Running: Tue, 26 Apr 2016 19:46:17

chile relleno

Chile Relleno Recipe

My girlfriend and I are vegetarian when we’re together. So, we’re always looking for recipes that make me happy, recipes that I love and that she can eat. Two of my favorite foods of all time are eggplant parmesan and chiles rellenos. She just popped me this recipe so I am storing here on my site, even though it’s originally from How to Master Flavorful Chiles Rellenos and Chiles Rellenos (Mexican-Style Cheese-Stuffed Chilies) from Serious Eats.

Chile Relleno Recipe
Serves 3
Chiles rellenos—Mexican-style stuffed and fried peppers in a roasted-tomato salsa—was one of the very first dishes I learned how to cook, using the method that my dad taught me. It mostly involved cans. I'm pretty sure that the only reason we used canned chilies back then is that it wasn't possible to get good fresh Poblano peppers in New York in the early '80s. That's not a problem anymore (and certainly not an issue near my current home in the Bay Area), and both my recipe and my technique have improved since those early can-based days. I've experimented with various chili-roasting methods and dozens of batter recipes and techniques, and I've finally nailed that salsa.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
For the Salsa Ranchera and Chilies
  1. 6 Poblano peppers
  2. 2 pounds Roma tomatoes (1kg; about 6 medium)
  3. 1 small yellow onion (about 6 ounces; 170g), split in half, unpeeled
  4. 2 to 3 serrano chilies
  5. 6 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
  6. 1/2 cup (120ml) chicken stock or water
  7. 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and tender stems (1/2 ounce; 15g)
  8. 1 tablespoon (15ml) lard or vegetable oil
  9. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Filling
  1. 1 tablespoon (15ml) lard or vegetable oil
  2. 1 small onion (about 6 ounces; 170g), finely diced
  3. 1 teaspoon (about 2g) dried oregano
  4. 1/2 pound (225g) fresh Mexican chorizo or ground pork
  5. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 10 ounces (285g) grated Jack, pepper Jack, Chihuahua, or cheddar cheese; 16 ounces (450g) if making smothered version (see note above)
To Fry
  1. 2 cups (475ml) vegetable oil
  2. 4 large eggs, separated
  3. 1 cup flour (5 ounces; 140g), divided
For the Salsa Ranchera and Chilies
  1. Adjust rack to 4 inches below broiler and preheat broiler to high. Place Poblanos, tomatoes, onion, serranos, and garlic on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil until chilies are blackened on top, about 5 minutes. Flip chilies to expose another un-blackened surface and continue broiling for another 5 minutes. Turn chilies one more time, flip tomatoes, and continue broiling until chilies are blackened all over, a few minutes longer.
  2. Transfer tomatoes, onion, garlic, serranos, stock, and cilantro to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Wrap Poblanos with foil from baking sheet and set them aside to steam. Process salsa until smooth but still a little chunky.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) lard or oil in a medium saucepan until just starting to smoke. Immediately pour all of the salsa into pan (it will bubble very violently). Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about 1/2 cup. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
For the Filling
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon (15ml) lard or vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and gently browned, about 4 minutes. Add oregano and chorizo or pork and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Immediately transfer pork mixture to a bowl with grated cheese and toss to combine. Set aside.
  2. Carefully peel chilies without tearing them. Make a slit in one and remove most of the seeds. Spoon cheese/pork mixture into the cavity and carefully close chili back up, slightly overlapping the edges. Repeat with remaining chilies. If you are making the smothered version, you should have about 1 cup of filling left over (see note above).
To Fry
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 375°F. Adjust heat to maintain temperature. Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Whisk in yolks one at a time until incorporated (do not over-whisk). Sprinkle with 1/4 cup flour and whisk just until flour is incorporated. Set aside.
  2. Place remaining flour on a shallow plate. Gently pick up one chili and roll it in flour to coat. Transfer to egg mixture and gently turn to coat. (You may have to spoon the mixture over the top if the chili is too fragile.) Using your hands or a flexible fish spatula, carefully slip one chili into hot oil. Repeat until pan is full, making sure not to crowd it. If there are any un-battered spots on the top surfaces of the chilies, dollop a small amount of batter on top to seal them. Cook until the bottom side is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn and cook until second side is browned, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer cooked chilies to a paper towel–lined plate. Repeat until all chilies are cooked.
For the Traditional Version
  1. Spoon salsa into the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with chilies and spoon a little more salsa over them. Serve immediately (or bake in a 375°F oven for a few minutes to reheat if desired).
For the Smothered Version
  1. Spoon salsa into the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with chilies and spoon a little more salsa over them. Spread remaining filling mixture over the top. Bake in a 375°F oven until melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Serious Eats
Adapted from Serious Eats

Walking: Mon, 25 Apr 2016 08:40:07

Walking commute. Will run home. #dreamfearlessly

Chris Abraham after running 5k

Quickening my 5k time week after week at #cc5kFridays

Chris Abraham's time for the #cc5kfridays race 4After nursing my aching lumbago and missing race 3 of the Crystal City 5k Fridays series of races, I stopped exercising for two whole weeks and returned for week 4.

