Chiles Rellenos

An iconic dish of Mexico — roasted, peeled poblano chiles stuffed with cheese, dipped in an egg batter and fried. Served with a simple tomato sauce.

Warmed, left-over chile rellenos are great as a sandwich in a toasted bun.

Ingredients:

  • 6 thick-walled poblano chiles
  • 1/2 lb. (230 grams) cheese of your choice, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup (50 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 lbs. (900 grams) fresh tomatoes”>tomatoes or canned tomatoes”>tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon dry Mexican oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • mild vegetable oil for frying

Instructions:

  • Grill poblano chiles until blackened and blistered (see my blog if you need detailed instructions)
  • While poblanos are steaming, cut tomatoes into quarters or eighths, depending on their size, and squeeze out seeds. Strain seeds, saving the juice.
  • Roughly chop onion and garlic.
  • Pure tomatoes, juice, onion and garlic in blender. Fry the sauce. (Yes, you read it right. “Fry” is the verb used in Mexican cookbooks to describe making a cooked salsa.) Bring 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a moderately high temperature in the skillet, add the tomato mixture, and stand back it will spatter and spit a bit, but will calm down as you stir it. Add dry Mexican oregano (not Greek oregano) and stir occasionally while simmering for 15 minutes. Salt to taste, but don’t skimp on the salt. Too little will result in a flat-tasting sauce.
  • While the sauce is simmering, peel and seed chiles and stuff with wedges of cheese. If the piece of cheese is not too large, you can slightly fold the flap of chile over the other side of the slit, sealing the cheese in. The cooked egg batter will hold this flap closed.
  • For egg coating: beat egg whites with 1/4 teaspoon of salt until stiff but not dry. Fold in egg yolks, one at a time. This is the chile coating. There is no flour added.
  • Holding the flap closed, roll each chile in flour, without getting flour inside the chile. The idea is to completely coat it so that the egg has something to stick to. Then dip each chile in the beaten egg to completely coat it.
  • Heat oil to 350 deg. F. (180 C.) Oil should be 3/4″-1″deep.
  • Cook only two chiles at a time.Turn the chiles over after 30-45 seconds in the oil, or until they are golden brown on all sides. Place on several layers of paper towels to absorb oil. Keep warm on a hot plate or in a 200 deg. F. (95 C.) oven while you batter and cook the remaining chiles.
  • When all are done, spoon hot tomato sauce into individual dishes or a large platter and arrange chiles rellenos on the sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs or chopped cilantro.

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Chiles Rellenos