Chile Rellenos

Chile rellenos have been one of my favorite Mexican dishes for years now. (If I’m going to a Mexican restaurant for the first time, that’s the first thing I’ll look for on the menu.) There’s something addictive about the combination of the melty cheese, the kick and the slight sweetness from the roasted poblano pepper, and the delicately crispy egg batter. Top it off with your favorite salsa, and you’re good to go!

I love how short and simple this ingredient list is, and how much the flavors all shine through. This recipe does take some time to prepare, but MAN, is it worth it. To give you an idea of how good these are, when I had my husband try these, he ended up eating 4 of these peppers on his own!

If you’re like me and you love having some spice in your foods, you can keep some of the seeds in the peppers. Poblanos are generally milder than jalapeños, so even if you do keep the seeds in, it probably won’t be enough to make you immediately reach for the milk. If you want to keep the flavor mild, though, feel free to get those seeds out.

If you’re in the mood for something new, give these a shot!

Chile Rellenos

6 poblano peppers

8 oz cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2/3 cup flour

2 eggs, separated

Oil for frying

Pierce the poblanos, lay them on a foil-lined baking sheet, and place under a broiler for 10-15 minutes, turning the peppers every few minutes until the skins are evenly blistered and darkened. Remove the peppers to a metal bowl, and cover for 10 minutes to help loosen the skins. Peel the skins off (they should remove easily), pat the peppers dry with a paper towel, then cut a slit into the peppers to remove the seeds (unless you want to maintain the heat) and fill the peppers with the cheese. Use toothpicks to close the slit on the peppers.

In a small metal mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with a hand mixer on high speed until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold the yolks into the egg whites until the mixture is a light yellow color throughout.

Place a large, deep sauté pan on medium heat, and heat up about 1 cup of oil in the pan. Prepare a breading station; put the flour in one bowl, and set the egg mixture next to it. Dredge the prepared peppers in the flour, then dip it in the egg mixture.

Carefully lay the peppers seam side up in the oil and pan fry for about 5-6 minutes, until the batter is lightly golden brown and the cheese is melted; flip the peppers and repeat on the seam side. Remove from the pan, let drain for a minute on a rack, take out the toothpicks, then serve.

Makes 6 peppers.


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