Thursday, July 30, 2009

Chiles Rellenos

Let's just get this out of the way. I've never made chiles rellenos before today. I've never even HAD chiles rellenos before today. And my Spanish-challenged tongue sure as heck can't even pronounce it correctly. Why then, oh why, would I choose to make such a ridiculously complicated recipe?

Because my poblano pepper plants are reproducing like inner city rats and I'm driven to find new ways to prepare them. That's why.

Have you ever started an ambitious project and then about half way through you just wanted to calls it quits and curl up with your new Dean Koontz novel? No? Well, that's what happened to me midway through this adventure.

By the time I'd roasted the peppers, skinned the peppers and seeded the peppers, I was ready to call it a day. This is where I admit that I don't like skinning peppers. I don't like peeling potatoes either, but that's another post, another day.

Next came stuffing the peppers. Then whipping the eggwhites to fold into the batter. I was hanging in there by a thread at this point.

I heated the oil and like Jethro in the ce-ment pond, I commenced to swimming those peppers in the pool of batter. THAT'S where it got really ugly, really fast. The cheese wanted to slip out the bottom of the peppers and the batter was dripping EVERYWHERE. I was just winging it at this point, people. Plop, drop, drip, fry. Messy. Messy. Messy. You'll pardon the lack of photos from here on out, as I have only two hands and they were both occupied. And that Bud Light? Yeah, I drank the rest of it. I had to.

The result? Very tasty. Will I make them again... NEVER! But now that I know what they are and how delicious they can be, I'll definitely order them the next time I dine at a Mexican restaurant. And I'll just point to them on the menu.

By the way, I served these with a side of my crockpot refried beans. Delish!

Chiles Rellenos

6-8 poblano peppers
6-8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, in cheese stick form

Broil whole peppers in oven, 6-8 inches from heat, turning halfway through, until blistered and charred, (10-15 minutes.) Remove from oven and place in ziploc bag. Let sit for 15 minutes. Remove from bag and peel skin off peppers. Make a slit on one side of pepper and remove seeds. Stuff peppers with cheese sticks and fold peppers over to seal. Set aside.

Batter:

1 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup beer

Mix together the flour, salt, chili powder and egg yolks. Gradually add in the beer and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into flour mixture.

In a shallow dish, place some additional flour (1/2 cup or so) and season with salt and pepper. You're going to coat your peppers in this first before dipping in the batter. This step helps the batter stick to the pepper.

Heat 3-4 inches of oil to 350 degrees in a heavy pot.

(this is where you're going to start cussing me out) Take each stuffed pepper, roll it in flour, then dunk it in the batter. Let excess batter drip into bowl. Drop pepper into heated oil and fry for 4-5 minutes. Turn and fry for another 2-3 minutes, until browned. Remove to paper towels to drain.
Use your favorite salsa or sauce to top the pepper. I used a canned red enchilada sauce because all I wanted to do at this point was drink beer and read my novel.

13 comments:

Memória said...

Oh, I made chiles rellenos before! My exgirlfriend loves them. I love how you showed the process of using the egg whites.

I wonder why so many people incorrectly call them "chile rellenos". "Chile" refers to one pepper, and "chiles" to more than one. "Rellenos" is an adjective with a plural ending, so "chiles" should be plural, too. If you're talking about just one filled pepper, it would be "chile relleno". I teach university-level Spanish, so forgive me for the long lesson. haha

Mags said...

Memoria: Consider me corrected! I've gone back and changed the "chile" to "chiles." Thank you for the information and for commenting.

Bob said...

I am totally impressed as I've done rellenos all by myself(twice) and some of the adjectives you've used brought memories of my first attempt (a total failure btw). Lol at the memory of the cheese slices coming out. I like that you included the Bud Light can in one of the fotos.!!! What a fun to read blog!!!

Now what to do with those peppers that are reproducing like.....inner city rats.lolol.

Perhaps a less ambitious two part relleno building process such as prepping peppers and freezing them for future use??? I don't know if they would freeze well though.

Mags said...

Bob: I'm totally impressed that you went back and made these a second time! I think you may be on to something by suggesting making this more of a two day project. Right now I've just decided to freeze the peppers whole and work with them as needed.

Anonymous said...

That really looks good, Maggie...I'd enjoy that dish but I'm on the " other side of 50" and peppers no longer enjoy me...

Mags said...

Anon: Embrace your inner 50 year old. Coddle it with cod liver oil on whole-grain crackers. It's all good. LOL.. thanks for commenting

Anonymous said...

I've done chiles rellenos twice and found success by shredding the cheese instead of using slices. It tends to conform to the inside of pepper better, and it seems less likely to fall out.

Mags said...

Anon, thank you for the suggestion. If I ever get the courage to make these again, I'll try it that way!

Anonymous said...

When I first started making these I found that the trickiest part for me was keeping the cheese inside the chile as it cooks. I make a BIG batch of chiles rellenos every summer (they freeze superbly) and I've found that if you place the slit side down into the oil first (and these can be done in a lot less oil) the cooking/browning on the outside will effectively seal the chile before the cheese melts and prevent the loss of filling.

Mags said...

Anon: Thanks for the tip and for commenting. I appreciate it!

Mary said...

Aloha from Hawaii. I love chiles rellenos and have tried making them a few times. The last time I let dear old hubby help and he said never again. I noticed you didn't make the tomato broth sauce to go with it. I can't imagine eating a chile relleno without the broth. Today, I'm going to try a casserole version and hope it turns out just as tasty!

Mary said...

Aloha again. Well, I can say this much, I didn't like the results of my casserole. It's the chile with the soft cheesy middle, and covered with the puffy fried egg batter, soaking up the delicious tomato broth that makes the messy process of battering the chiles and frying them worth the effort. After I fry all the chiles, I like to put them in the oven (400 deg) for about 15 minutes to crisp them - this also helps render some of the oil.
A hui hou!

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old post but in case someone stumbles along, i have a useful tip. I make my slit at the top of the chile by cutting out the stem. I then stuff and secure with a toothpick. I never loose my stuffing :)