chile rellenos with smokeshow relleno sauce
This is by far my favorite Mexican food dish.
Growing up my family owned Mexican food resturants and they made the most delicious chile rellenos ever! It is hard for me to eat chile rellenos at restaurants now because most do not come close to the ones I grew up with. I have modified my family’s recipe a little, mostly taking some shortcuts, but there is no compromise on the flavor of my version. Fair warning, despite my abridged recipe, it is still a pretty lengthy process to make a good chile relleno. If you have the time, this is one dish you should definitely try!
Estimated time to make this dish is 1.5 hours
Ingredients (Serves 4 adults):
8 poblano peppers
8 oz Monterrey Jack Cheese
¼ cup flour
3 eggs, whites separated
Chile Relleno Sauce:
½ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup water
¼ cup Orangeshow
1 clove garlic (crushed or diced)
1 bay leaf
salt to taste (if needed)
Preheat the oven to 450 F
Wash peppers and place in a baking dish or on a baking pan
Roast in the oven, using tongs to rotate them every few minutes once they become fragrant. When you see that their skin is starting to blister you are close. All sides need to blister or come close to it. It’s ok if the skin burns a little.
Once nicely blistered on all sides, remove peppers from the oven and place in a paper bag. Roll it shut and leave them be for a few minutes. This step helps them cool off in a way that makes their skin easier to peel.
Peel the peppers, removing as much of the skin as possible. Work with care. The peppers are soft and fragile.
Make a cut down one of the sides of the pepper to be able to remove seeds and stuff the pepper with cheese. (pro tip: if the pepper tears during the roasting/peeling process, use that as your cut to minimize the number of holes in the pepper). Feel free to give a quick rinse with water to help remove any sticking seeds, just use paper towels to remove excess water.
Place a small block of cheese in each pepper (about 1 in x ½ inch x 2 inch)
Use a toothpick to hold the cheese in the pepper by running it through both sides of the pepper near the cut, think of it as pinning the cut closed. It’s ok if you pin through the cheese.
Flour the stuffed peppers by sprinkling and patting the flour on all sides.
Beat the egg whites until you form a nice merengue, add in the yolks and beat briefly to mix them in.
In a fying pan, heat the vegetable oil. Having about an inch depth of oil is enough but deep frying these also works if that is an option for you! (I know when my oil is ready by adding a small drop of water to it and waiting for it to pop).
When the oil is hot, carefully pick up the stuffed and floured pepper by the stem and dip in the egg batter. Encourage a thick layer of batter to stick to all sides of the pepper by gently twirling it around in the egg batter and use a spoon if you need to! This is a delicate step, but once you get a feel for it, it ain’t that bad.
Transfer the coated stuffed pepper into the oil and fry, flipping over so each side gets cooked. Again, use the stem of the pepper to move and flip it so you do not disturb the egg batter coating.
Remove from oil and place onto a plate lined with paper towels. This will help soak up excess oil.
While you fry the remaining peppers, in a separate sauce pan add all chile relleno sauce ingredients listed above and simmer on low for 10+ minutes.
Serve your chile rellenos topped with chile relleno sauce. Don’t forget to remove the toothpick!
Rice and beans (and tortillas) are a nice side dish and feel free to include other garnishes such as shredded lettuce, sour cream, fresh tomatoes, and sliced radishes.