Chiles rellenos (“stuffed peppers”) have always been a fixture on local Mexican menus, with a great deal of variation in quality from one version to the next. Now that fresh Anaheim or poblano chiles (both mild varieties) can be found in stores easily, we can make this with some authenticity. I find it makes a better side dish than a main course, and I think it works well without a sauce–although a Mexican red sauce or a cheese sauce would not be bad.
- 4 fresh Anaheim or poblano green chile peppers
- 1 cup grated asadero or Monterey Jack cheese
- 1/3 cup onion, chopped very fine
- 3 large eggs
- 2 Tbs. flour
- 1/4 tsp. Creole seasoning
- 1 cup light vegetable oil
1. Roast the peppers over a flame or under the broiler until the skins are blackened and blistered. Cool them in a plastic container for about a half hour (they won’t dry out that way). When cool, peel the black outer skin off. Slice around the stem end and pull out the inner seed pod, making sure to get all the seeds out. Wash your hands well after handling chiles, or wear gloves when working with them.
2. Combine the cheese and the onions, and stuff each pepper with the loose mixture, being careful not to tear the soft peppers.
3. Separate the eggs, and beat the whites till fluffy. Beat the yolks in one at a time. Mix the Creole seasoning with the flour, and fold into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula.
4. Heat the vegetable oil to about 350 degrees in a heavy skillet. Dip the peppers into the batter, and shake off the excess. Lower the peppers into the hot oil, and turn them frequently until browned all over. Don’t worry about the cheese melting–just pay attention to the color of the batter, to keep it from burning.
Serves four as a side dish, or two entrees.