Ok, I finally did it--made "vegetarian" chile rellenos and they were actually quite tasty. Through the years I've had eggplant fixed two different ways: eggplant parmesan or breaded and fried. It's great both ways, but boring. I subscribe to a blog called My New Roots and this lady comes up with some really interesting ways to prepare veggies. She uses eggplant as a neutral base for other flavors much as you would rice or pasta. Because it is sort of bland it soaks up other flavors nicely.
The ingredients in this dish are:
1 eggplant prepared and chopped (see below)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 Anaheim Chiles halved lengthwise and seeded
dash of cumin
4 small flour tortillas
oil for sauteeing
Monterrey Jack (or similar) cheese
Sour cream or cream cheese
splash of milk
The first step in making this dish is to peel and slice the eggplant then salt it really well and set aside for about 20 minutes. This causes a lot of the moisture to come out of the eggplant then you take paper towels and dry it off. Pulse the eggplant in a food processor until the consistency of ground meat (see where I'm going now?)
In a pan saute some chopped onion and a little garlic. I also put the anaheim chiles in this pan to soften up a bit before placing in tortillas. After the onion is soft, add the eggplant and a dash of cumin, salt and pepper to taste. I stirred this around for about 8-10 minutes to get more moisture out. When you're satisfied with this conglomeration, heat up just a tad of oil in a frying pan large enough to accommodate two tortillas and spread out a chile pepper on one of the tortillas. Add eggplant mixture and top with cheese (I used Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve cheese--YUMMY!) then top with the other tortilla. Place in pan on medium low heat until that side is browning then flip it over and repeat.
I made a sauce with some of the cheese, a dollop of whipped cream cheese and a splash of milk, then topped it with some freshly made salsa.
Footnote: The Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve cheese AND the whipped cream cheese was purchased at a local grocery stored called United Grocery Outlet or UGO. The cream cheese was 50 cents a cup and the cheddar cheese was $1.29! If one were purchasing cheese for this dish I'd say Monterey Jack would work and sour cream would work in the sauce--HOWEVER if you've been reading my recipes very much you'll know that I never have everything in the pantry that a recipe calls for so improvising is one of my strong points!