The Best Chili Rellenos
One of my favorite recipes to prepare, serve and eat has got to be stuffed peppers. They come in all shapes and sizes, prepared differently all around the world including Asian, Indian and European cultures. The Germans have great stuffed Bell Pepper recipes and so do the Cajun’s, here in the United States.
I’ve seen and tried recipes stuffed with meats varying from ground pork, veal, beef, lamb, chicken and even shrimp. Also rice, legumes, potatoes and quite often the addition of cheese. One of the most famous stuffed pepper recipes in the world, however, is the Chili Relleno made with Poblano Chili Peppers and, if you don’t know already, it comes from Pueblo Mexico.
Why this Recipe intimidates People
Making Chili Rellenos can be quite tedious, especially if you’re making them for the first time it can be difficult and seem intimidating. That’s why I waited so long to share this recipe with you. I spent a lot of time over the years trying to come up with a fool proof method that will make anyone feel comfortable making this dish and it all starts with roasting the Chili’s until the skin blisters up, evenly around the whole body of the pepper.
Once the Chili Peppers have been roasted they’re placed in a bag or bowl where they can be covered and steamed with their own heat. This helps the flesh of the pepper lift and blister, for easy removal, as the pepper continues to cook and soften a bit more.
After 10 minutes or so, the skin is removed. this can be done by peeling with your fingers, rubbing or pulling with a paper towel but I find that it works best using the small serrated edges of a table knife by gently scraping the scorched skin off. Realize these peppers are getting soft so, if you don’t want to rip and tear your Chili Rellenos before they’re even made, be careful.
The next step to making perfect Chili Rellenos is creating a small incision down the side of each roasted and skinned Poblano Pepper. You can, at this point, choose to remove the seeds, if you so desire, but it really isn’t necessary. Besides, it’s just another opportunity to rip and tear a perfectly good pepper so, why risk it. Now, just stuff the Pepper with grated Monterey Jack cheese, seal the incision back together, temporarily, with tooth picks and roll each one in flower.
Rolling the Poblanos in flour is a very crucial step. In fact it’s one of the reasons why the skin is removed; it helps the flour stick and adhere to the pepper better which in turn, like most frying, grasps the egg wash batter for deep frying.
What’s the other reason the skin is removed, you say? I believe that it gives the peppers an unpleasing texture like trying to eat the outside layers of a cooked unpeeled onion. I’ve tried it this way before, out of pure laziness, and it left one to be desired so, roast, peel and flour your stuffed Chili Relleno Peppers.
My Chili Rellenos
As far as I’m concerned, you can do what ever you want with this dish as far as the filling goes. It doesn’t have to be stuffed with just cheese. You can fill these Poblanos with meat or any of the other ingredients I mentioned above. I’ve seen sautéed onions and mushrooms and even tomatoes on the inside of these peppers with cheese.
According to the history of the original recipe, that dates back to the 1850’s, Nun’s were absolutely stuffing their Chili’s with meat so, go crazy if you want to. In it’s simplest form, however, I cook my Chili Rellenos stuffed with Monterey Jack, then bake under a broiler in a Red Chili Sauce with Colby Jack, then I top it off with cold Pico De Gallo and crumbled Queso Fresca.
Chili Rellenos Ingredients: Makes 8 to 12
Chili Relleno’s Ingredients:
8 to 12 Poblano Chili’s, roasted
1 lbs Monterey Jack Cheese, grated
1 lbs Colby Jack Cheese, grated
1/2 lbs Queso Fresca Cheese, crumbled
2 cups Pico De Gallo
2 cups Red Chili Sauce
6 to 8 eggs
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
Oil for frying
Just follow the instructions in the short video tutorial and I’ll show you exactly how to make these wonderful Chili Rellenos.