Homemade Chile Rellenos - Any Helpful Hints?
Now that I've conquered making dumplings, I've really put myself out there by deciding to make another favorite restaurant dish at home- Chile Rellenos.
I have a good recipe to go by, but I'm curious as to what if any helpful hints would you'd like to share.
I'm planning on making them for Saturday dinner. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance! I'll be sure to post the recipe and the results.
-Be careful when you're roasting the chiles if you're going to do them on the stove, they tend to crackle and pop.
-Also be sure to wear gloves when handling chiles.
Subtly check the heat of the peppers as/after you take the skins off. Have a few spare peppers.
In Houston, I made Rellenos for eight and one native Texan came close to having steam coming out of his ears, from the heat of one of his peppers. He finally couldn't stand it and asked how we wimpy non-Texans could eat them so fast. Then we took small bites of his.
The peppers all looked the same, but three of 24 were hyper-hot.
I was buying poblanos at the store and started talking with someone who shared her mom's chili relleno recipe with me. I ended up talking to her again when I was getting hominy for posole. Her mom's sauce was simple and delicious. It is a large canned of chopped tomatoes added to some chopped onions cooked until tender or sweetened as she said. Then she added some cinnamon. That was the real find to this recipe. I made the rellenos without frying them in egg batter. I just charred them and took off the outer skin after leaving them in a plastic bag. I took out the seeds and stuffed them with Monterey jack cheese. Then I placed them in a greased pan, added some sauce on the bottom, added the chili rellenos, some more sauce, and topped it with some grated cheese. I just baked them for about 20 minutes at 350. They were delicious. I'm sure they would be even better fried but I try not to perfect frying!
I recommend highly Rick Bayless' recipes and methods. Unfortunately, can't post, due to copyright.... but he is the best.
For the batter I generally think in terms of 4-4-1, meaning 4 eggs, 4 tablespoons flour and one tablespoon water. The thing to do is to separate the eggs, and into the yolks you blend the flour and water. Whisk the whites until they are pretty stiff and then fold in the yolk mixture- in two, maybe three batches. Considering the air that has been beaten into the batter you are better off using it as quickly as possible. The benefit of the recipe is that it produces that airy, merangue-like batter which seals up the slit in the chile quite well. Just remember to dredge the stuffed chile and shake off the excess flour before dipping it in the batter, and to allow the batter to remain fairly thick on the chile before laying it in your hot oil (maybe 1/4" deep).
That's not the only way I make them- sometimes I go really simple and use a light egg wash and fine corn meal to get a really crunchy crust. For whatever reason I like this better if the stuffing is not the usual gooey cheese (i.e. shrimp, or goat cheese, or braised meat, etc.), but the gooey cheese stuffing gets the whole batter treatment.
I'm a cheese-and-batter guy myself. My biggest problem, unless I can get someone to help me with the cooking, is that by the time I've done maybe three batches of these guys I have giant dough-balls at the end of each finger! Ideally I'll have a helper dredge the chiles in the flour, shake them off, and drop them into the batter, and I will then remove them from there and place them into the hot fat. If I can't arrange for such assistance, I just have to scrape off the doughballs periodically...