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Test Kitchen: Enjoy the bite of the New Mexico chile relleno

By Jessica Rodrigo
Feb. 19, 2014 at 3 p.m.
Updated Feb. 18, 2014 at 8:19 p.m.

Roasting chiles or bell peppers on the grill or stovetop does a good job for charring the skin before removing it. Roast them until most of the green is gone then toss them into a sealed plastic bag and refrigerate. The skins will be easy to remove and the tops will come right out with most of the seeds.

CHILE RELLENO CASSEROLE

• 4 chiles, grilled and peeled

• 3-4 oz. of white cheese, cut into thick strips (Manchego, cheddar or Asadero work well)

•  2 eggs

• 1 cup flour, divided

• 1 tsp. onion powder

• 1 tsp. garlic powder

• 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. pepper

•  Oil, enough for frying

• 1 can of Hatch green chile enchilada sauce

• 1/2 cup of shredded white cheese

•  Fresh diced onions (optional)

• Sour cream (optional)

Once the chiles have been grilled and the outer skin removed, cut off the top and clean out the seeds. Try to leave the chile as intact as possible so cheese doesn't escape during the frying process. Push a strip of cheese into the cavity of the chile. In a shallow dish, coat and roll in 1/2 cup of the flour. In a separate shallow dish, combine the remainder of the flour, eggs and seasoning until smooth. Heat the oil in a pot over a medium to medium-high heat (a deep-fryer works wonders here). After dredging the cheese-stuffed chile in flour, dip it into the batter then carefully drop it into the oil. Let it brown lightly on all sides in the oil and then place into an oven-safe dish. Repeat the process until all the chiles are cooked and ready for the oven. Cover the chiles with enchilada sauce - about half a can is good (the rest can be used for nachos or tacos later) - and cheese. Place under the broiler to melt the cheese for about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and serve hot with fresh diced onions and sour cream.

Can't make it? go get it.

Chile relleno plate at Las Palmas

• ADDRESS: 6007 N. Main St., Victoria

• WHEN: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday

• PHONE: 361-573-1717

I was feeling a little homesick a little ways back, so I decided to make some New Mexico-style chile rellenos.

They're a tasty dish but can take some time to make. When done, the hard work is paid off in the form of gooey, cheese-filled chiles that have a crisp to them and a slight bite.

Victoria restaurants use poblano chiles instead of Big Jim or Anaheim pepper for their chile rellenos, but the concepts are the same. You can also sub out the green chiles I use with poblanos. Large jalapenos can work but would provide a lot more spice.

It's a pepper stuffed with cheese, battered then fried and smothered in sauce. Rellenos may also come served with a meat filling, such as shredded chicken or ground beef.

Depending on your taste, the batter can be eggy or doughy, but adjust the recipe to whatever makes your taste buds happy.

Have a recipe or a dish you want me to try? Email me at jrodrigo@vicad.com or tweet me via @EatsEatsEats. I'm always hungry.

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