Liddies Traditional New Mexican Dishes: Naked Rellenos

Naked Rellenos ready to serve. Photo by Liddie Martinez

Video showing how to prepare Naked Rellenos. Video by Liddie Martinez

Española Valley

The middle of a heat wave is when cooks become very creative and develop delectable dishes that require no baking, frying, toasting, boiling or braising- it’s just too hot to turn on those appliances. This is how I came up with Naked Rellenos last summer. I had a bumper crop of Big Jim Chile, jalapeños and tomatoes so, I tried to create a dish using these ingredients without heating up the house.

Grilling is, of course, the natural cooking method adopted during the summer and Americans grill all summer. But the truth is that by August we are looking for a little pizzaz in our diets and I think I have found the perfect answer! Naked Rellenos! Just roast your green chiles and you are ready to go!

Naked Rellenos are a new modern twist on traditional breaded rellenos without the breading or the frying.  Palates with discriminating tastes and eyes seeking big flavors and low calories, can celebrate! This new dish is pleasing to the eye and is very easy to make. It can be served as a side dish to a grilled Rib Eye Steak (for those seeking a hearty meal) or stand on its own as a meatless dish served with a baked potato or a bowl of fresh cooked beans.

One thing is certain – naked rellenos will make many eyes and stomachs delighted with this fresh, new twist on healthy! Each relleno is only about 100 calories, provides an enormous amount of vitamin C, is gluten free and, since it is not fried – zero fat!

It’s that time again!  Roasting green chile aromas are filling the air so make a batch of Naked Rellenos and enjoy a nutritious low-cal meal!

Pico de Gallo

2            ripe tomatoes, chopped

2            jalapeños, stems and seeds removed, diced

½           red onion, diced

½           bunch cilantro, finely chopped

3            cloves of garlic, minced

½ tsp.    kosher salt

¼ tsp.    black pepper

Combine ingredients and chill covered in the refrigerator in a non-reactive bowl.

Naked Rellenos

6               large, flat green chiles

3 slices     Cheddar Cheese cut in quarter strips

3 slices    Jack Cheese cut in quarter strips

Roast Chile over hot coals until charred and place in a bowl lined with two plastic bags and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Tie plastic bags individually to seal and steam for 20 minutes. Peel and slit one side open vertically and carefully remove seed pod leaving stems intact.

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