In the Kitchen – Easy Chili Rellenos

Easy Chili Rellenos, a Mexican favorite you can easily make at home.

My mom’s Italian.  They  stuff things.  They stuff cheese into manicotti, they stuff ground beef and spinach into ravioli.  And they love to stuff peppers.  Most of the time, these were green bell peppers which my mom stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, rice and bread crumbs.  During the Depression, there was more bread crumbs.  She would bake the peppers in a light tomato sauce, and usually serve them with mashed potatoes.  As a kid, I was more partial to the filling than the slightly bitter, overcooked peppers.  Italians only had two kinds of peppers growing in their gardens; sweet bells, and hot bananas.  Both are good stuffed.

Fast forward about 40 years and I have no fewer than 10 types of peppers in my garden.  And not a sweet bell to be found.  I haven’t had much luck with sweet peppers and far prefer the hot ones.  I don’t care for the ridiculously hot ones, but like a variety of chilies.  My current favorite is poblano, which is a mild chili about half the size of a bell pepper.  It has a distinctive taste, and if the basis for chili relleno, a cheese-stuffed poblano pepper that is battered and deep-fried,  which you can find on the menu in most Mexican restaurants.  My two plants bear enough of these peppers to make a half dozen or so every week or two.

Poblano Peppers in the Wilds of my Pepper Patch

I love them for lunch or as an appetizer before dinner.  They are not hard to make.

What you need:

  • Six large poblano peppers
  • Five eggs
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • One cup of shredded Mexican cheese

There is a fair amount of preparation needed.:

  1. Remove the seeds and membranes.  I usually do this by making a triangle-shaped cut into one of the flat sides of the peppers.  This also will make them easy to stuff later.

    Ready for Stuffing
  2. The poblano has a rather tough skin, so it is necessary to char the peppers and remove the skin.  To do this, I generally just balance them on top of the burners on the gas stove, slowly turning them until they are universally blistered.  Then I put them into a large plastic bag to cool.  Once cool, the thin skin can be peeled off.  Don’t worry if you don’t get it all.
  3. Stuff the shredded cheese into the holes on the pepper making sure not to split them.  Once the peppers are stuffed, you are ready to batter them and fry.
  4.  To make the batter, separate five eggs into yolks and whites.  Then beat the whites with an electric mixer until fluffy and stiff.  Whisk the yolks and fold them into the whites with the salt.
  5. In a medium-sized skillet, add enough cooking oil to cover the bottom to a depth of about one-half inch.  Heat the oil, then spoon in enough of the batter to place the stuff poblano on top.  Place another spoonful of batter on topof the pepper.  I usually cook two at a time.  When the batter is golden brown after a minute or two, carefully flip the pepper over to cook the other side.  When both sides are done, remove the finished relleno from the skillet and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.  Continue in this way until all peppers are cooked.

 

When finished, they tend to flatten out and kind of look like grilled cheese sandwiches.  Eat them hot with as side of my delicious canned salsa.  They also re-heat nicely if you have any left over.  So far, I haven’t had many.

Too bad my Italian grandfather didn’t know about poblanos.

Easy Chili Rellenos

Chili Rellenos ready to eat

 

Day-Tripping with Rick in the Kitchen


In the Kitchen - Chili Rellenos
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 6 large poblano peppers
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese
Instructions
  1. Remove the seeds and membranes. I usually do this by making a triangle-shaped cut into one of the flat sides of the peppers. This also will make them easy to stuff later.
  2. Char the peppers and remove the skin by balancing them on top of the burners on the gas stove, slowly turning them until they are universally blistered.  Put them into a large plastic bag to cool.  Once cool, the thin skin can be peeled off.  Don't worry if you don't get it all.
  3. Stuff the shredded cheese into the holes on the pepper making sure not to split them.
  4. To make the batter, separate five eggs into yolks and whites.  Then beat the whites with an electric mixer until fluffy and stiff.  Whisk the yolks and fold them into the whites with the salt.
  5. In a medium-sized skillet, add enough cooking oil to cover the bottom to a depth of about one-half inch.
  6. Heat the oil, then spoon in enough of the batter to place the stuff poblano on top.  Place another spoonful of batter on topof the pepper.  I usually cook two at a time.
  7. When the batter is golden brown after a minute or two, carefully flip the pepper over to cook the other side.  When both sides are done, remove the finished relleno from the skillet and place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  8. Continue in this way until all peppers are cooked.

 

 

11 thoughts on “In the Kitchen – Easy Chili Rellenos

  1. Tim Meneely 10/03/2017 at 1:25 am

    Mmmmm….

    • Rick 10/03/2017 at 2:01 am

      Brought one to lunch today, but you weren’t there.

  2. Jenn 10/03/2017 at 7:35 pm

    I had no idea that was a pepper when I first looked at it. Definitely looks like a grilled cheese, which I see now is what you were going for. How fun that you have so many varieties of peppers in your garden. We have about 5 or 6 varieties, but they are starting to die off now. 🙁

    • Rick 10/04/2017 at 12:50 am

      My peppers are going great guns. I have noticed that the size of the new fruits is smaller now that the days are shorter, though. Denise always tries to eat low carb. As these are only peppers, cheese and eggs, it really fits the bill on a low carb diet.

  3. Maggie Unzueta 10/03/2017 at 10:08 pm

    I’m Mexican. Chili rellenos are a favorite at my house. They bring back some wonderful childhood memories.

    • Rick 10/04/2017 at 12:47 am

      The salsa really brings it out. I’ll post a recipe on how to make it. I bring these to work and make my buddies try a bite. They haven’t said no yet.

  4. Sandra 10/03/2017 at 10:10 pm

    Wow! Now this is the way you reap the efforts put into your garden. Your peppers are beautiful and such a great dish to use them in. I haven’t attempted to make chili rellenos at home. You’re giving me the confidence to try!

    • Rick 10/04/2017 at 12:45 am

      Thanks Sandra. Having Denise around gives me confidence to try things like this. Of course she yells at me to “clean up her kitchen” when I’m done.

  5. Ginny 10/04/2017 at 2:11 am

    Great instructions on how to prepare poblano chilies for stuffing. Thanks!

    • Rick 10/05/2017 at 4:39 am

      It’s really not too hard to do. Toughest thing for me is separating the eggs. Usually, I let my wife do it.

  6. Liz 10/04/2017 at 2:18 am

    I’ve had chili rellenos at a restaurant but I’ve never made my own! Yum! We love mexican food at our house!

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