Chile Rellenos

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Last time we were at the farmers market, we picked up a couple of poblanos. I’d never cooked poblanos before, but they just looked so good. And now that I had them in my kitchen, I just had to figure out how to make chile rellenos.

Chile Rellenos Recipe:

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1. Blacken it: you have to get the outer skin off the poblanos. So I set them on a tray and set them under the broiler for a while, turning them to get all sides all blistered.

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2. Bag it: put the scorched poblanos in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. The heat will create moisture, which will in turn separate the skin from the flesh.

3. Gut it: peel of the skin. Then, cut a small slit into the side (the poblano may already be broken by this point. If so, use the existing break). Pull the seeds and insides out of the poblano.

4. Fill it: stuff the pepper with cheese. I used a shredded Mexican blend. Put a little bit less in there than you might think. It is easy to overstuff. I’ve seen other recipes use twine or toothpicks to seal the package closed. I didn’t do any of that.

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5. Batter it: I looked at a whole bunch of recipes that called for beer batter or a simple flour batter. But I wanted to try something more traditional. So I followed this recipe for chile rellenos, which has you separate an egg, beat it into a foam, and then fold in an egg yolk.

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6. Dredge it: coat the filled poblanos with some flour. Then dip into the batter.

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7. Fry it: put it into a skillet with a healthy amount of oil to cover the bottom of the pan. I didn’t seal the poblanos with toothpicks or twine, so I made sure to put the poblanos slit side down first. Once it browned, I flipped it over. Then, they were done.

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8. Eat it: we ate these with rice and beans. And I topped each one with green salsa from trader joes. These chile rellenos were fantastic. I was initially torn about whether to go through the extra effort of separating and beating the eggs for the batter. But the effort was well worth it. The batter had that fluffy crunchiness that I expected when I bit into my chile relleno. I think battering it any other way would have tasted less like chile rellenos and more like a batter stuffed pepper.

The cheese, although stuffed less fully than I would think one should, was there in a perfect amount. It was just the right amount of chew, stretch, and savory. And with the batter and the salsa, it rounded out the flavor of the poblano nicely. Everything was really savory and nice.

The only problem was that I had only bought enough peppers for each of us to have only one. Next time I buy poblanos, I am going to buy a dozen.

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