Breakfast in New Mexico is an experience unlike anything you might taste elsewhere. The combination of red or green chile, beans, potatoes and eggs along with tortillas or sopaipillas are common. In many restaurants you will find breakfast served all day, every day. The breakfast menu’s of today are more creative and amazing than ever. Most weekends Joe and I will go out for breakfast or lunch to try some of the local favorites around town. We found a gem in “Hot Tamales” located in Rio Rancho. We have been there several times and have been impressed each time by the flavors and creativity they inspire. One of Joe’s favorite meals is #64 Relleno and Eggs. It is described as a green chile cheese relleno with 2 eggs any style, topped with your choice of red or green chile and served with papitas and a sopaipilla. Now that’s a breakfast!! Anytime we talk about breakfast “Hot Tamales” comes up, and is also the inspiration for this breakfast skillet dish. Enjoy!
The best chile rellenos are made with freshly roasted chiles. They are meatier and tend to fold over the cheese filling better than ones previously frozen. The chiles can be prepped ahead of time and refrigerated until later. I roasted this chile over the gas burner of my stove, then placed it in a ziplock bag to sweat it out. After about 20 minutes or so the skin will easily peel off. Remove the stem and seeds, then refrigerate until time to cook.
These chile rellenos are not made like traditional rellenos. I am filling them with a combination of cream cheese, oaxaca cheese and green chile salt. Process the cream cheese in a food processor until it’s soft and creamy, then add the grated cheese and green chile salt. Process until well combined.
Take 1 medium potato per person, peel and cube into bite size chunks. Here’s my method for making the best papitas: Take the cubes and place in a microwave safe bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and microwave for 2 minutes per potato. Be sure to place a cover over top of the potatoes to steam Heat a skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil or bacon grease and fry potatoes tossing every few minutes until browned on all sides.
Heat a skillet with just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Pan fry the chiles flat on both sides. When crisp and browned on both sides, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
After 15 minutes, check the egg whites to see if they are cooked through. If needed cook an additional 5 minutes. When done, add crisp bacon bits and sliced green onion. Serve warm with green chile sauce.
2 Green Chiles, (Anaheim or Poblano may be used)
2 ounces Cream Cheese
2 ounces Oaxaca Cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Green Chile Salt (1 part green chile powder to 1 part sea salt)
1 large Egg
1/4 cup Half and Half
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Pepper
2 medium Potatoes, peeled and diced
3 strips Bacon, cooked ahead of time and sliced into bite size pieces.
Extra Grated Oaxaca Cheese
Green Chile Sauce, optional
Prep chiles by roasting them over an open flame of a gas stove or place on a baking sheet in the oven with the broiler setting. Turn chiles often until they are charred on all sides. Place chiles in a plastic bag and let steam for 20 minutes. Peel, stem and seed chiles. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
In a food processor, pulse cream cheese until soft and creamy. Add grated Oaxaca cheese and green chile salt. Pulse until well combined. Transfer cheese into a covered container and refrigerate.
Peel and dice potatoes. Place diced potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and drizzle olive oil over top. Microwave on high 2 minutes per potato, stirring after each 2 minute interval. Heat a 8 or 9 inch cast iron skillet with oil or reserved bacon grease and fry potatoes stirring every few minutes until potatoes are browned on all sides. If needed, transfer potatoes to a warming plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. *Don’t remove skillet as you will use this to cook the breakfast skillet dish in.
To make the chile rellenos: Prepare two medium bowls; fill one with flour, salt and pepper and mix well. Whisk one egg and half and half in the other bowl. Dip the roasted chiles in the egg mixture, then dredge in flour mix. One more time, dip the chile through the egg mix, then in the flour. Heat a skillet over medium high heat with just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Gently place the coated chiles into the pan (make sure they lay flat) and fry 2 – 3 minutes or until crisp and browned, then turn over and fry another 2 – 3 minutes to brown the other side. Remove chiles to a warming plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Divide the cheese mixture and place on the inside of the fried chiles. Fold the other side over to encase the cheese.
Layer the skillet with cooked potatoes on the bottom. Place the cheese filled chile rellenos on top. Sprinkle a little more grated cheese over top of the chiles. Crack 4 eggs around the chiles and place in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Check the egg whites for doneness and if needed cook an additional 5 minutes. When you have 4 – 5 minutes left of cook time, sprinkle with bacon bits and sliced green onion. Serve warm with green chile sauce.
Makes 2 large servings