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Question re Chile Rellenos

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OK Having special guests out to my place on and around May 5. I want to make all sorts of chile rellenos. My questions are:

What is the best chile to use?
Do I roast it ahead of time and then fill it?
Is it best to use the canned version and if so will they hold up to frying?
What should I use for a crispy texture - I do not like them goopy. Cornmeal? If so what are the proportions recommended?
Fillings? Sauces?
what is traditional? Because I could do soggy if that was traditional along with my fried ones.

I live in a small town so exotic peppers are unknown here.

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  1. Poblanos are the chile of choice. Poblanos are found in most megamarts. I would blacken and remove skins. Don't rinse when removing the skin. Make a door in the side of the chile and remove seed pod. Stuff and traditonally you use an frothed egg white batter.

     
    2 Replies
    1. re: scubadoo97

      No No No to Poblanos.... in San Diego, the Anaheim is the traditional chili. You can use canned, but fresh are better and yes they should be roasted to soften them. What do you mean by goopy? Cormeal is not a traditional coating.... you shoudl use a simple egg batter. Because you bake them with a sauce, crispy is really not what you're looking for. They are filled only with cheese.

      1. re: janetms383

        When was the last time you were at super cocina in San Diego? Did you get the pork spine in hoja santa sauce with masa dumplings by chance....

    2. 1. Poblano
      2. yes
      3. get cans out of your mind
      4.separate egg whites and yolk beat whites till peak fold in yolks
      5. Search "Picadillo dulce", Queso Fresco, Queso Oaxaca, Peruano refritos mixed with requeson, tuna salad (serve cold with roasted chile gueros or cuaresmenos [lg jalapenos] Find a recipe for caldillo de jitomate and a stick of canela.

      Buena suerte

      21 Replies
      1. re: kare_raisu

        Poblano are tough and stringy. Use only Anaheim chilies

        1. re: janetms383

          Good fresh poblanos are complex and delicious, with just the right amount of heat (i.e., not much). I've never had a tough or stringy one!

          1. re: LauraGrace

            Be that as it may, chili rellenos should be made with Anaheim chilis

            1. re: janetms383

              Since Californians don't even know the right name for poblanos (pasillas??), it's not surprising that they don't know how to cook with them either. :)

              1. re: paulj

                That's quite a generalization. Poblanos (as we call them) are used in many dishes, and some misguided chefs use them for chili rellenos, but the proper pepper for a rellenos is the Anaheim.

                Are you saying Californians call them pasillas? I don't ever hear them called that.

                1. re: janetms383

                  Often in groceries, the broad shoulder, dark green chiles are labeled 'pasilla', a practice which is usually blamed on California usage. In most of Mexico, pasilla refers to a long, skinny, wrinkled dried chile.

                  The bright green Anaheim comes from a New Mexico chile. I can see where it would be popular in California for rellenos, but it was not traditionally known in Mexico. Thus it is not the chile of choice for Mexican style rellenos.

                  So how are poblanos typically used in California? For rajas (strips in a cream sauce)?

                  1. re: paulj

                    ditto. I have not ever heard of using an anaheim for rellenos, and I have lived in CA most of my life. They do not use it here in North CA.

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      Now, you should know that polanos were not comercially available until a few years ago, before that it was all Anaheims when you were talking about green chile. It's part of the globalzation of food knowledge that so many people even know enough to have a preference.

                      That said, they're both great for rellenos.

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        "Now, you should know that polanos were not comercially available until a few years ago, before that it was all Anaheims when you were talking about green chile."

                        When are you saying they became commercially available?

                    2. re: paulj

                      Actually... Anaheim / California / New Mexico chiles are none other than the Chihuahuan Chile Verde. Yes in Chihuahua that is the preferred chile... but for the typical Chile Relleno... the Poblano with its complex flavor & favorable stuffing friendly cavity is far superior to the Verde / New Mexico / Anaheim / California.

                      Chile Rellenos were being made centuries prior to the Anaheim chile name ever existed.... the Poblano is one of the preferred chiles for this purpose... anyone how doubts its preeminence... is not someone I would listen to.

                      Further, the idea that Rellenos should only be stuffed with Cheese... gimme a break that is a complete joke.. sure that is the Tex-Mex standard and it might simply the execution of the dish.... but the Rellenos in Chile Relleno come in a wide range of perfectly acceptable ingredients. Note, the name is Chile Relleno not Chile Relleno de Queso.

                    3. re: janetms383

                      Proper for sure, what was I thinking? I crave that bitter briney, tinny taste, super authentic. Say, do you use hatch or ortega?

                      1. re: janetms383

                        Our friend Elena is from Puebla. Her mom makes the best chiles rellenos I've ever tasted, and I've never had'em fresh because Elena brings them to us wrapped in foil the next day. They are made in her home town's traditional way, she tells us, with poblano peppers and cotija cheese. Those people have obviously been "misguided" for an awfully long time!

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          My goodness! Will Owen being sarcastic???!!! What's the world coming to?

                          Those sound awfully good!

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                            I get sarcastic a lot, Sam, just not so much here...unless we get to talking about what is or isn't a martini, then stand back!

                            Yes, they are very good, and Elena's always saying it's too bad we can't have them fresh because they're SOOOO much better. There is a Salvadoran place up the street, however, whose chiles rellenos are made much the same way. Depending on who's cooking, they're either pretty damn good or phenomenal.

