Chiles rellenos (stuffed peppers) with poblano peppers & Oaxaca cheese
A classic, Mexican Dish
Cinco de Mayo has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s too late to pay tribute to…not tacos, quesadillas, or tortas, this time…but chiles rellenos, a classic Mexican dish that consists of poblano or Anaheim peppers typically stuffed with cheese, placed in egg & flour batter and then deep-fried and placed in a pool of tomato salsa. If you’re vegetarian, this is a great dish to try! However, if you want to go an extra mile or two, you can also add rice and/or meat (shredded chicken, picadillo – ground beef with potatoes, raisins, peas & tomatoes – or ground pork or turkey).
Despite being a classic, there doesn’t appear to be a current Mexican restaurant in Edmonton that has chiles rellenos on its menu. Don Antonio’s Mexican Foods Ltd., which used to have a restaurant on 124 Street around 10 or so years ago, may have been the only Mexican restaurant that served the dish until its unfortunate demise.
Perhaps one reason for the lack of chiles rellenos in local Mexican restaurants is the fact that – not gonna lie – it’s quite labour-intensive (one only discovers this once they attempt to make the dish). However, if you can get past having to wait for the peppers to char, as well as the pain of having to take out all those chile seeds, this dish – filled with ooey-gooey cheesy goodness – is totally worth it!
The following recipe is a combination of recipes by Kentucky Guera and *Fat~Dog~Lane* from allrecipes. You can buy the poblano peppers, Oaxaca cheese, eggs, and Cholula (or any other hot sauce) at Paraíso Tropical! If you’re short on time or ingredients, you can skip adding the tomato salsa, but it does add that extra kick to this dish!
4 poblano peppers
1-2 packs of Oaxaca cheese (slice long pieces into small strips)
2 eggs, separated at room temperature
1 tsp. baking powder
¾ cup all-purpose or wheat flour
1 cup olive oil for frying
[Optional: Tomato sauce]
2-3 tomatoes, chopped & blended
½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ cups veggie broth
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. hot pepper sauce (ie. Cholula)
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1. Preheat your oven broiler & set the oven rack at about 6 inches from the heat source. Put aluminum foil on a baking sheet & place the peppers onto the baking sheet. Cook under the broiler until the pepper skins are black & blistered (8-10 minutes per side). Peppers may need to be rotated 2-3 times to blacken all sides.
2. When all sides of the peppers have blackened, place them into a bowl & tightly seal with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to steam as they cool (about 15 minutes). By then, the skins should be ready to peel. Peel off the skins & discard.
3. Now the hard part! Cut a slit along the length of each pepper to remove the seeds & core. It’s easiest to do this with your hands – just wipe any seeds you collect with your hands with a paper towel. It’s not necessary to remove all the seeds (a few seeds in there will just add a bit more spice to the dish). But if you prefer, rinse peppers inside & out with water to remove remaining seeds. Pat peppers dry with a cloth.
4. Oaxaca cheese is like a ball of cheese yarn, so it will already come in strips. Just cut the really long pieces into shorter ones, so that you can stuff the peppers with cheese strips.
5. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with baking powder. In a second metal or glass bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until the whites form stiff peaks. If you don’t have an electric mixer, it’s possible to use a whisk, but you will need to use your wrist & hands to whisk really fast. It might take a bit longer (maybe 10-15 minutes), but eventually, those egg whites will form peaks. Gently fold beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture. Place flour in a bowl.
6. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Roll each stuffed pepper in flour, shake off excess flour, and dip the peppers completely into the egg mixture (best to use a spoon to avoid sticky hands!). Carefully place the coated peppers into the hot oil. Fry peppers until lightly golden brown and the cheese has melted (about 5 minutes
[Optional: Tomato sauce]
1. To make sauce, purée the tomatoes in a blender & set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat; & add chopped onions, cooking & stirring for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir for about 30 seconds. Next, pour the tomato purée, veggie broth, vinegar, cumin, black pepper, hot
pepper sauce & cinnamon into the saucepan. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce until reduced by half & thickened (about 20 minutes). Stir often.
2. Place a good amount of sauce onto the platter before placing a pepper on top of the salsa.
Check out the video below for a basic how-to guide as well!
¡Buen provecho! By the way, we’re curious to know: what do you make with poblano peppers & Oaxaca cheese? Or do you have another way of making chiles rellenos? Share with us your own chiles rellenos recipes or other recipes using poblano peppers and/or Oaxaca cheese by commenting below or via facebook or Instagram! Videos & photos are more than welcome!