Chile Relleno Style Eggs in Ciabatta

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers. They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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Serves: 6

1 loaf of fresh baked ciabatta bread
2 tablespoon of olive oil, divided
2 poblano peppers
4 ounces of pancetta or bacon, diced
½ a Vidalia or sweet onion, diced
4 eggs
½ cup of milk
¼ cup of sour cream
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon of Mexican oregano
¼ teaspoon of ground cumin
¼ cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
¼ cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Place the poblano peppers on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Roast the poblanos until they are black on all sides either under a broiler or on the stovetop using tongs over a gas flame.
When the poblanos are sufficiently blackened, place in a plastic bag and let steam for about 15 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Hollow out the loaf of ciabatta bread and reserve the bread trimmings, including the crust of the bread. Dice into 1” pieces and set aside.
Brush the interior of the ciabatta bread with the olive oil and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. If using the broiler previously for the poblanos – please make sure the broiler flames are off or the top of your ciabatta might be a bit too toasty. Toast for about 7 minutes and then remove to cool while you prepare the filing.
In a small nonstick pan, crisp up the pancetta or bacon.
Remove the pancetta or bacon to a paper lined plate and discard all of the oil except for a teaspoon or so.
Add the diced onions and sauté until translucent. Set aside.
By this time, the poblanos should be cool. Remove them from the plastic bag and, using a paper towel, remove the charred skin from the poblanos. Also remove the stem, seeds and ribs.
Dice the poblano peppers and add them to the onion mixture.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and sour cream until everything is well mixed.
Add the smoked paprika, Mexican oregano, cumin, Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar cheese to the egg custard. Whisk until everything is mixed.
Add the cooled poblanos, onions and pancetta to the custard followed by the reserved bread cubes.
Add the egg mixture to the cooled toasted ciabatta loaf and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the egg mixture is cooked through and set.
Let rest for 5 minutes and then cut the ciabatta loaf into slices.
Serve immediately and enjoy!