One of the things I enjoy is seeing how recipes change after arriving on foreign shores, much like the people who carry those family treasures with them. Several weeks ago our friends Susan and Isaac stopped by on a Saturday afternoon. Although our friends were born in Mexico, their parents were immigrants who hailed from Hungary and Poland. Since I too am of Polish ancestry it is always amusing to see how some of the recipes that both Isaac and I grew up eating either were “Mexicanized” by his family or “Americanized” by mine. Over the years I have learned that if Isaac comes over for cholent or jellied calves feet, no matter how well I season the dish, he is going to ask for hot sauce. As I watch him pour this spicy red liquid over my creation I sit and wonder “what my mother would think if she saw him do that.” I have adapted and even come to love some of the Schmidt family creations. Gribenes (fried pieces of chicken fat) in a taco with guacamole or chicken soup that smells like mine but is REALLY spicy.
So, when Isaac and Susan came bearing gifts, leftovers from their Shabbat dinner, we knew we were in for a treat. Susan uncovered the plate which held several chiles, cooked in the style of chile rellenos, something I truly love. Then the surprise. We cut into the chile and instead of cheese, they were filled with kasha, the grain of my youth. Plain, simple, hearty kasha stuffed into a pepper and fried. How delicious.
So here is to old friends, old recipes and new twists.
Chiles stuffed with Kasha
8 fresh green chiles (Poblano or Anaheim (with stems intact, if possible).
Prepare Kasha cooked according to the directions on the box. I add lots of fried onions.
3 tbs flour
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp pepper
1/4 cup oil
Stuff each chile with prepared kasha and set aside. Separate eggs and beat the whites until stiff. Beat yolks and fold into whites, along with flour, salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet. Dip stuffed chiles, one at a time, into egg batter to coat, then remove with a large spoon. Carefully lower coated chiles into hot oil, 3 or 4 at a time. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Place in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Here’s a link to a cookbook project that my friends are working on: