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Chile Rellenos

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  • Chile Rellenos


    Chiles Rellenos serves two as a main dish
    4 poblano peppers
    4 ounces chihuahua cheese, shredded - amount varies with size of peppers
    4 eggs
    pinch of salt
    1 cup of flour
    1 tablespoon flour additional
    enough vegetable oil to fill a skillet 1/2" - 3/4" deep
    1 cup your favorite red tomato based salsa
    1 cup your favorite marinara sauce
    more shredded chihuahua cheese to top
    two tablespoons crema, or creme fraiche or sour cream

    You'll also want a paper bag and some toothpicks.

    When you purchase your poblanos, try to find some that are smoother and have no deep folds. These folds are difficult to blister, and may cause some skin to be left on the pepper.

    First, we need to remove the skins from the peppers. Rick Bayless recommends frying the skins off, but I prefer to blister them directly on a gas burner. Hold the pepper directly over the gas fire (not with your hand, obviously - try tongs or set them on a cooling rack that's sitting on the burner). Get every side of the peppers blistered and black.

    Put the peppers in the paper bag and close the top. The steam from the insides of the peppers will loosen the skin. When they've cooled to merely warm (about ten minutes later), take the peppers out and scrape the skin off using a blunt knife (like a butter knife). If you've done it right, just about all the skin will just slide off easily.

    Make a slit about two inches long in the in one side of each pepper, being careful not to cut through to the other side or to slitting the tip.

    Reach in with a finger and pry out all the seeds that cluser like a chandelier along the stem on the inside. Rinse the pepper to remove the seeds you've loosened. Dry the pepper and let it drain on paper towels, slit down.

    After a few minutes, stuff each pepper with as much shredded cheese as each will hold comfortably. Try not to tear the slit any wider than it already is. Use toothpicks to pull the slit closed.

    Separate your eggs into whites and yolks, dropping the whites in a large metal or glass bowl. Add a pinch of salt to the whites and beat them on medium until you get firm peaks. Add two yolks to the whites and beat them until they're well incorporated. Add the final two yolks and beat them until thy are well incorporated also. Finally, add the one tablespoon of flour and beat it into the mix.

    Spread a cup of flour on a plate or in a pie tin.

    Heat the oil in a skillet until shimmering hot, but not smoking.

    Take each pepper and roll it in the flour, and lightly shake the excess off. Dip the floured pepper in the fluffy batter, covering well, and let the excess drain for a second or two before transferring the pepper to the oil. Continue with the rest of the peppers.

    As the peppers fry, use a spoon to baste the top side with the hot oil to help set the batter. In about three to four minutes, when the down side of the pepper is golden brown and delicious, GENTLY flip the pepper using the stem and a spatula to control the flip. Always flip away from you so you don't get spattered with hot oil. Fry them until the second side is golden brown and delicious and remove the peppers to a plate covered with paper towels to drain.

    Combine your marinara and salsa in a microwave-safe bowl. Put the bowl in your microwave, cover the top with a paper towel loosely to reduce spatters, and nuke on high for one minute.

    Turn on your broiler.

    Place the peppers on an aluminum foil covered cookie pan. Spoon about two tablespoons of sauce on each pepper, and cover lightly in cheese. Place the peppers under the broiler for 90 seconds to two minutes until the cheese is lightly browned and crispy.

    Remove the toothpicks from the peppers.

    Put 1/2 the sauce on each plate and serve two peppers to each person, slit down. Spoon the crema on top of the peppers sparingly. The usual pinto beans and rice sides go well with this dish, but some garlicky greens would be an even better accompaniment.
    "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~Eleanor Roosevelt