Executive chef Hugo Ortega of Hugo's in Houston created this spicy recipe for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. Crunchy, fresh, and flavorful, these rellenos prove that the basketball players aren't the only all-stars in the arena.
Fry the pumpkin seeds in 1 tablespoon of the butter. In a blender, mix together the serranos, tomatillos, onions, garlic, cilantro, and the poblano pepper. Add the chicken stock and the fried seeds and incorporate. Add the sauce and the remaining butter to the saucepan and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season to taste.
To prepare the salsa, heat a saucepan over a medium flame. Add ½ cup of the corn oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the puréed tomatoes, bay leaves, black pepper, garlic oil, and salt. Simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.
For the rellenos, place the shredded chicken in a large bowl and add the salsa; toss to coat chicken with the sauce. Stuff each pepper with the chicken mixture and asadero cheese.
Place the flour and cotija cheese in a bowl and toss to combine well. Working 1 at a time, dredge each poblano pepper with the flour-cheese mixture and shake off the excess. Transfer to a sheet pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and preheat 1 minute. Sear each poblano, 1 minute per side, and return to sheet pan. Repeat this process with the rest of the chiles rellenos.
Place the chiles rellenos in the oven for 5-8 minutes to soften the skin and heat through. Serve with Pipian Verde and rice. Garnish with pumpkin seeds on top of sauce.