A new feature I hope to bring to the readers here is a monthly recipe. The recipe may or may not contain beer but I will definitely pair the dish with a beer. These recipes will be seasonal and inspired by the calendar as well as the local selection. For the first Recipe of the Month, I’m stealing a recipe I saw on TV and adapted it for my own kitchen. This is a Spicy Seafood Relleno.
The show I stole this recipe from is Heat Seekers on Food Network. A lover of spicy foods, I get a kick out of seeing the new and interesting ways people are adding intense heat to their dishes. During the Miami episode, a visit to Mercadito Midtown had them preparing a seafood relleno that looked amazing. Unfortunately, the website claims they made a Picadillo Chile Relleno, so I had to develop the recipe myself, taking cues from the chef on the show.
Here’s my take on the Spicy Seafood Chile Relleno:
- 4 pasilla chiles
- 1/2 head garlic
- 5 serrano chiles
- 1 ear corn
- 1/2 lb scallops
- 1/2 lb peeled and veined shrimp
- 3 oz heavy cream
- Young Manchego
- 1/2 cup Pico de Gallo
- fire roasted salsa
- crema fresca
- salt and pepper
To start, fire roast your pasillas. If you have a gas stove top, do this directly over stove. In my case, I got some coals on the BBQ and raised them to as high as I could to put hot heat and lots of charcoal flavor on the peppers. Don’t worry about burning the peppers. When done roasting the peppers, place them in a bowl and cover tightly. Steam them for 5-10 minutes. Remove the cover and proceed to peel the skin from the peppers. Set aside.
In a skillet, heat enough oil (olive, vegetable or canola is fine) to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat skillet to medium high, or as high as oil will allow without smoking. Add 1/2 head of chopped garlic. When garlic is browned, add scallops and shrimp. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until shrimp is almost cooked through. Slice serranos and cut corn from the ear. Add to the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Add 3 oz of heavy cream. Add salt and pepper as needed. Bring to a boil and simmer until mixture is thick and sauce-like. Remove from heat and stir in Pico de Gallo.
At this point, arrange your Pasillas on a broiler pan. Cut a slit in the pepper to allow pepper to be stuffed with seafood mixture. Once stuffed, top with generous amounts of shredded young manchego. Place under the broiler for 3-4 minutes or until is slightly browned.
The original recipe called for poached octopus to be added with shrimp and scallops, but we skiped that ingredient. The choice of seafood seems like it can be fairly flexible, just be sure to account for different cooking times and textures when picking your ingredients.
I paired this dish with Anchorage Brewing’s White Wit with Brettanomyces. I chose this beer as I anticipated a very spicy dish and wanted a beer that could refresh while still pairing well. Also, the citrus notes found within a Wit would pair nicely with the seafood. The “brett” provided a funky quality that brought out the herbal flavors of the pasilla while providing launching pad for the bite of the melted manchego.
I was very happy with the results of this dish. Do not be intimidated by the spice. On a 1-10 heat scale, I would say this recipe is a 6-7. The number of serranos used can directly change that level. We set some of the mixture aside before addidng the serranos and our daughter Kaleigh was very happy with the dish. The pasillas are hardly spicy and shouldn’t contribute too much heat.