Yes, You Can Make Chiles Rellenos at Home

Yes, you can make Chiles Rellenos at home.  (Even if you have failed before.)

Chile Relleno

Chile Relleno

If by some chance you aren’t familiar with the mildly spicy Mexican dish, Wikipedia describes it as follows:

“The chile relleno is a dish of Mexican cuisine that originated in the city of Puebla. It consists of a stuffed, roasted, fresh poblano pepper sometimes substituted with non-traditional Hatch chile, Anaheim, pasilla or even jalapeño chili pepper.  In current cuisine, it is typically stuffed with melted cheese, such as queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca or picadillo, meat made of diced pork, raisins and nuts, seasoned with canella; covered in an egg batter or simply corn masa flour and fried.Although it is often served in a tomato sauce, the sauces can vary.”

I don’t lay any claim to authenticity in this recipe, but limit my assertion to just one thing–I was successful when I made it.  Twice even!  To make things better yet, the recipe is amenable to preparing as a single serving, which means I can give myself a treat any time I want.

Special Lunch??

Special Lunch??

The impetus behind this attempt came from two things.  First Rare Earth Farm, one of my CSAs, sent home a bagful of peppers, including a few Poblanos.   Second, buried in  fresh food at the moment, we had just instituted an outside-food-buying moratorium.  That meant no more running out to Trader Joe’s for their frozen Chiles Rellenos.  But now I can make them at home!

Mmmm--Poblano Peppers from the CSA

Mmmm–Poblano Peppers from the CSA

The secret to the ease of this recipe lies in the battering technique (which you will see in the directions/pictures).  I had previous problems with batter not sticking to the peppers.  With this clever innovation (out of Chow)  the problem was solved.  For my version, I used prepared salsa (which I can myself or buy in bulk) to make the dish even easier.

Mmmm.  Now I just need to work on my husband’s fear of chiles!

rellanos-served

Chiles Rellenos

Ingredients (per serving–multiply as needed)

  • 1 medium poblano chile
  • About 1/2 c shredded mild cheese (like Monterey Jack)
  • 1 large egg
  •  Pinch of salt
  • Oil for frying
  • 1/3 c prepared salsa

Directions

  1. Remove stem end of chile, then insert knive through opening to remove seeds and ribs (Alternatively if you want to leave the stem attached, you can make a “T” shaped cut with the top of the “T” at the stem end of the pepper and remove the seeds and ribs through this cut).
    Cut out ribs and seeds

    Cut out ribs and seeds

    No more seeds or ribs

    No more seeds or ribs

  2. Place chile(s) on aluminum foil under broiler. Broil, turning occasionally with tongs, until the chile blackens and blisters on all sides.  Watch carefully–peppers are flammable!  Cover the chile and allow to steam until cool enough to handle. Gently peel/scrape away and discard the chile skin, being careful not to tear the flesh; set the chile aside.

    Char under broiler for skin removal

    Char under broiler for skin removal

  3. Stuff the chile with about 1/2 c of cheese again being careful not to tear it. Set aside.

    Pepper with cheese

    Pepper with cheese

  4. Beat the egg whites and salt on high speed until stiff peaks form.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolk until frothy.  Fold the beaten yolks into the beaten whites until just combined (do not deflate the egg whites); set aside.

    Make the batter

    Make the batter

  5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until hot. Drop about 1/2  cup of the batter into the oil and spread it to about the same size as the stuffed chile. Lay the chile on top of the mound of batter. Drop another 1/2 cup of batter on top of the chile, spreading it to cover the sides and encase the chile. Cook without disturbing until the bottom of the chile relleno is golden brown. Using a flat spatula and a fork, carefully flip the chile relleno over and cook until the other side is golden brown. If you are making more than one, transfer the chile relleno to the oven to keep warm and repeat with the remaining stuffed chiles.
    Set pepper in batter

    Set pepper in batter

    Layer batter on top

    Layer batter on top

    Cover with batter

    Cover with batter

    Turn when golden (do not get distracted by photographing your work and allow to get too brown)

    Turn when golden (do not get distracted by photographing your work and allow to get too brown)

  6. To serve, spread 1/3 cup of warm salsa on each plate and top with a chile relleno. Serve immediately.

rellanos-sq

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18 thoughts on “Yes, You Can Make Chiles Rellenos at Home

  1. Tammy

    I have a favorite restaurant here that makes my favorite rellenos. When I was growing up, this was our after school snack. My mother used egg roll wrappers and after assembly and cooking, she froze them individually.

  2. Claire

    I’ve never heard of them before but OMG I want to try them and SOON. I doubt I’ll be able to get the same peppers or cheese but where there is a will there is a way !

    1. Inger

      Any mild cheese that melts will work for this. Poblanos are supposed to have just a little heat (though mine were very mild), so if you can find a thinner skinned pepper with a little kick you are there (or maybe get some more kick in your salsa if needed…)

    1. Inger

      I don’t think there is any gluten in this (batter is egg and salt), but if you don’t like spicy food, then just looking would be best!

    1. Inger

      I was very happy to find something that I could do after totally failing before! I like cheese and onion enchiladas eating out Mexican too. And Margaritas 😉

  3. Louise

    Oh how I adore Chiles Rellenos, Inger. You have done a superb job of gathering such goodness into one tempting pepper. My Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell Chiles Rellenos. I was just there yesterday. I will definitely have to try making these. I saved the recipe in my “someday” file. I have had such a craving for Mexican food but Chiles Rellenos are my very best favorite. Thank you so much for sharing, Inger…

    1. Inger

      I was so excited when these turned out Louise. Now I don’t need an excuse to have them, I can just say I’m using up food from the CSA. I’ll be trying this with some of the poblanos I froze next…

  4. Kathy

    This is a recipe to remember. It really looks good, Inger! I have never tried to make this at home, but would now feel comfortable doing so.

    1. Inger

      I do get frustrated when the recipe looks so easy online and then completely fails when I make it. Trying to dip ice cream bars last summer comes to mind as another notable failure… But I’m glad I tried a new method with these–persistence can pay off!

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