Chili Rellenos is a favorite dish of my husband. This spring an abundance of poblano peppers came in my Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) baskets which sent me scrambling for ways to use them. I tried many variations of chili rellenos using the poblano peppers over the next few months. Here’s a recipe that my husband likes as well as the one he tried recently on a trip to Mexico. I’m mighty proud of this fact! And these peppers are baked rather then fried–healthy and low-fat.
Husband visits Mexico
My husband made sales calls in Brownsfield, Texas, a couple of weeks ago. For curiosity, he crossed the border to Matamotos, Mexico, to visit the open-air market in the center of the town. He ate lunch a tiny restaurant sampling the chili rellenos, his favorite Mexican dish. Although he’d brought along his passport, he didn’t need it to cross to Mexico. And he didn’t have a problem returning–guess he looks too honest! Interesting.
Yes, he now takes photos of his meals wherever he travels for my blog. No, he doesn’t speak Spanish. A family passing by thought he needed help and served as his guide through the city. He’s trustworthy, too. Here is lunch at the restaurant. The tables were tiny and patrons sat on bar stools. Notice the squirt bottles in the background which were used to add sauces to the food. He doesn’t know what the sauces were but says they tasted good. One was green. Salsa Verde with tomatillos, I guess.
What are Chili Rellenos?
Chili rellenos are peppers which are charred, skinned and then stuffed with cheese and breaded with an egg and flour batter. They are usually pan fried or deep fried. Sometimes they are served with a taco-type ground meat or with a tomato sauce. This Mexican dish originated in the city of Puebla which is southeast of Mexico City. Now chili rellenos are found on the menus of most Mexican-style restaurants in the United States. Here are poblano peppers in my CSA basket and also jalapeno peppers.
The types peppers and cheeses vary in recipes for chili rellenos. I found recipes and restaurants that used that Anaheim, Hatch and jalapeno chili peppers. Cheeses used included queso Fresco, asiago, Monterey Jack and even cheddar cheeses. I always used poblano peppers but tried an assortment of cheeses.
Making Chili Rellenos
It took a while to get the technique down for roasting the poblano peppers. At first I didn’t char or skin the peppers. Then I figured out that the peppers were too tough if not broiled and skinned. I tried a variation where the peppers were halved and stuffed with shrimp and cream cheese. Delicious but rich! I also had problems with deep frying the peppers–the cheese melted and came out. Eventually I made a version that is baked rather than fried. Delicious and low-fat!
Charring the peppers
Here we go. This is my technique for roasting, charring and removing the skins and seeds from poblano peppers. It is easier than other methods I found and it works. So I’ve included alot of photos. The poblano peppers are rather tough if not charred. This softens the peppers, too.
Broil about 2-3 minutes on first side until it blisters. Then, use tongs and turn to other side and broil until this side blisters. They do not need to char; although these did. This takes about 4-6 minutes total time.
Remove from oven, dip in cold water so the peppers can be handled easily. Slip off most of the blistered and charred skin. It doesn’t matter if some skin stays on. Here are the charred and peeled peppers.
Remove the seeds by making a slit close to the top of pepper close at the stem end. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. We found that running the peppers in a stream of water worked to easily remove the seeds, too.
Stuff the peppers with cheese. I tried several types of cheeses. Here are the ones we liked the best–Queso Fresco and a Kraft Mexican Four Cheese Blend. We also made a pepper stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese–it tasted good, too.
Mix up the batter. Here are the ingredients. I made a wash of the egg and milk. I dipped the peppers in the egg wash and next in seasoned bread crumbs (bread crumbs plus chili powder, salt and pepper). This is backwards from other recipes, but it how I made my peppers. Also, I believe that traditional chili relleno recipes use flour rather than bread crumbs; I made non-traditional rellenos with bread crumbs.
I sprayed the tops with a spray margarine so the bread crumbs would brown since these peppers are baked rather than fried. The stuffed peppers are baked at 350 degrees until the bread crumbs brown on top, about 20 minutes.
Traditional or non-traditional these stuffed poblano peppers are delicious and also very nutritious.
Chili Rellenos by MayleesKitchen
- 4 medium size poblano peppers
- 4 oz queso fresco cheese or 1 cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese
- 1 medium egg
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pinch black pepper
- spray margarine
Method and Steps:
- Place poblano peppers on rack of broiler pan and place pan on middle rack of oven about 6″ away from heat.
- Broil about 2-3 minutes on first side until it blisters.
- Then, use tongs and turn to other side and broil until this side blisters. They do not need to char. This takes about 4-6 minutes total time.
- Remove from oven, dip in cold water so the peppers can be handled easily.
- Then, turn oven to baking mode and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slip off most of the blistered and charred skin. It doesn’t matter if some skin stays on.
- Remove the seeds by making a slit close to the top of pepper at the stem end. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Alternately, slit the peppers and run the peppers in a stream of water to remove the seeds. Try to avoid slitting the entire length of the pepper.
- Cut block cheese in strips, 1 oz each and stuff into pepper slit. Or spoon 1/4 cup of shredded Mexican-blend cheese into each pepper.
- Beat the egg until well blended, add the milk.
- In another bowl, mix plain bread crumbs, chili powder, salt and pepper.
- Dip the peppers, one at a time, into the egg/milk wash and then coat with the bread crumb mixture.
- Oil a casserole dish and place the stuffed poblano peppers in dish.
- Spray bread crumb coating with spray margarine.
- Place in pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake until the peppers brown, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer to serving plate and serve with pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream.
Chile Rellenos, Wikipedia. //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chile_relleno