Chileman Rellenos Recipe

Chileman Rellenos Recipe
Staff Writer

No greater test is given to the chef than to make a good chile relleno. To make a scrumptious chile relleno, the chef has to combine three ingredients in perfect combination.

The first ingredient is the green chile. The pod has to be of the highest quality, thick fleshed, and at the right heat level, my favorite is the ‘NuMex Joe E. Parker’ because it has these characteristics. Next, the stuffing, I have two versions one with cheese only, the other with cheese and shrimp. Finally, the batter must complement the other two ingredients. Just the right amount of salt and black pepper seasoning in the batter to enhance the combination, but not detract from the flavors of the chile and stuffing. A great chile relleno captures the essence of New Mexico.

Ingredients

  • 8 NuMex Joe E. Parker green chiles (for hotter rellenos use NuMex Heritage Big Jim), roasted, peeled, and deseeded.
  • 8 slices of asadero (Monterey Jack is a good substitute) about the size of a finger.*
  • 4 eggs, yolks and whites separated
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup flour, plus more for the chiles
  • Oil, enough to cover 1½-inches deep in a skillet

*Note: I like the Mexican variety “asadero” because it is an excellent melting cheese and accepts the chile flavors nicely.

Directions

Prepare chile pods. Peel and deseed the chiles. Remove the seeds by cutting a slit in the pod from just below the stem and slice about half way down the chile. Stuff the pods with the cheese, but don't force things. The open edges of the chile must still come together. Hold the edges together with toothpicks.

Next, prepare the batter. Beat the egg whites with salt and pepper until stiff. In a separate bowl beat egg yolks, add salt and flour and mix well. Fold the yolk mixture into egg whites just enough to mix. (Use quickly, as this batter will separate.) Roll chiles in flour to coat. Dip chiles into batter. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. If oil is hot enough, this will only take a few minutes. Turns chile once, then drain on several layer of paper towels.

*Note: I like the Mexican variety “asadero” because it is an excellent melting cheese and accepts the chile flavors nicely.

Chile Shopping Tip

Fresh peppers get hotter as they age; they will achieve a more reddish hue and sometimes develop streaks in the skin.

Chile Cooking Tip

There are 60 varieties of chile peppers, many of which are used in Mexican cooking. Handle them with care. When handling the spicier kinds, gloves are recommended. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your eyes.