~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chile Rellenos...Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Chile Rellenos...Cheese Stuffed Poblano Peppers. A few weeks ago, my husband came home and told me about a conversation he had had with a co-worker that day. The conversation was mainly work related... but somehow it sort of veered towards another topic...food of all things:). They chatted about different recipes, Mexican food....and chile rellenos. In the course of their conversation, his co-worker mentioned how a small restaurant had opened up here in town. He thought my husband should give it a try, as they had some great chile rellenos on the menu....
As we rarely go out to eat, I decided to surprise my husband and make him some chile rellenos at home....for the very first time. To be truthfully honest, I've never made the chille rellenos because of all the frying that's involved. Not that I don't fry. I probably fry a few times during the year...and since I couldn't remember when I last fried anything, I decided it was about that time:).
While this was my first attempt at making and eating chile rellenos, I thought to share a few tips I've learned below:
  • It makes frying a TON easier by having the stem on the poblanos...really important to buy poblanos with stems on( gives you a nice grip on the chiles before placing them in the hot oil).... and you want the chiles to be as straight as you can get them(free of too many wrinkles as the wrinkles will cause tears).
  • While some recipes have you deep-fry the peppers, I found that a shallow fry( with about 1-2 inches of oil) was just right for the peppers.
  • Freezing the stuffed chiles before battering them up helps tremendously... so that the chiles don't unravel or worse yet have cheese ooze out when frying.
  • Baking the chiles after they have been fried, renders out some more of the fat and crisps up the chiles quite nicely...at the same time ensures the cheese melts and is piping hot when you serve them. It's also nice because you can fry ahead and then re-crisp them later.
  • Though I prefer the chile rellenos freshly made, I found that freezing them after they have been fried and re-heating them in the oven/toaster doesn't affect the overall taste or flavor. It's only a thought... especially if you are making a larger batch and don't want to eat them all at one sitting:). I made four.... we ate 2 (freshly made) and froze 2... we enjoyed the latter just as much a couple of weeks later. But, it is up to you...
  • Be creative with the filling...opt to add meat, onion, garlic and other vegetables for more flavor and variety. The cheese filling is much milder in taste...though excellent.
  • While I used a homemade chile/tomato sauce for the photos, I much prefer an enchilada sort of sauce using dried peppers...such as my easy homemade red chile sauce, which I served with my second batch.
I ended up looking at a few recipes...Rick Bayless' version: for tips_____ and then Use Real Butter for the batter recipe. I combined the 2 and came up with my version. We really liked the chile rellenos...they were well worth it. You might want to skip breakfast and forget about dinner when it comes to this meal:). Really, they aren't that bad... once in a while. Hope you enjoy...

Note: If using 4 peppers, you will probably have about 1/2 cup (or so) leftover batter...try using it to make some quick stuffed jalapenos (stuffed with crab or cheese...or whatever you like). I had some fresh sage leaves growing in my garden and I chose to batter them up:).

You will need:

Chiles and Stuffing:
4-5 large fresh poblanos
8 oz grated melting cheese*
* I used a mixture...(5 oz of pepper jack cheese and 3 oz. queso fresco cheese)

Batter: I think next time I would like to add some onion powder, for extra flavor and just to make it my own:)
2/3 cup flour
pinch of baking powder, optional
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
2 eggs separated
1/3 cup water, or as needed

flour for dredging chiles
oil for frying, I used grapeseed


1. Roast chiles...either on the grilll or in oven/toaster oven under broiler.This time around, I made them in the toaster oven. Cover and let steam. Peel peppers and cut a slit on one side from top to almost the bottom...de-seed being careful not to tear the chiles and rinse really quickly. Keep the stems in tact.
2. Stuff the chiles with cheese...leaving enough room to be able to overlap the chile. I like to keep the chile in the palm of my hand while stuffing the chile and then molding it to make sure the cheese settles in the entire pepper. Try not to overstuff the peppers....but still have plenty of cheese.
3. Use toothpicks to secure(being careful not to tear the chiles)...or if you are confident, skip the toothpicks.
4. Do the same with all the peppers and place them in the freezer 1-2 hours ...or until hardened.

Make Batter:
Remove the peppers from the freezer, just before making the batter.

1. Mix flour, salt and pinch of baking powder in a bowl.
2. Separate eggs.... adding the egg yolks to the flour mixture. Place the egg whites in another bowl.
3. Combine the flour mixture with the egg yolks and slowly stir in 1/3 cup water...
4. Beat egg whites till stiff.
5. Fold the egg whites into the batter.... being careful not to over-mix and deflate the batter. The batter should slowly fall off the spoon... not too watery not to stiff.

