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CHILI RELLENO

CHILI RELLENO

A Mexican pepper filled with meats and cheeses, dipped in a light batter and then deep fried.  It’s traditionally served alongside tamales and pozole at Christmas time in México.  It dates as far back as the 1800’s, originating from the town of Puebla and the sharp flavors of Poblano or Anaheim peppers are showcased in this popular dish.

When done correctly it’s one of the best examples of Mexican fare.  In the States the popular version makes the filling with strips of Asadero cheese and if that isn’t available, Monterey Jack is very similar in taste and consistency.  The process might seem a little laborious, but the results very worthwhile.  Everything in the kitchen requires time – the more effort you put forth, the greater the rewards!

4 chilis – Poblano, Anaheim or Pasilla

8 oz of Asadero or Monterey jack cheese – grated

4 large eggs – room temperature

½ TSP Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

½ TSP of Aleppo pepper

½ TSP smoked paprika

1/3 cup of APF

Chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup of vegetable oil

 

PREHEAT OVEN 475F

In a cookie sheet lined with foil place the peppers and start to char them, about 5-7 minutes per side, turning with some tongs to ensure they blacken and blister evenly. Transfer to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow them to sweat for about 15 minutes.

When they are cool enough to handle, hold each pepper and rub them gently with a paper towel to remove their skins.  Be careful not to tear them and don’t rinse them, as you want the charred, smokey taste to permeate as part of their flavor.  Cut a shallow slit, lengthwise and with a small spoon, carefully remove the seeds and core.

Mix the cheese with the Aleppo pepper, salt pepper, paprika and some chopped cilantro.  Stuff each pepper carefully so you don’t tear them, they are delicate after roasting.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites.  Whisk the egg yoks with some salt and pepper and separately whip the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Add the beaten yolks to the whites with the APF.  Fold gently together with a rubber spatula so as not to deflate the whipped egg whites.

Heat about 2” of oil in a Dutch oven and with an oil thermometer ensure the temp reaches about 360F.

Dredge the stuffed peppers into some flour, shake off the excess and dip into the batter.  Fry for about 5 minutes per side until golden brown. They can be served with a light tomato sauce.

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