Much like a lot of other people, before I made these I was really intimidated by them. It just seemed like so much could go horribly wrong… the cheese filling could all come out during the frying and create some horrible catastrophe, the coating won’t stay on leaving you with a fried chile mess, etc… None of that happened the first time, or any of the times after (and there have been many). Now I will say this, you will get your hands a little messy. I have yet to find a really good way that keeps my hands completely clean.
I did my usual and scoured the internet for chile rellenos recipes and found quite a few variations. One of the things I didn’t use was the corn. I’ve never had them with corn and honestly didn’t want to. I also found some chile rellenos casseroles for those that just didn’t want to attempt the real thing. I suppose it would be good for a pot luck or something where deep frying a bunch of individual chile rellenos was just not feasible. One more note on the casserole thing (honestly I was trying to be positive about it even though it just doesn’t sound right…) a few recipes used canned chilies and I have two words for that…..NO BUENO!!! If you are seriously thinking of going the casserole road please use fresh roasted chilies.
Ok, didn’t mean to digress… back on to the recipe.
For the Recipe:
4 large poblano chilies, roasted, skinned and deseeded
2 c. Monterey jack cheese, shredded (sometimes I’ll mix in other sharp cheese just to give it a little pizazz)
4 egg whites
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp. flour, plus more for coating the chilies
1 tsp. salt
oil for frying
special sauce for serving, recipe follows
Start by roasting your chilies, I do my right on the burner. Once all sides are sufficiently blackened, place them in a back to cool. Once you can handle them peel the skin off and deseed by making a slit up the side of the chile, about 3/4 of the way, and scoop out or use your fingers. Set aside. Start heating the oil now, should be ready by the time you finish the next steps. Next, make the coating. Whip the egg whites to stiff peaks. Mix 1 tablespoon flour and the salt with the two egg yolks and mix well. Fold the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites, do not over mix or it will deflate. Now, fill the chilies with cheese, do not over stuff!! About 1/2 cup of cheese per chile is what I do (all depends on the size of the chilies you use). Coat the chilies with the flour, you can either roll or do what I do, sprinkle it on until it’s completely covered. On to the tad bit messy part, coating the chilies with the egg mixture. If you have chilies with stems it’s a bit easier, normally they do so that’s how I’ll describe it. Hold the chile by the stem, using a spoon, or spatula, or heck, whatever you are comfortable with, to coat completely. I like to put a big glob on one side then kind of smooth it out, almost like frosting a cake. It will be lumpy, thick and not totally even, that is good, you want that!! Just be sure it’s well coated and that you work fairly quick. Time to fry… I put them in slit side down so the egg mixture will cook, sealing the cut in a way and keep the cheese nicely inside. Don’t try doing all of them at once, try two at a time. Turn them so they get evenly browned. Place on paper towels to drain.
Put some of the special sauce on the plate, place the chile rellenos on top and serve with rice.
Special Sauce Recipe:
6 roma tomatoes
1 large onion
1/2 c. cilantro
1 serrano chile, deseeded
1 c. chicken stock (you could also use water and be fine)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
2 tsp. ground cumin
Place all the ingredients in the blender (or if you are all fancy, your Vitamix) and blend well. Transfer to a saucepan and cook until it reduces by about half.