[Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico; 23º 16.2'N/106º 27.3' W]
While at Marina Mazatlan (Sinaloa, Mexico) during Jan and Feb. 2004 we were invited to a dock party. This was not your usual potluck affair - this dock prepared nearly 80 meat/chicken and veggie grilled kabobs and provided them to anyone who showed up. Everyone else just provided a side dish. What a feast we had! Our contribution were these morsels that we'd whipped up (really, adapted) from a recipe entitled “Zesty Relleno Bites” published in a great little book called “Cooking with Baja Magic” by Ann Hazard. This stuff is deadly and it disappears! We got so many requests for the recipe, we just typed it up...
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9 x 9 “ pan (or similar).
1 large yellow bell pepper
½ large red bell pepper
~1 dozen fresh mushrooms
pinch sea salt
1 small can (3 oz) jalapeno pepper (en escabeche)
~ 2 Tb olive oil
pinch chili pepper flakes
1 lb. mozzarella cheese
1 c media crema (available in a 250 ml box, UHT pasteurized - can substitute w/ half and half)
1-2 T flour (optional)
~ ¼ tsp. ground cayenne
~ 1/8 c salsa verde
~1 c Mexican cheese, cut in small chunks (Chihuahua or Jack)
~¼ c grated romano
¼ tsp. chili powder or paprika
Slice bell peppers, de-seed and cut into ¼ x 1 “ strips. Slice mushrooms and fry with chili flakes in olive oil until water is driven off. Add bell pepper strips, pinch sea salt and continue to cook until pepper is tender and all water is driven off (ca. 5-7 min.). Add drained chopped jalapeno and cook approximately 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and spread pepper mixture evenly in pan.
Slice mozzarella thin and layer evenly onto pepper mixture. Beat eggs with media crema until fluffy (like an omelet). (If you have concern that pepper mixture is “watery”, add 1-2 Tbs flour to egg mixture.) Pour egg mixture evenly over pepper / cheese layers. Sprinkle sparingly with cayenne. Bake for ½ hour or until browned and barely bubbling. Remove from oven and spread with a thin layer of salsa verde. Layer on a mixture of grated romano and Chihuahua. Sprinkle lightly with chili powder or paprika. Bake 15 minutes more until browned and firm. Remove from oven, cool and cut into squares.