Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chiles Rellenos

Is one of your New Year's resolutions to lose weight? Then, I suggest you move along... move along... because these aren't the recipes you're looking for. Before you go about your business, if you do allow yourself a cheat day, indulge in this recipe for Chiles Rellenos!

Chiles Rellenos are quite the treat! It's a roasted poblano pepper stuffed with your choice ingredient (usually cheese or ground beef), then egg battered, deep fried, and bathed in a savory tomato sauce. For this recipe, I like to use queso fresco. The smooth and salty flavor of the cheese really compliments the smokey flavor of the poblano. If you don't have queso fresco, feel free to use a mixture of half mozzarella and half monterey jack cheese.I hope you have a good electric mixer or a really big muscley arm to beat some egg whites and get to stuffing!

Note: See that little tomato icon down there? That's my super fancy way of noting that this is a vegetarian friendly dish!

Chiles Rellenos
Serves 4


4 poblano peppers
2 cups of queso fresco, crumbled
1 cup all-purpose flour (reserve half for dredging)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
5 egg whites, room temperature
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1-2 cups of vegetable oil
Tomato sauce (recipe to follow)
Crema Mexicana (Mexican cream), creme fraiche, or sour cream
10 toothpicks


Place the peppers on a skillet over medium-low heat. As each side gets roasted (turns black), turn each pepper, making sure that all sides have been roasted. Once the peppers have been roasted, and cooked through, place in a plastic bag and close tightly. Leave them in the bag for about 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are up, remove the peppers and begin peeling the charred skin off. Once all the skin has been removed, cut a slit down the side of each pepper (lengthwise), remove seeds, and veins.

Take a handful of your filling (i.e. cheese or beef) and compact it in your hand, forming a sort of "ball" and insert into each pepper through the slit that you made earlier. Be gentle when handling the peppers, you don't want them to tear. Close the slit and pin together with toothpicks. Try to use the same number of toothpicks for each pepper. You'll need to remove them later and this makes it easier to know how many need to be removed from each pepper. Dredge each pepper in flour, dusting off excess, and set on a plate. Once you have dredged all the peppers, cover, and let them set in the freezer for about 25 minutes.

Mix 1/3 cup of flour, salt, garlic and onion powder in a bowl and set aside. In a separate, chilled, bowl, beat the egg whites until the whites form a stiff peak. Gently fold in the egg yolk and flour-salt mixture. Once everything has been incorporated well, remove the peppers from the freezer and dredge them in flour again, dusting off excess. Hold the pepper by the stem and dip into the egg batter, making sure it is fully coated (be gentle).

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil has reached frying temperature, gently place the battered peppers into the oil and fry on both sides until golden brown. Use a large cooking spoon to gently pour oil over the side that is facing up, this helps when you have to flip them. Remove peppers to a paper towel-lined plate. Now for the tricky part. Gently feel around and find those pesky toothpicks. REMOVE THE TOOTHPICKS!

Serve on a plate and pour a generous amount of tomato sauce over it and a tablespoon of cream.

Now get to om nom noming!

Tomato Sauce


3 medium size tomatoes, stewed
1/4 onion
1 garlic clove
1 tbs chicken bullion
1/2 tsp cumin
Pinch of ground clove
1 tsp Oregano
1 tbs oil


In a blender, add tomato, onion, and garlic. Blend until smooth.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat on a skillet. Fry the mix, when it starts boiling add 1/4 cup of water, bullion, clove, and oregano. Lower heat and allow to cook for 5 more minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.

Serving Suggestions:
Over a bed of rice
Remove the stem and cut into four parts. Make yourself a vegetarian burrito!
Heat up some tortillas and make tacos.

Produce Selection Tip:
When choosing poblano peppers, look for a deep green color, free of bruising, with a firm skin. For this recipe, pick peppers with a long stem, it will help with the battering process.

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