Chile Relleno - Stuffed Green Chillies

Chile Relleno – Stuffed Green Chillies

Chilli Relleno (chile relleno, literally “stuffed chilli”), is a dish of Mexican cuisine that originated in the city of Puebla. It consists of a stuffed, roasted, fresh poblano pepper (a mild chilli pepper named after the city of Puebla), sometimes substituted with non-traditional Hatch chilli, Anaheim, pasilla or even jalapeño chilli pepper. In its earliest incarnations, it was described as a “green chilli pepper stuffed with minced meat and coated with eggs”. 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.

There are versions in Mexico using rehydrated dry chillies such as anchos or pasillas.

In the U.S. chillies rellenos are usually filled with asadero, asiago, or Monterey Jack cheese, but can also be found with cheddar or other cheeses. The chile is then dipped in an egg batter and either pan fried or deep fried. Variations include pecan encrusted and crab filled. Chiles rellenos are a popular cuisine in the state of New Mexico where the Hatch Chile is revered for its slender (rather than round) shape and medium to hot flavour. In the U.S., rellenos are typically served with red or green chilli sauce or mole.

Chile Relleno - Stuffed Green Chillies
Classic chiles rellenos are green chillies, blackened and outer skin removed, stuffed with either cheese or a pork sausage picadillo, dipped in batter, fried in oil, and served with a thin tomato sauce.
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour for dredging
For the sauce
  • 400 g can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½; cups chicken broth
  • 1½ tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For final coating
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 5 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 1 cup oil for frying, or as needed
  • sour cream, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven's griller and set the oven rack at about 15 cm from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil, and place the peppers onto the prepared baking sheet.
  2. Cook under the preheated griller until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, 8 to 10 minutes per side. When the peppers are about 80 percent blackened, place them a plastic bag, seal, and allow the peppers to steam as they cool, about 20 minutes. Once cool, remove the skins and discard. Cut a slit lengthwise into the side of each pepper, and remove seeds and veins. To reduce spiciness, rinse out any remaining seeds with water. Pat the peppers dry with paper towels.
  3. Mix together the shredded mozzarella and Cheddar cheese in a bowl until thoroughly blended. Divide the cheese into 4 portions, and squeeze each portion lightly in your hands to make a cone shape. Insert a cone into the slit in each pepper, and pin the openings closed with toothpicks. Dredge each pepper in flour, dust off the excess, and place on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper or waxed paper. Place the peppers in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
To make the sauce
  1. Blend the stewed tomatoes in a blender until pureed, and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook and stir the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cook and stir for about 30 seconds, and pour in the pureed tomatoes, chicken broth, vinegar, oregano, cumin, black pepper, hot pepper sauce, and cinnamon.
  4. Reduce to medium-low, and simmer the sauce until reduced by half and thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring often.
To finish
  1. Preheat an oven to 95°C, and warm a serving platter in the oven.
  2. To make batter and finish the chillies rellenos, mix ⅓ cup flour with salt in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until the whites form stiff peaks.
  4. Lightly mix the egg yolk and flour-salt mixture into the egg whites to make a fluffy batter.
  5. Remove peppers from freezer and coat them in flour again; shake off excess flour, and dip each pepper into the egg batter, using a spoon to gently but completely coat each pepper with batter.
  6. Heat frying oil in a heavy cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers.
  7. Gently lay the coated peppers into the hot oil, and fry on both sides until the batter is golden brown and the cheese filling is hot, about 5 minutes per side.
  8. Remove peppers to warmed platter while you finish frying.
  9. To serve, ladle a generous spoonful of sauce onto plate, and place pepper on sauce. Serve peppers hot with a dollop of sour cream.

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