It’s spring . . . but you wouldn’t know it here in Tahoe. This is the front room view here all week-long:
Sometimes the snow melts off; sometimes it doesn’t. Even though it snows daily here, the bears are awake and out of hibernation mode. And they are hungry.
Hungry enough to snack out of the bird feeder. Man, are the birds and squirrels p-i-s-s-e-d!
The picture isn’t very sharp, but there is no way we were going to venture any closer to Mr. Snacky.
Then a neighbor dog spooked him and he demonstrated his bear-like agility (I didn’t know the lumbering brutes were agile!). He walked the entire length of the side and back yard fence before dropping down in a vacant lot behind us.
♥ ♥ ♥
Baked Chili Rellenos
6 large Poblano chilies
Non-dairy cheddar, mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese (we used pepper jack from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook).
1/2 cup soy milk
1 cup panko breadcrumbs, organic corn starch, whole wheat flour or organic corn meal, the finer the better (we used organic corn meal)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
Chili relleno sauce, recipe below
Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
Broil the chilies until the skins brown and pucker. Place the peppers in a brown paper bag to cool; then peel while still warm. Cut a 3-inch slit in each chili and remove the seeds, if desired. Stuff each chili with cheese.
Pour the soy milk in a shallow bowl. Spread the panko/corn starch/flour corn meal on a plate or a shallow bowl. Add the spices and mix well.
Dip the chilies in the panko/corn starch/flour/corn meal mixture, then the milk and then the panko/corn starch/flour/corn meal mixture again. Place the chilies on the prepared baking sheet and bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown (I flipped the chilies the last 5 minutes to brown on the other side).
Pour a small pool of warm relleno sauce on a serving plate and place the chili over the sauce. Top the chili with additional relleno sauce and garnish as desired.
Chili Relleno Sauce
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour or organic corn starch
1-1/2 cups ripe chopped tomatoes
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and chopped
4 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1-1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large bay leaf
Chop the onion and garlic together in a food processor.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Sauté the onion and garlic mixture in the oil until translucent and golden.
Add the flour or corn starch to the sauté mixture, spreading the mixture evenly as it cooks, until a deep golden color.
Place the mixture into the food processor with the tomatoes and jalapeño pepper; process until smooth. Pour the pureed mixture back into the saucepan.
Stir in the water, salt, Mexican oregano, black pepper, cayenne pepper and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, while whisking. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about an hour, whisking occasionally, until the desired consistency is reached. Cover, slightly vented so the steam can escape. Keep the sauce warm over lowest heat, whisking occasionally, until served.