Jennifer Zavala's downfall in the first episode of Top Chef Season 6 was her insistence on using seitan (made from wheat gluten) for vegetarian chiles rellenos, but not in a way that improved the classic stuffed peppers. She also covered her clunky, overstuffed poblanos in a thick, unappealing crust. Instead, Gail Simmons fills poblanos with a traditional mix of cheese and jalapeños, then tops them with a bright, fresh salsa. More Mexican Recipes
The unbaked stuffed poblanos and the tomato-and-avocado salsa can be refrigerated separately overnight. Bring the chiles rellenos to room temperature before baking.
Poblano chiles are generally mild, but occasionally they can be pretty spicy, so beware. Here, Gail Simmons stuffs them with a mix of pungent Parmigiano-Reggiano and mild Monterey Jack cheese, which is ideal for melting.