Relleno Minis

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These little rellenos are a hit for any party!  They are also great for a side dish or an appetizer to any Mexican themed event.  I dreamed these up for a Mexican style appetizer party that a friend was hosting.  I wanted a small bite that was a combination of spicy and creamy.  Since then, I have made them over and over and most recently as an accompaniment to carne asada tacos.  People love them and they will disappear quickly.  There are a couple different ways to make them depending on how much time you have.  I’ll share both.

Ingredients:

Cooking Spray
6 fresh poblano chilis or 3 cans Ortego whole green chilis
1/4 lb. ground chorizo* sausage, cooked
1 1/2 C. of ricotta cheese
1/2 C. chopped cilantro (divided)
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. salt
shredded Mexican cheeses
Cojita Mexican cheese*

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

If you are using fresh poblanos, place them on a foil covered cookie sheet and place them in the oven on broil.  When they start to blister and turn brown, open the oven and using long tongs, roll them over.  When they have completed blistering and the skins are brown, remove from the oven with tongs and place into a paper bag.  Roll the top of the paper bag down tight and let the bag sit on your counter for a half hour.  When its time, open the bag and place the poblanos before you.  You can essentially peel the skins off and seed them.  You can slice them in to four long quarters (top to bottom).  They may just naturally come apart that way when you seed them too.

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If you are using canned, drain and rinse them and lay them on a paper towel.  Separate them into four long quarters.  They should be about two inches wide and 5 inches long.

Assemble your ricotta cheese mixture by mixing the following ingredients in a small bowl:  ricotta, 1/4 C. of the chopped cilantro, smoked paprika, onion powder and salt.

Spray oil in a casserole dish and lay your chilis down insides facing up.  Put about 1 T. of the ricotta mixture on the largest end of each chili.  Top with 1 T. cooked chorizo.  Fold over the opposite end of the chili over the meat and cheese and top with Mexican shredded cheeses, the cojita cheese and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cojita is just browned on top.  Remove from the oven and serve warm.

*You can buy cojita cheese and chorizo now at virtually any market.  If you want to make these relleno minis vegetarian, just omit the chorizo.

Enjoy!

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