chile relleno recipe

On Chiles Rellenos

In History by Mark MaskerLeave a Comment

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Story, Photos, and Recipes By José C. Marmolejo
Few food ingredients are as versatile as chiles and few dishes are as versatile as chiles rellenos. I grew up loving roasted, cheese-stuffed poblanos; the kind that are rolled on wheat flour, dipped in a beaten eggs mix, fried in vegetable oil, and covered with caldillo—a light tomato sauce. It was always a treat with the implicit risk of a spicy sting as genetic uniformity among the same pepper was inconsistent back then.
ancho chile relleno
One of the most creative forms of Mexican cooking is stuffing chiles. The immense variety of chiles in Mexico, and the vast choice of meats, cheeses, vegetables and mushrooms available, makes this cooking option a heaven for cooks and chileheads alike.
Notwithstanding the fact that the most popular chiles rellenos in Mexico are poblanos stuffed with ground beef or cheese—and chiles en nogada, a september specialty—a regional map of chiles rellenos could be easily created.
manzanos chile relleno
Chiles güeros rellenos de camarón are popular in Jalisco. The northern states use Anaheim and poblano peppers. In the lower central part of Mexico —the Bajío region—chiles de chorro, a variety between the poblano and the Anaheim, are stuffed with ground beef, cheese or beans, battered, fried, and covered with caldillo. In Oaxaca chiles de agua and pasillas oaxaqueños—a smoked variety found only there—are the norm. Both very hot but flavorful, they are often stuffed with vegetables aside from beef and quesillo—a typical Oaxacan cheese. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus chipotles are stuffed with plantain, potatoes, pineapple, raisins and nuts. They are a real treat. In the Fall Puebla offers the famous chiles en nogada, but year round ancho and pasilla chiles are stuffed with ground or shredded beef or cheese.
poblano chile relleno
In central Mexico anchos are stuffed with a mixture of vegetables—corn grains, squash, carrots, and squash blossoms among other vegetables. Mexico City offers everything; however, anchos stuffed with shrimp or a mix of seafood are popular and served cold. Xalapa, Veracruz, home of the jalapeños, has in its markets’ special piles of big ones selected for stuffing. Big chipotles are also selected in Xalapa for this noble purpose. In the Yucatan peninsula, xcatics are very popular stuffed with Gouda cheese or fried baby shark covered with kool sauce, a white sauce that reminds one of a bechamel, made of poultry stock, flour, whole olives and capers, and epazote—the only American ingredient. This is a sauce originally used for queso relleno, a Yucatecan specialty.
As you can tell, traveling in Mexico could be a rich chile adventure. Always ask for their typical regional dishes and if you wish, state that you are interested in the local chiles rellenos specialty, there is always something to be discovered, you are not going to be disappointed. Now, while you make it there, here below are three good options for home cooking… Provecho!

bean and cheese ancho rellenos
Bean and Cheese Ancho Chiles Relleno
Print Recipe
Heat Scale: Mild
Servings
6 servings
Servings
6 servings
bean and cheese ancho rellenos
Bean and Cheese Ancho Chiles Relleno
Print Recipe
Heat Scale: Mild
Servings
6 servings
Servings
6 servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Carefully make a side cut on the anchos and remove the seeds and veins, then rinse them.
  2. Dip the chiles in boiling water for one minute. Remove them, drain, and reserve them.
  3. In a pan, sautée the onion, garlic and serrano. Add the beans and salt. Refry for 3 minutes, then stuff the mixture into the chiles and add the cheese. Heat the stuffed peppers and serve.
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lamb poblano chile relleno
Lamb on Poblanos with Caldillo
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Heat Level: Hot
Servings
6 servings
Servings
6 servings
lamb poblano chile relleno
Lamb on Poblanos with Caldillo
Print Recipe
Heat Level: Hot
Servings
6 servings
Servings
6 servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Roast the poblanos directly over coals until they blister.
  2. Immediately place them in a plastic bag and wait until they cool off. Open them carefully with a sharp knife and rinse the peppers while removing the burnt skin, seeds, and veins. Drain and reserve them.
  3. Brown the meat in a pan with little oil then add the onion and garlic, the salt and sautée for three minutes. Next, add the raisins and almonds. Keep the heat low for another 5 minutes. Stuff the chiles and place them on plates. Cover them with the caldillo and serve.
Caldillo
  1. Lightly roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic over coals, a direct flame, or in your oven.
  2. Place the roasted ingredients in a blender along with the herbs and salt, and grind to a sauce texture.
  3. Cook the sauce in a pan with little oil for 5 minutes.
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cheese manzano chile relleno
Cheese Manzanos
Print Recipe
Heat Scale: Hot
Servings
6 servings
Servings
6 servings
cheese manzano chile relleno
Cheese Manzanos
Print Recipe
Heat Scale: Hot
Servings
6 servings
Servings
6 servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Rinse the manzanos and dip them in boiling water for one minute. After they cool off, cut the crowns off of the chiles and remove the seeds and veins.
  2. In a bowl, mix the cheeses with the cilantro. Add the salt. Stuff the chiles with the cheese mix and place them in the refrigerator for one hour. They can be served cold or oven warm.
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Managing Editor | Mark is a freelance journalist based out of Los Angeles. He’s our Do-It-Yourself specialist, and happily agrees to try pretty much every twisted project we come up with.