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