First there is something I feel I must say:
I used to love watching football with friends…it’s not just about the game but the camaraderie, the fun of some silly and meaningless bets and of course…the food! But my team went through a spell and it wasn’t a good one. A bad head coach, some even badder players and I lost all interest. Then the stars aligned and I’m slowly being brought back into the fold. Why? Isn’t Peyton Manning enough?
Well, he just might be but beyond that?
I met the sweetest young man last year who had moved into a home on our street. He and his wife had a new baby and I met them when they were out walking. A casual, ‘What do you do?’ and I found he punted. For the Broncos! Not just punted though…seems our boy Britton Colquitt is the best…add that to his sweet charm and I was sold.
I was curious enough to start peeking at some games. I’ve known or met several Broncos but never one so unassuming and sweet and I can not deny I have never before watched a game to see the punter but now I was intent on seeing him play. Britton also spoke so highly of the Broncos coach, John Fox, that I thought it might be time to get over my disgust during the Josh McDaniels era; he was a big part of what made me tire of watching the game but I’m thinking that maybe the boys are back? Add those facts to the aforementioned Mr. Manning, who amazes everyone with his skill, his athleticism and for me…his demeanor on and off the field (though luckily you do not have to rely on rapping Peyton) and I’ve been convinced to invest some Sunday afternoon hours with the boys in orange and blue.
Baseball was my first love and the St. Louis Cardinals (YAY on the playoffs!) will always hold a place near and dear to my heart but moving to Denver holds an expectation and that expectation is that you get swept up into Broncos frenzy. The years of almost and the years of embarrassing and then finally the years of Super Bowl victories; I was there for them all. I actually remember the first game that I watched with a group of friends over 20 years ago. That day was not yet my day of football frenzy reckoning…not even close.
Still, it was a big day. Why? Well, I am a proud member of the ‘Green Pepper Haterz Club’ and for many, many years I lumped all peppers of the green variety into the fold. But then this dish was part of an assortment set out for folks to enjoy and everything changed. Truth is if I had known that any form of pepper that was green was layered within I might have passed it by but our relationship was meant to be and I took a chance on love and was swept away for a lifetime. The club name needs to be changed to ‘Green BELL Pepper Haterz Club’ since they are the reviled ones…Hatch, poblano, jalapeno and serrano…they have all become my friends.
I don’t have a clue who won or lost that game or even the people I was with; but I wanted the recipe bad so I hunted down the person who made it (BI – Before Internet). Now it’s sure to be on the menu for some get together every single year. It’s simple too; a mixture of cheeses are layered with chiles and it’s all held together during baking with some eggs and milk. Topped for the last part of the bake with tomato sauce that has been flavored with onion, jalapeno and garlic and then finished with a dollop of sour cream, I think it’s simply to die for.
Please humor me because I have to say it again, ‘GO BRONCOS!!’
Chili Relleno Casserole
1 hr, 30
- 8-10 green chiles; roasted, cleaned and seeded (I used a milder Hatch green chile)
- 1 lb. grated Muenster cheese
- 1 lb. grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 beaten eggs
- 1 (12oz.) can evaporated milk
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
For the Sauce
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers (depending on level of heat you want), finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Sour cream for garnish
- Wash chilies and remove seeds, drain well and dry between paper towels.
- Place chilies flat in casserole and layer with mixed cheeses. Repeat each layer.
- Beat eggs in separate bowl and mix in evaporated milk, flour and salt. Pour over casserole.
- Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour.
- Saute onion, jalapeno and garlic until soft. Add tomato sauce and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside.
- After one hour remove the casserole from the oven.
- Pour the tomato and jalapeno mixture on top of the casserole and bake an additional 30 minutes.
- Let sit for 5 minutes and then cut into squares to serve.
- Top with dollop of sour cream.
Adjust the heat of the finished dish by the number of jalapeno peppers you use in the tomato sauce. I used 2 and thought it was perfect when accompanied with the sour cream but it is certainly spicy.
If you prefer less heat than normal; stick to just one jalapeno in the sauce.