Saturday, May 14, 2011

Chile Rellenos

Growing up in San Diego county, we had endless options for good Mexican food. I guess I've always assumed that every city in the United States has decent Mexican food restaurants, but it's just not the case. Good God I've had some awful fare during my travels here and there.

     Chile Rellenos are one of those things that can either be very good in a restaurant or very bad. Mostly, I feel that they tend to be a bit average. It's all about the batter and the sauce with these bad boys. This is one of those dishes that takes a bit of time to prepare. It's not hard, but there are a lot of little steps.

     I think you'll really like the enchilada sauce with this recipe. It's so good and nothing like that alien-looking pink stuff that comes out of a can.

Chile Rellenos

For the chiles and batter
4-6 Anaheim peppers, roasted, peeled and sliced with a 1"-2" incision
16 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack      
vegetable or canola oil            
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/4 teaspoon Cream of Tartar

For the sauce
6 dried California chiles (see notes)
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups beef broth

For the batter
1. Place the egg whites in a stand up mixer with the Cream of Tartar. Mix at high speed until stiff peaks have formed, about one minute.

2. Fold in the beaten egg yolks

For the chiles
1. Roast and peel the chiles. Make a 1" to 2" incision in each one.

2. Gently fill with shredded Monterey Jack.

3. Pour oil into skillet and heat. Add enough oil to cover a chile about half way, or 3/4".

4. Coat chile in batter, then fry on both sides until a deep golden color.

For the sauce 
1. Simmer the chiles in 4" of water water over low heat for 1 hour in a saucepan until soft.

2. Gently tear the chiles open, remove seeds and veins under running water.

3. Combine the chiles, tomato paste, corn oil, garlic, salt, oregano, cumin, and about 1 cup of the beef broth in a blender.

4. Blend until smooth, then pour the mixture into a saucepan with the remaining beef broth.

5. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes until warmed through.

6. Pour over chiles and serve immediately.

California chiles are simply dried Anaheim peppers and are not very hot. There are varieties from New Mexico, however, that are very warm. I got hold of some of these and had to simmer them in water to cook out some of the heat. Simply simmer for a few minutes, replace the water, simmer again, then taste to see if desired heat has been achieved.


  1. I know this is an older posting, but I just came across your love of cooking. This is without a doubt my favorite Mexican dish and the standard by which I decide if I ever return to a restaurant. I’ll be checking your site for further receipts. I tend to be a soup only person, but I find cooking to be one of the most enjoyable and relaxing things I can do. Some of your recipes may inspire me to branch out into other areas. Good cooking and eating is really an art; it is so much more than just eating and shoving food down the gullet. God knows I do too much of that.

  2. Hey padre,

    Thanks for dropping by. I agree on the chile rellenos. Mexican food can be so great, but most of the time it's just so uninspired. I think it's a combination of untrained cooks, sloppiness and poor ingredients.

    I really like to cook and need to do more of it. Living with a chef does have it benefits!


  3. Hey hey, Thanks Christian and have a great day! I hope to make some use of recipes you have here, especially this one although I may try it with muenster cheese. I fear that I lived with a Chef I'd be more than just 20 pounds overweight. I'd probably need a Jerry Springer save Padre the Hut intervention episode.