Chili Rellenos anyone?

3 Jan

Christmas is an odd time here as the atmosphere is not really conducive to the festive season, so I’ll leave a post about our kids visiting over the holidays till next week. In the mean time, here’s another recipe from my extensive Mexican experiences.

How many of these do you recognize?

One of the many things we enjoy about Mexico is the food and once we’ve eaten something we like, I always try to learn how to make it myself. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve figured out how to make Mole’ but I do know how to make a few really good dishes. It doesn’t hurt to have a good teacher either.

 

Many restaurants, big and small have on their menus, Chili Rellenos. This translates as stuffed chilies and they can be stuffed with a great many things. Basically if you can imagine it and chop it up small enough, you can cook it into a chili.

 

Now, how many of you have stood in front of the chili display in your local supermarket and wondered what you’re supposed to do with them all? Most folks know what a Jalapeno is and maybe even a Serrano and if you like them really hot you know the ones that look like a yellow Scottish Tam are Habaneros, but what about the bigger dark green ones? They’re usually called Poblanos or Anaheim Chilies, and these are the ones used for stuffing.

 

This isn’t going to be the type of recipe that tells you exactly how much of everything you need to make something and as I go along, you’ll understand why. The first reason is Poblanos come in a huge variety of sizes, and the amount of stuffing is dependent on the numbers you want to serve and how big they are.

 

Start with 2 or 3 chilies per person. Make sure they are shiny, dark green and firm. Now comes the fun part. The outer skin has to be removed and the best way to do that is to hold them over a hot flame until the skin blackens. I have a gas stove but a BBQ flame would work as well. I place an old, small, cookie rack over the flame and put the chilies on this. Make sure you rotate the chilies evenly and try not to burn off the stem. All you’re trying to do is blacken the skin and once they are black and peeling all over, remove them from the flame. Lay them on a piece of paper towel and let cool. Now, you need to remove this layer, so using a small paring knife, scrape the blackened skin off. Be gentle now, as you don’t want to cut into the body of the chili or scrape a hole into it. This is a messy job so don’t plan on doing anything else until you’re finished. I find using another piece of paper towel to clean my knife off periodically helps considerably!

Blackened and ready for scraping

Now comes the really hard part, you need to make a cut from the crown to the tip and open up the body just large enough to remove the seeds. A pair of scissors is a big help here. Make cuts along the seed membrane up to the seed head then carefully, using your kitchen scissors, cut through the head and discard. If you do it right, the seeds will come loose and the stem will stay attached.

Scraped and de-seeded

 

Now, you can stuff them. I prefer Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese, in mine, but have made them with spicy ground beef and have eaten them with ground Prawns and Chipotle. Mmmmm! Once you’ve got them ¾ stuffed, use a toothpick to close them up tight.

3/4 stuffed

Beat one egg into a small amount of milk in one bowl and pour Cornflake crumbs into another. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil into your frying pan and heat to medium hot. Dip each pepper into the egg mixture, then into the crumbs, making sure they are completely covered. Place in pan and cook until golden brown.

Ready for cooking.

Once they are completely browned, place on plates, cover with hot Chili sauce or Mexican tomato sauce and serve.

This picture is the last batch I made and they were stuffed with spicy ground beef and cheese and served with refried beans. I assume it was good because there was dead silence for 15 minutes, except for the sounds of chewing and swallowing, oh, and the smiles and thumbs up probably counted for something too!

Dig in!

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “Chili Rellenos anyone?”

  1. Ramona Bourne January 20, 2011 at 3:11 am #

    Oh my Alexis. Those look delicious. I love your blog. You guys are living the dream aren’t you? That is so awesome. You are such an incredible writer. Good for you. Happy trails 🙂

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