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Fire-roasted Chile Relleno in home economics (VIDEO)

As part of art teacher Sharon Scharf’s home economics class, students make Chile Relleno in the Ground Zero kitchen, Oct. 5.

Students fire-roasted chiles, sliced them open, cleaned out the seeds, filled them with cheese and bagged them for eating; they also made corn tortillas with matzo akena.

The idea originated from Scharf?s son-in-law?s grandmother, who lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When visiting her relative in 2002, Scharf learned how to make Chile Relleno. The same year, Scharf visited Sante Fe and took a class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, which built more on to the concept.

?I think we’ve been making the Chile Relleno for about 10 years,? Scharf said. ?The idea came from two sources — first, my son-in-law’s grandmother, who lives in Las Cruces New Mexico and who raised him, showed us how when we visited her in 2002. That same year, we also visited Santa Fe and took a class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, which added to the idea.?

While California educators emphasize teaching about various cultures, Scharf enjoys teaching about the unusual cusine.

?California educators stress multicultural lessons, so I thought how much more multicultural can you get?? Scharf said. ?I get to teach about the uniqueness of Santa Fe and its cuisine, and bring in a little American history about the Santa Fe Trail.?

Along with fire-roasting chiles on Scharf?s chile roaster, students have the capability to do it in their own homes due to its simplicity.

?It’s one of those techniques many would not try thinking it’s too complex,? Scharf said. ?We fire-roast our chiles on my chile roaster, but you can do it on your BBQ at home. It’s one of those menu items you can dazzle your friends with!?

According to Scharf, one cannot purchase New Mexico chiles in California, but she raises her own. Having a good amount this year, she was able to make green sauce, but had to purchase Anaheim Chiles for the students to make their rellenos out of.

While Scharf makes green and red sauce to eat with the students, and for them to learn about, her favorite part is making corn tortillas.

?I think the favorite part of this lesson is making the corn tortillas,? Scharf said. ?I make green sauce and red sauce to eat them with, and the students learn about ‘Christmas.’ The students can make as many tortillas as they can eat and have time to make, and we become a tortilla-making factory!?

For more information, read the Nov. 26, 2010 article, 9-foot burrito challenges student chefs.

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