Assemble Chile Rellenos:
While I left the toothpicks on the whole time...I think it would be better to remove the toothpicks after you take the chiles out from the freezer and before placing the chile in the batter... or simply remove before serving, just don't forget:).

1. Heat a skillet on med heat. Add oil( 1 inch high or so) and bring temperature to 350 deg F.
2. Dredge chiles in a bit of flour and then dip in batter. You will probably need to spoon some of the batter over the chiles so that it gets evenly coated.
3. Holding the chile by the stem, slowly drop it in the hot oil, cook until nicely golden on one side, and then turn over and cook the second side till golden. Remove unto paper towel or a rack. If you have room in your skillet, you can do more than one chile at a time.

5. Right before serving place the fried chiles on a baking sheet and bake at 400 deg F for a few more minutes...or until crisp and hot. Some of the the oil in the batter will get rendered out a bit. Serve at once....over a tomato/chile based sauce or enchilada sauce or tomato broth.


Speranta said...

Merita incercata reteta!Imi place foarte mult,frumoasa prezentare !

Iti doresc o saptamana placuta :)

Mihaela said...

They look so yummy, and the batter seems so fluffy, I should give it a try sometimes :) Thanks for posting the recipe! Nice presentation, like always :)

Ellie said...

Speranta, Chiar au fost buni...si merita din cand in cand:). O zi minunata!

Mihaela,Thank you! The chile rellenos are definitely worth trying...the batter is really nice and fluffy, and it just goes so well together with the roasted poblano and cheese. We enjoyed them...very much:). Have a great day!

Katie said...

Genius! Your tip about freezing the peppers is absolutely brilliant and has completely made my day. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Ellie said...

Katie, You are most welcome...though I have to give Rick Bayless credit for the tip on freezing the poblanos. But I am still glad I could be of help and pass the tip along:)...
I thought it was a brilliant idea myself...and it worked beautifully!

chiles jalapeños said...

Thanks a lot for those tips!

Ellie said...

Chiles jalapeños, Oh you are welcome. Glad I could be of help.

Terry said...

Tip for dipping.
Instead of trying to dip your Chile Rellenos in a bowl to coat them, try using a tall cup like the 32oz ones you see at the convience store. Makes dipping easy(straight down and back up holding the stem) and just keep adding batter to the cup as you need it. This helps to keep the "stiffness" of your longer.

Ellie said...

Terry, Thanks so much for the tip! What a great idea to use a glass to pour the batter in and then dip the chiles in.... much easier and cleaner too. Love it! Thanks for taking the time to share your tip so others can benefit. Really appreciate it!

Kim said...

Thanks for a well written recipe! I'll be making these for Father's Day and then placing them in the middle of a juicy burger.

Ellie said...

Kim, You are welcome! That will be one of a kind burger:) Have a great Father's Day... and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

These are fabulous! my husband's comment while these were cooking "it smells like a Mexican restaurant in here!!" SO happy to have really found a recipe that makes "authentic" Chile Rellenos!!! Thank you!

Ellie said...

Anon, Oh, you are most welcome! SO glad you enjoyed it. Your comment simply made my day:)! Thank you for sharing your feedback and for stopping by. I really appreciate it!

Walrus said...

Spanish Rice would go great with the Chile Rellenos.
1 cup rice
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
4 cups of water
1 tablespoon Knorr chicken flavor bouillon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
In a 12 inch frying pan pour the oil and let it get hot (medium to high heat). Add the rice and stir until fried (golden brown like the color of french fries). Turn down the heat to low and add the 4 cups of water (be very careful of the steam that will come up...it can burn you). Add the can of tomato sauce and the chicken bouillon and stir. Cover and simmer until the rice opens up and the water has evaporated.
The amount of water can be adjusted for humidity (half a cup more if you live in a dry region). Stir a couple of times during the cooking so that the tomato sauce doesn't bubble away from the middle.
This recipe can also be used to make other Mexican pastas. In the Mexican section of the grocery store, you can find pastas in small 7oz bags that are just enough for one 12 inch frying pan. Fideo (like thin spaghetti) Letters, Stars, Mellon Seeds, Small Shells and other fun shapes. Add an extra cup of water for these pastas since they are served a little "soupy". To reheat, portion out the plate or bowl and sprinkle with a little water so that it steams instead of drying.
Ellie, thanks for the freezing hint on the chile rellenos. It never occurred to me to hold it together that way.

Ellie said...

Walrus, I am glad I could be of help with the freezing tip. It's a life saver:).
Thanks a bunch for stopping by and sharing your Spanish rice recipe! It sounds delicious and hope to try it one day:)... appreciate you sharing it.