As much as we love decadent foods for the holidays, we like to offer some healthier choices on the buffet. You may remember a recipe posted a while back, Un-Fried Chile Rellenos using a baked technique of creating seemingly fried dishes without the oil and greasiness. So instead of breaded fried cheese, or breaded fried chicken strips, we have crunchy, delicious baked poblano chile strips. If you didn’t tell anyone they weren’t fried, they seriously would never know.
This dark green heart-shaped Poblano Pepper is high in potassium, low cal, and loaded with vitamin C. They’re generally mild in heat, but this can vary. The four we bought for these chile strips were mild. Whereas not long ago, a batch to make rellenos were almost as hot as a jalapeno. Funny thing about chiles, one plant can grow right next to another and have different heat levels. But you can always count on poblanos to be flavorful.
First, prepping the poblanos …
Roasted on our stove-top grill. Here is a more detailed link with photos on how to char and prep them. (Using green chiles, but the steps are the same.)
From bottom to top: Jalapeno, Green Chile, Poblano
As you can see, poblanos are larger than green chiles and it can take some maneuvering with tongs to get all sides charred.
Then they go into a large sealed baggie to steam for about 25 minutes.
Lay them out on a cutting board. Using your hands, the skin will peel right off.
Then cut off the tops, slice each one open and take out the seeds and core.
Cut them into strips, relatively the same size so they’ll cook evenly. Some of these pieces are wider but they all crisped up just fine.
A simple 3 step dredging station of flour….
And final coating of panko bread crumbs mixed with grated parmesan cheese.
They look like breaded chicken, don’t they? This recipe works for chicken strips, eggplant and zucchini strips, too.
Bake at 375 on a greased sheet pan for 10 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes until they’re golden brown and have crisped up.
Great for appetizers, just snacking, game day, as a side with salads and soups.
They pair well with lots of dips — hot cheese, artichoke cream cheese, green goddess, ranch. I like the very simple combination of….
….equal parts catsup and my favorite, Cholula hot sauce. A combination introduced to me by my friend CautionToTheWind, a young heat-shield-tongued hot sauce expert from New Mexico.
If you’re using Tabasco sauce, or a hot sauce where the label shows a fire-breathing skeleton levitating over flames with some sort of disclaimer using words like ‘extreme’ or ‘danger’ …….maybe a good idea to mix in a teaspoon at a time and taste as you go.
Crunch! Flavor! Texture! YUM!
xo Amy & Mr.D
CRISPY BAKED POBLANO STRIPS with a Simple Dip
- 4 fresh poblano peppers (washed)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 Tblsp hot sauce (Cholula Original)
- 1 Tblsp pure red chile powder (not chili powder that is pre-seasoned)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 Tblsp vegetable oil (for greasing the sheet pan)
- 3 Tblsp catsup (for the dipping sauce)
- 3 Tblsp hot sauce (for the dipping sauce)
Makes 16 Chile Strips
This recipe was inspired by Trisha Yearwood's Un-Fried Chicken recipe, that was modified from Art Smith's healthy Un-Fried Chicken recipe.
I prefer Cholula Original hot sauce because it is earthy and not too too hot. If you are using an extra hot sauce, use only 1 Tblsp for the buttermilk mixture. And taste as you mix it with catsup for the dipping sauce.
|Roast the poblanos on a stovetop grill, over gas burner flames, or on a grill, turning with tongs until they are charred on all sides.|
|Put them in a large sealed baggie for 25 minutes to steam. This will allow the chile skin to loosen from the meat.|
|Move to a cutting board. Remove the skins with your hands, they should easily slide right off. Cut off the stems. Slice open to remove the seeds and core, and discard.|
|Cut each into 4 strips.|
|Create a dredging station with: one bowl of flour. Another with whisked buttermilk, egg, hot sauce, chile powder, salt and pepper. And a third bowl with mixture of panko and grated parmesan.|
|With each individual chile strip, dredge in the flour, then dunk and coat with the buttermilk mixture, and evenly coat and pat with the breadcrumbs. Put each onto a vegetable oil greased baking sheet.|
|Put the sheet of breaded chiles into the refrigerator for 20 minutes.|
|Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the chile strips for 10 minutes. Turn and bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brown and crisped. Move to a platter.|
|Mix the dipping sauce with equal parts catsup and hot sauce. Serve immediately.|