Quick Bites from Pender

Chile Rellenos Strata with Smoked Paprika Sour Cream

In Recipes on February 10, 2010 at 5:01 am


PLEASE.  Do not mistake this for a casserole — you would be very, very wrong. Although loosely based on a secondhand account of an LA Times recipe for a Chile Relleno Casserole from 1990, this little beauty here is to be referred to as a strata.  Layers of cheesy, chile goodness baked in the oven…

It started with a loose game plan, and ended in complete, very tasty, success.  Perfect for a filling meatless meal (although you could easily incorporate a layer of ground meat — but trust this wife of a MEAT EATER — no one will miss it).

It’s already a new favourite in this kitchen.  An easy weeknight meal — the only finicky step is whipping the egg whites — but it only takes a couple of minutes with an electric hand held beater, and ensures the cooked custard is light, not scrambled.


Chile Rellenos Strata

Yield:  3-4 servings

Poblano Peppers 4
Monterey Cheese, shredded ½ lb 225 g
Slow Roasted Tomatoes (optional) 8 halves
Egg Whites 2
Egg Yolks 2
Whipping Cream ½ C 125 ml
Flour 1 T 15 ml
Cayenne Pepper TT 1 ml
Sour Cream ½ C 125 ml
Smoked Paprika ½ t or TT
Salt + Pepper TT

C=cup     lb=pound      T=tablespoon      t=teaspoon
g=grams     ml=millilitres    TT=to taste

Blacken the skin of the Poblanos either over the flame of a gas burner or under the broiler.    Place the charred peppers in a paper bag and fold to close.  When cool, peel the skin from the peppers and remove the seeds and pith.

Position the rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350˚F.  Lightly grease a 5×9” pan (loaf pan).

In a medium bowl, beat the yolks until frothy.  Beat in the cream, flour, cayenne, ½ t salt and a pinch of pepper.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff.  Fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.

Place ½ of the peppers in an even layer on the bottom of the greased pan, followed by ½ of the cheese, all of the tomatoes, and the remaining peppers.  Pour the egg mixture over to cover evenly.  Top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until set and golden.  Meanwhile, stir the paprika into the sour cream, and set aside.

Remove the strata from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.  Serve with a dollop of the sour cream and chopped green onions, if desired.  We had ours with some leftover cornbread and a green salad.


  • If the peppers don’t peel easily (mine didn’t), just peel what you can and proceed with the recipe.  It’s nice to get rid of most of the skins – but it’s not imperative.
  • Incorporate whatever you want into the layers…beans…mmmm…black beans…


  1. Wow- Honestly this picture makes my mouth water! I guess that’s the goal of food photography and you nailed it! Cheers~

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