I ran what I thought was a fast race, for me, but when I finished my girlfriend remembered a 45-something-minute time instead of my races times of: race 1, 46:17 and race 2, 46:11. Last night my time was 46:01, which was a whole ten-seconds faster!  

I will do a complete race report a little later as there were quite a few cards and happy goofs around me at the back of the pack.

For now, if I can do it, you can do it. I am 46-years old, I am over 300-pounds, and I have a very sedentary lifestyle. There’s no reason at all you can’t just get out there and run, walk, shuffle, jog, and amble. It’s highly-rewarding and there’s nothing like it.

Racing really makes me feel like I am in competition, that I am actually in a running race — and I am — and that drives so many of the decisions I make every day as a direct result. Go get ’em, tiger!

Running: Fri, 22 Apr 2016 18:25:32

My giant wallet could be giving me sciatica!

2016-04-15 11.52.57Not long after I started this blog I pinched my sciatic nerve and then wrote Fighting sciatica and fascial adhesion with a massage stick. A couple months later, it happened again and I wrote Oy! My lumbago! So, tonight I have the third race in my 5-race 5k series, Crystal City 5k Fridays and am nursing a pinched nerve that I’ll call sciatica again. 

I ran off to grab lunch with Bob Fine in DC on my motorcycle and realized that I sit on a giant natural leather Tanner Goods Utility Bifold wallet that sits in the right pocket of my jeans all the time — pressing right on my sciatic nerve. 

Piriformis muscleI was asking around and Tara Penelope Calishain told me on Facebook that the pressure of carrying a big fat leather wallet in your back pocket,  and the resulting pressure on the sciatic nerve when compressed or otherwise irritated by the piriformis muscle, causes the sort of pain, tingling and numbness in the buttocks and descending into the leg. It’s is called piriformis syndrome.

I know that my weight is a major part of this and that I sometimes wear jeans that are too tight around the waist when my weight fluctuates that there’s a lot of pressure and stress on that region. And when I am working out a lot, the muscles swell, further exacerbating the syndrome and thus the pain.

ds00516_im02917_mcdc_sciaticathu_jpgSo, now I am wondering if I should still run the 5k tonight — just 3-hours away.  I have felt a lot better today so I might chance it. But if I do, I will surely need to make sure that I do a lot of rolling and massage sticking in order to fight the pesky sciatica and fascial adhesion.

Not everyone thinks I should go for it.  

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Cycling: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 17:39:36

Running: Sun, 10 Apr 2016 16:08:26

Still not dead last and I gained a wee bit in both pace and time

Chris Abraham after Crystal City 5k Fridays race 2Last night I ran the second of five Friday night 5k runs in what’s called the Crystal City 5k Fridays series sponsored by Pacers Running.

Long and short of it: I shaved six seconds from my time last week: 46:17 vesus 46:11. Then, in terms of rank, 488th out of 497 men, this week it’s 510th out of 518 . . . I’m still not dead last!  

I am still participating in Concept2’s World Erg Challenge until April 15. After it’s over, I’ll dedicate myself to doing some serious training for running.

How to become a better runner? Run, Chris run!

raceMapI ran it with my girlfriend, who tried hanging back with me out of love and support, but I sent her away to run her awesome run. Before the race, she reminded me about nerves. Nerves are for real. 

B almost psyched herself out of running. She spent the whole morning reading up on racing. I suffer from it, too, you know. I work through all those feelings of being so slow and so heavy and so almost DFL every time I post here. 

While I was running the route, some cool blue collar dudes were working while commenting on our progress, “why would anyone spend money to run?”

That’s a good question. Know why? Well, it’s a super awesome date night. Last night, B and I get together at 6, walked to the starting line together, chatting and laughing, and limbering, and being goofballs, then we ran for about 40-46-minutes, met up, and then wandered up to 23rd street.

topResultsWe had drink coupons but abandoned them for some hummus, dolmas, spanakopita, water, and Malbec at Athena Pallas Greek Restaurant before heading home. It was a date night worthy of a serious gloat, right?  

OK, there are all of my stats from the various apps and so forth:

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Running: Fri, 8 Apr 2016 18:29:24