poblanos required in the original recipe, we finally found poblano peppers here on Bonaire! Even making the recipe for the last year, it is far from perfected, but we have discovered ways to make it easier on my mom and myself.

Krystyana and Linda's low carb Chili Relleno

Krystyana and Linda's low carb Chili Relleno

What makes our recipe low carb is that regular chili rellenos recipes require a corn flour batter to coat the peppers with. Flour is obviously not low carb. So we use beaten eggs instead.

The first thing to do when looking for the perfect pepper for this recipe is an unblemished jalapeño or preferably poblano pepper.

– 6 poblanos (or 10 jalapeños)
– 3 x 8 oz. packs of full fat cream cheese
– 1 x 8 oz. Four Cheese Mexican blend pack
– 4 eggs
– 3 paper bags

First of all, set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then wash the poblanos and dry them off well. On a gas stovetop, lay a flat grill rack on the burner area. You need an open flame for roasting the peppers. Strategically place the peppers so that they are directly over the flame. Turn the pepper when the side facing the flame is entirely black with bubbling skin. When the pepper is black on all sides, stuff the pepper into a paper bag and roll up the opening to keep the steam in. After about 5 minutes, the peppers should be cool enough to pick up.

At this point, and when using jalapeños, I would search for gloves or a victim. The burn in a jalapeños can vary but I would not ever take a chance with getting a hot one while barehanded. This is due to a previous accident when making chili rellenos with jalapeños. After gutting about 10 of them, my fingers started hurting like crazy. My mom and I tried everything to make it stop, from sour cream to aloe. It did not work…. And that is why I suggest gloves.

Take a pepper out and start peeling off the skin while attempting not to break apart the flesh of the pepper. My mom used a small knife for this, but finger nails are almost as successful. We peeled the skin into the sink because this is long process.

Take a knife and slit one side of the pepper, from the stem to the very tip of the pepper. The seeds will be just as hard to take out of the pepper as the skin was to remove and just as sticky. The likelihood of making a gaping hole in the opposite side of your slit is high, so be wary of pulling on strings of the flesh. And wear gloves if it’s a jalapeño.

Mix the cream cheese and the four cheese Mexican blend in a bowl until thoroughly mixed.

Take out a large casserole dish and spray with Pam or grease it with butter. Lay the peppers on the bottom of the casserole dish and start stuffing the peppers with the cheese mixture. Don’t overstuff them. The rest of the cheese can rolled up into little balls and placed around peppers. They melt really well and are yummy to eat separate from the peppers as well.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and brush it over the peppers and dump the rest into the dish. Put the peppers into the oven for 30 minutes, or until the egg is cooked.

Bon appetite!


Nov 27 2009

Thanksgiving Pie Treat with Whipped Cream

November 27th, 2009 at 2:20 am (AST) by Jake Richter

One of our favorite desserts for Thanksgiving is Peanut Butter Pie. We’ve tried a lot different recipes, some which require actual cooking of the pie filling, and others which have unusual or overly complex preparations. But after much research, we finally found a good, repeatable recipe, which I have replicated below, with additional comments and minor modifications, including a low-carb option.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Based for the most part on a recipe from Cooks.com

Ingredients:

Pie Crust and Pie Filling:

  • A 9″ pie crust (This can be Graham cracker or even a pre-made pie shell, however to make this low-carb if you choose, you could use almond flour or hazelnut flour to make the crust).
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese (regular, don’t use light cream cheese – it’s just wrong to have a “light” cheese of any sort, and you soften it by letting it sit at room temperature for a while, depending on your ambient temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (we use 1 cup of Splenda granulated sugar substitute as a way to cut down on carbohydrates)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (we use organic, no-sugar-added chunky peanut butter, but any peanut butter will do)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (salted butter is fine, but don’t use butter substitute or margarine – you can use your microwave oven to melt the butter, but do it in stages so it doesn’t splatter or get overly hot)
  • 1 cup whipping cream (in liquid form, as you use this to make real whipped cream)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (use the real stuff, not fake vanilla)

Chocolate Topping:

  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (we prefer dark or bittersweet chocolate with a high cocoa content (60-72%), or for true low-carb, we also use Godiva’s Sugar Free Dark Chocolate)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil (we recommend a nut oil like sunflower oil or peanut oil – do not use olive oil due to the flavor)
  • 1/4 (one-quarter) cup of chopped dry roasted, unsalted peanuts

Directions:

Prepare crust according to favorite recipe (which may involve baking the crust), and then let adjust to room temperature.

Whip cream cheese until fluffy, which is easiest to do with a hand mixer or stand mixer.

Slowly add sugar (or Splenda sugar substitute), peanut butter, and butter. The reason to add this slowly is to ensure even distribution and prevent clouds of sugar.

In another bowl, combine the whipping cream and vanilla extract, and whip until firm. We find that if the bowl for the whipped cream is chilled first, we get better results. An easy way to chill a bowl is to put a cup of crushed ice in the bowl along with a half cup (no need to be exact) of water, and then swish it about until the bowl is nice and cold. Then dump out the ice water and dry the inside of the bowl with a towel before pouring in the whipping cream and vanilla extract.

Blend 1/3 of whipped cream into peanut butter mixture – it’s okay to be rough in for that first third.

Fold the peanut butter mixture into remaining whipped cream (or vice versa – the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture) gently until thoroughly incorporated.

Fill the pie crust, smoothing top. Chill. This will result in a rather firm pie filling.

Once the pie filling is nice and firm, get out a double boiler, fill with a bit of water, and heat the double boiler.

Combine the chocolate, butter, and oil in top of the double boiler until chocolate melts. Cool slightly. Spread chocolate on cooled peanut butter filling. Start at center and work out. Sprinkle top with peanuts, chill pie thoroughly.

The Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie described above may serve 10-12 people if they take small slices. For our family of four, we have found that the pie is so rich that it lasts us at least a couple of days of nibbling.

One additional suggestion for serving would be to make up extra whipped cream to eat with the pie, as it helps balance out the rich flavor and density of the peanut butter filling and chocolate topping. To make the whipped cream, use a 16 oz. container of whipping cream, add one packet of vanilla Splenda and one packet of normal Splenda (or, if you’re into sugar, a table spoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract), and whip it up in a chilled bowl as described above.