Blistering fresh chilies is one of the tricks of the Mexican food cooking- and this is even more true for the making of chile rellenos.The perfect chile rellenos is not too crunchy or too mushy and the batter coating is not too oily or too dry. (can you make up your mind ;-))...and this time I got it almost perfect! I made it a few times before but was not happy with the result so I procrastinated the posting of this Mexican delicacy, which is probably the most enjoyed when we eat out at Mexican restaurants....on accounts that the vegetarian array is rather restricted on most menus. Top it with some good tomato salsa for a great finish!
....since quite a few of you requested the recipe, here it is:
- 8 whole Poblano chilies
- 8 ounces of your favorite cheese
- (preferably a Mexican variety from Oaxaca or Chihuahua, but Monterey Jack or Cheddar can also be used)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- Salt, pepper, oregano
- Oil for frying
- Using a comal or griddle on high heat, brown the chiles on all sides. Turn chiles frequently so they don't burn. You can also broil chiles directly on the center rack in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Do not let chiles overcook. They need be firm enough to fry.
- Remove chiles from the heat and place them directly in a sealed plastic bag to steam. Let chiles steam in bag for 5 minutes. Do not oversteam. The chiles need to be firm enough to fry. Remove chiles from bag and peel, leaving the stems intact. Slit chiles lengthwise, remove seeds, and rinse out any remaining seeds.
- Place 1 oz of cheese inside each chile. Mix the flour with a small amount of salt, pepper and oregano in a flat plate for dipping. Roll each chili in the flour to lightly coat. Cover the bottom of a large skillet with about 1 inch of oil and heat over high heat for frying.
- Separate the eggs. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir egg yolks until combined. Gently fold yolks into egg whites. Dip entire chili into the egg until completely coated and shake off any excess.
- Immediately put chiles into the hot oil 2 or 3 at a time. Fry until they are golden brown on each side (about 2 minutes). Serve immediately. Garnish with crumbled cheese or cilantro. Serve with your favorite salsa.