Old School Chile Rellenos

Old School Chile Rellenos,

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The Rellanos:

  • 4 large poblano peppers
  • 3 eggs, yolks, and whites separated
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 6 ounces jack cheese
  • Ranchero Sauce (below)
  • Vegetable oil

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


The Rellanos:

Preheat the broiler. Place the peppers lined up and just touching 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 a plate until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and set aside to thoroughly cool.

Cut the cheese into rectangles roughly the size of your thumb, being aware of the size of the peppers; make sure they’re not too large to fit inside each.

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 and close the pepper back up. Use a little of the egg batter on one edge of the pepper to help it stick to the other side. 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. Before turning, spoon hot oil over the topside of the peppers, repeatedly, just to firm the egg batter a bit before turning.

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:

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.

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