Chile Rellenos have always topped my list of favorite Mexican and South Western type meals. A mild poblano, artfully stuffed with a mixture of cheeses, dipped in an egg white batter, fried and served over a bed of sweet/sour sauce is something I crave to this day. I absolutely adore this Old Fashioned Chile Rellenos Recipe and think you will, too!
After moving away from the Southwest, I had to find a way to get my fix. Sweet, sour, salty, spicy is always a combination to fire the taste buds and get the cravings going, and that’s just the sauce! Add in that gorgeous smoky Poblano stuffed with melty cheese in that light airy batter and we’re talking heaven. And of course, anything deep fried is going to send me over the moon, although it has to be a pretty special recipe for me to deep fry anything.
About Old Fashioned Chile Rellenos Recipe:
So obviously there’s a bit of work in making my Old Fashioned Chile Rellenos Recipe – so why attempt a meal that even restaurants in the Southwest knock off with strange, contrived shortcuts? I’m talking egg roll wrappers and casseroles rather than the traditional egg white batter?
Because Old Fashioned Chile Rellenos Recipe, although a little fussy, is soooo worth it. And yes, you can make a full meal for four for less than one plate at a restaurant. But more importantly, you gotta realize it’s really the quality of these Chile Rellenos that really makes this all worthwhile. I promise you, this better than any Chile Rellenos that I’ve had at a restaurant, and it’s one of my go-to meals when I eat out. Over the decades? I’ve eaten a LOT of Chile Rellenos!
In the pics here (they SO need to be updated) you can see that I like my Rancheros Sauce just a little chunky, but if you’d like, you can blend it so it’s perfectly smooth. I’ve had it served both ways at different restaurants.
Making Old Fashioned Chile Rellenos Recipe:
There are ways to kind of “organize” your cooking for the Old Fashioned Chile Rellenos Recipe that’s going to make it all a bit more doable. For one, the Rancheros Sauce can be made ahead, and the Poblanos, themselves, can be stuffed (and hold together better when they’re dipped and fried) ahead. Do yourself a favor and do both ahead, then its short work to throw together the batter and put on some rice to simmer for dinner.
Be careful not to over char your peppers or they will be overcooked and easily fall apart. The timing is going to vary depending on your broiler and the size of the peppers, so watch carefully and turn as needed. Don’t leave the roasted poblanos too long covered, as they will still continue to cook as they steam and you’ll have the same problem. You can char poblanos on the grill, on the burner of a gas stove or with a torch, too, although the last method can leave them too crispy if you are not careful.
Rellenos almost beg to be updated: they can be stuffed with other cheeses or ingredients…use your imagination. Can you imagine how good a crab filling would be, maybe with some goat cheese added for some tang to offset that rich filling? If you’re up to considering a fresher, non-fried version of a Relleno, consider making my Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Poblanos with Rajas Sauce, below.
Saving Money on Old Fashioned Chile Rellenos Recipe:
Serve the Rellenos with budget sides like Mexican Rice, Refried Beans and perhaps a few homemade chips (you’ll have the oil already hot) and a bit of Guacamole if you wish. Always look for those avocados on sale – sometimes there will be large bags of ripe ones at a discounted price. My meal of Chile Rellenos, Canned Refried Beans, Restaurant Style and Restaurant Style Mexican Rice for four ran around $8.00, less than my son spends on one trip to Taco Bell! If you have leftover Rancheros sauce, make classic Huevos Rancheros or use over scrambled eggs or an omelet!
Now when you’re at the store and look at the per pound pricing of the Poblanos, don’t be afraid! Yes, it’s high (unless you live in an area where they are grown and can get them in season) but they really don’t weigh that much, which keeps the total output at a minimum.
Always buy your cheese on sale; it lasts quite a while in the fridge, unopened, weeks, really and if you’re afraid it will go bad, chuck it in the freezer. You won’t be able to eat it out of hand because it gets crumbly, but it’s fine for recipes like this.
Never discount how much money can be saved on the everyday pantry items you use often, like the tomatoes and chicken broth (even better, make your own broth) by buying them at a low and stocking up; we tend to discount the bit of savings here and there, but multiply the bit of savings and it will probably add up to more savings than the more expensive items you buy less often & shop carefully for. Any stocks and broths, btw, should be stocked up on over the winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Old Fashioned Chile Rellenos Recipe
- 4 large poblano peppers
- 3 eggs, yolks, and whites separated
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 6 ounces jack cheese, shredded (1 to 1 1/2 cups)
- Ranchero Sauce (below)
- Vegetable oil
Preheat the broiler. Place the peppers on a baking sheet covered with foil and broil until the skin is blistered and just charred, turning to cook on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place the charred peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the skin and set aside to thoroughly cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. In a small bowl, mix 2 egg yolks with 1 tablespoon flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place the remaining flour on a small plate. Mix one-third of the egg whites into the egg yolks, and then gently fold the egg yolk mixture into the remaining egg whites just until incorporated. Have your cheese ready.
Slice about two-thirds the length of the pepper, just long enough to remove the seeds with a small spoon. Be patient. Stuff the peppers with the cheese mixture, squeezing the cheese gently if needed. Use a little of the egg batter on one edge of the pepper to help it stick. If needed, thread in a toothpick. to help them hold together.
Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gently roll the peppers in the flour. (If the cheese and peppers are too warm and are falling apart, place in the freezer for 10 minutes). Coat the peppers in the egg batter by dunking and spooning the batter all around. Lift the pepper, and gently spoon off any excess batter hanging from the bottom. Make sure the seam is well coated with batter. If the batter comes off, just spoon on a little more. It will likely be clumpy, but that’s ok.
Gently place in the hot oil and fry until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Best results will be had by placing them in, one at a time, seam side down; the seam will seal before the cheese begins to get oozy. Generally, using tongs and holding them in the oil until the batter firms up a bit before gently dropping them helps them to hold together.
Place on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. If you need to hold them for a bit, place on a rack in a warm 200 degree F. oven. Serve with the Ranchero (Tomato) Sauce.
Ranchero (Tomato) Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 14 1/2 ounces canned tomatoes, juice included, blended in blender
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
Add the olive oil to a medium saute pan over medium heat. Then add the onions and cook until softened, about fve to six minutes. Add the cumin, cayenne and garlic, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute longer. Add the chicken stock, sugar and the tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes to a sauce-like consistency. Remove from the heat and add vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste. The sauce may be blended to completely smooth if desired and reheated gently.
Nutrition Rellenos: Per Serving: 284 Calories; 16g Fat (50.3% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 184mg Cholesterol; 897mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
Nutrition Sauce: Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 70 Calories; 4g Fat (44.8% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 422mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.