Portobello Mushroom and Zucchini Rellenos with Ranchero Sauce and Mexican Yellow Rice

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on May 5, 2011

A traditional Mexican chile relleno (stuffed chile) is usually a poblano chile stuffed with meat and cheese, dipped in batter and deep fried. My Portobello mushroom and zucchini relleno recipe is a little different. It is a lighter, simpler, vegetarian, vegan relleno, and it requires no frying. This recipe can get even simpler if you use store bought ranchero or enchilada sauce.

Ground annatto gives the rice its brilliant orange-yellow color. Annattos are the red seeds of the Achiote tree, often called ‘lipstick tree’ because of Annattos coloring properties.

This is a good make ahead recipe. You can make the ranchero sauce and the Mexican yellow rice ahead of time. Simply cook the vegetables the day of, heat up the sauce and rice and assemble everything!

Watch this video to see how to make Portobello rellenos stuffed with peppers and rice. It’s in Spanish, but the method is simple to watch and follow :)

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Portobello and Zucchini Rellenos in Ranchero Sauce with Mexican Yellow Rice

Serves about 4

For the ranchero sauce
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves over garlic, minced
½ jalapeno, or according to taste
½ teaspoon scant, ground cumin
½ teaspoon dry oregano
One 14 can crushed tomatoes OR 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
Salt

Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add the onions. Cook on medium heat till they are soft. Add the garlic, and jalapeno and stir 2 minutes. Then add cumin, oregano, tomatoes, and salt. Cook the same on medium heat for about 3 minutes. If you are using fresh tomatoes, they will take longer to cook.

Serve the sauce chunky or puree it in a blender. I pureed it.

You can make this sauce up to 3 days ahead.

For the vegetables
6 small portabello mushrooms (weighing about 8oz total)
1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dry oregano
1 large zucchini, cut into small cubes
½ cup cotija cheese (feta, grated pepper jack or cheddar will also work)*
Salt

* I didn’t use the cheese

Wipe the portabellos with a paper towel. Then using a small spoon, gently scrape out the dark gills. Using a small, sharp knife, remove the stem.

Brush a little oil all over the mushrooms.

Heat a skillet on medium high, and cook the mushrooms, gill side down, in a single layer for 2 minutes. Then flip the mushrooms and cook the other side another minute or till cooked through. While the second side is cooking, sprinkle salt and half the oregano over the mushrooms cavities.

In a same skillet, heat a little more oil, add the zucchini and remaining oregano. Saute on high heat for about 2 minutes or till the zucchini is tender but still a little crunchy, and not mushy. Sprinkle salt, and the cheese.

For the yellow rice
1 large or 2 small vegetable bouillon cubes*
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon achiote powder, also called ground annatto (substitute with ¾ teaspoon turmeric or saffron)
1 cup long grain rice
Chopped cilantro for garnish

*I used 2 small Herb Ox brand vegetable bouillon cubes; they are tasty and have no MSG. Maggie or Knorr stock cubes will also work.

Dissolve the bouillon cubes in warm water and set aside.

Sauté the onions in butter or olive oil in a medium saucepan. When the onions are soft, add the Achiote powder and rice. Stir on low heat for a minute.

Pour in the bullion water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low, cover the pan, and let the rice simmer for 10 minutes or till the rice is cooked, but the grains are still separate, and not mushy. Cooking time may vary depending on the rice.

Fluff rice with a fork. Garnish with cilantro.

To assemble and serve
Spread ranchero sauce on a platter. Arrange the mushrooms, gill and stem side up, over the sauce. Spoon a little zucchini and cheese into the mushroom cavities.

Serve the yellow rice on the side, along with sour cream (optional), extra cheese and extra chopped cilantro.

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Comments

comments

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa May 5, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Portobello mushrooms are so versatile. I really love that dish you created!

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Nishi May 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm

What a lovely and colour ful dish. I liked the yellow rice recipe a lot. The photographs have done complete justice to the recipe :)

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3 Soma May 5, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Can’t get enough of the gorgeous photographs and love this version way better than the meat one.

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4 Tayna May 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

This dish looks wonderful. I’m not familiar with cotija cheese – something new to try. Thanks!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

cotija is a mexican cheese that is somewhat like feta cheese.

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5 Jacqueline May 5, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Mmmmmmmmm, that sounds just lovely!

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6 Kulsum at JourneyKitchen May 5, 2011 at 4:46 pm

I’m certain with a meal like this I would not miss the meat. Looks great Sala!

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7 Sarah May 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm

How can it be a relleno without cheese?

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

“relleno” means stuffed, not cheese :) i left out the cheese because i wanted to keep it light. you can ofcourse, add cheese like i mention in the recipe.

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8 Jen (The Domestic Diva) May 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I love that you subbed portobello mushrooms into this dish. What a great take on a veggie meal! I can’t wait to try this for Meatless Monday one of these days.

xoxo
Jen

Domestic Divas
“Food Is Love”
http://www.domesticdivasblog.com

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9 VM May 5, 2011 at 9:24 pm

That rice could make a South Indian like me salivate on a full stomach! Gorgeous pictures. Happy cinco de mayo to you too.

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10 Jun May 5, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Wooow, it looks super duper delicious! I love Mexican food!

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11 Indu May 6, 2011 at 12:04 am

The pics are awesome…..love the mushrooms in the pics………and this does not seem to be too tough to make, but looks grand…..

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12 Sarah May 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm

This looks just delicious. I am always looking for ways to impress the Mexican bf with his homeland cooking…this could be a modernized winner!

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13 Viswa May 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Love that you made it light.. Very nice..

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14 Jojo May 7, 2011 at 5:10 am

This is such a wonderful, light meal. Gorgeous photos, too!

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15 Mei Teng May 7, 2011 at 5:10 am

Lovely dish. Love the last two photos.

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16 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets May 7, 2011 at 2:50 pm

So mouthwatering, Sala! I can’t wait to have our macaron party being excited at the possibility of having food like this =D. By the way, that 3rd photo is especially stunning. Love the lighting, composition, everything!

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17 Mushrooms Canada May 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Such a gorgeous recipe! I love the contrast of colours.
- Brittany

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18 Ami May 14, 2011 at 5:42 am

Hi Sala,

As u know I’m a huge fan of your site. I’d say you’re an expert food blogger, your pictures are perfect.

So as a small time blogger I’m trying to learn a lot from your blog. How do you combine 2 photos into one. like the second photo in this post “annato and rice” photo? What tool do you use to combine them?

Thanks for your help

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

I use photoshop. Its really simple to do in most photo editing softwares. You first open and empty canvas in the size of both pics combine. Then you click and drag (depending on the program you are using) both photos into the empty canvas. If you dont have photoshop, you can use a free photo software to do this. In picasa, you can use the collage function. I believe picnik also has this feature. For more info try googling “how to create a diptych”.

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Ami Reply:

Thanks a lot for your prompt and informative reply. now I know what to research on. Thank again…hv a grt wk end!

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19 Carey May 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I’m going to try this recipe. I just hope I can get my rice to look as great as yours!

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20 Kathy Wolf May 16, 2011 at 11:18 am

I love portabella mushrooms and your rice looks great. Hope it all turns out as yummy as your pictures.

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21 Ashley June 1, 2011 at 11:45 am

Everything looks delicious! I’m glad I found your blog!

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