                        2. re: janetms383

                          Anaheims don't have nearly the depth of flavor or meaty texture of poblanos. Poblanos also have a complex flavor that is lacking in Anaheims.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            When I was a kid, we lived all over the place and poblanos were not available in many of those place. My mother would make perfectly delicious chiles rellenos using canned whole chiles, cut in half and stuffed with cheddar (!) cheese. Not authentic, but delicious comfort food far from home.

                          2. re: janetms383

                            LOL Food Fight!

                        3. re: janetms383

                          I shouldhave said they weren't WIDELY commercially available. I never saw one outside of a Mexican supermarket until about fifteen years ago, maybe even less than that. viva la difference..

                      2. re: janetms383

                        no way! And I can use a canned chili for rellenos, would they not fall apart.
                        Pobalano chili is what I was taught, and I am going to generalize when I say, just about every Mexican uses here in No Cal. Today when I bought the poblanos the bagger was a Mexican gal, and asked me if I was making rellenos. Then as she walked me to my car we talked about our recipes, which were for the most, identical.
                        I've never eaten a stringy or tough poblano, you have to grill them and char them first before you deseed, and stuff and batter. Not stringy at all.

                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          "I've never eaten a stringy or tough poblano, you have to grill them and char them first before you deseed, and stuff and batter. Not stringy at all."

                          You hit the nail on the head. Yeah if you don't know how to make a Relleno I can understand how the Poblano might end up stringy or tough... but charring & peeling chiles is such a deep rooted, basic Mexican technique going back to the beginning of civilization... not knowing to do so... is simply not knowing how to cook Mexican. Its like trying to cook French and not knowing how to make a basic Roux or Stock etc.,

                      3. re: kare_raisu

                        What he said.
                        Poblanos are the preferred chile.

                        However, since fresh Anaheims/New Mexico chiles are so narrow it is only worthwhile to stuff them with a cheese 'stick'. They are thinner skinned so charring and peeling is a little touchier IMO.

                      4. What they said re: poblanos, fresh, charred and peeled, stuffing, frothy egg batter.

                        My favorite stuffing is queso chihuahua, roasted veggies, fresh cilantro, Let the veggies cool, then mix all together.

                        Tip for frying- after coating with the batter, put the "seam side" down into the hot oil. The batter will seal that seam right up- no leaking. And, you'll think that they will leak, because cutting a tear in a roasted pepper will not go as planned, and you will end up with a much larger rip. I've never been able to manage a small door, but at adequate oil temp, the batter keeps it together.

                        1. definitely poblano
                          char and peel them. make a slit. flour lightly and salt them
                          fill with quesillo de oaxaca (my favorite, becaus i can get real quesillo)
                          whip eggs to semi-stiff peaks and then carefully fold in whites
                          heat an inch of oil over medium-high until very hot
                          dip chiles into egg and put into oil. flip oil onto them to keep the shape.
                          fry until golden brown, drain, and serve on top of caldillo de tomate, which keeps it from tasting too greasy

                          1. Okay, here goes Version 3,112.6 of the Chile Wars! Which chile to use depends entirely on what part of the country you're trying to emulate. Some have already said poblanos, but in many parts of the country Anaheim (aka Ortega chiles, aka Hatch chiles, and many other names for the same basic chile) are the chile of choice in places like far west Texas (El Paso), New Mexico, Arizona, and California.

                            In either case, do not use canned, but do roast the chiles over an open flame (if possible) such as the gas burner on a stove or even over hot charcoal if you barbecue. Allow chiles to char until skin is black and blistered! IMMEDIATELY place the chiles in a closed container. A brown paper bag is traditional. Put the chiles in and don't crowd too much. Like you don't want to try to shove about 15 chiles into a lunch sized bag. A plastic bag will also work in a pinch. Close up the bag and allow the chiles to sweat for about twenty minutes. Remove them one by one and remove the burnt skin. Do not peel under running water as that will really diminish the flavor.

                            There are two ways to prepare the chiles for stuffing. The most commonly used way is to slit one side of the chile, top to bottom, scrape out the seeds, then stuff. The other way is to cut the top about half way through creating an opening large enough to poke the filling into but not decapitating the chile completely. With this method, you can cut the seed bearing cluster away from the stem's interior and discard, then squeeze out any remaining seeds the way you would milk a cow. Some leave the seeds in, but that can be a risky thing to do. Chiles are infamous for fooling people on how hot they will be. The same bush that produces mostly mild chiles will kick out a few "over the top" chiles that will incinerate your taste buds. And the reverse is true too. For that reason, I do de-seed my chiles for rellenos. No sense cauterizing the taste buds of the gringos!

                            Filling? Well, again it depends on the part of the U.S. or Mexico you're trying to emulate. Cheese is common, and always a medium to soft cheese. Things like parmesan do not make good rellenos! Otherwise, anything from Monterey jack to cheddar, and all directions in between, including some of the great Mexican cheeses if you can get them where you live. Depends on what you like. I have a friend who loves stuffing her rellenos with mozerella just so she can watch everyone "string wrestle." Then for other fillings, spiced hamburger meat, spiced and diced chicken, occasionally shredded beef, just about anything you think will taste good is an acceptable filling. "Chiles Rellenos" simply means stuffed peppers (bell peppers are used in some parts of Mexico too). You can find a gazillion recipes on the web.

                            Crispy texture? Are we talking about chile rellenos or fried chicken? The TRADITIONAL batter for chile rellenos is well beaten egg whites with well beaten yolks with maybe a but of flour whisked into them, then folded together for the batter. The stuffed chiles are then dusted with flour so the batter will stick, dipped into the batter and then fried, usually in enough oil to cover the chiles about half way. Well, actually lard is the traditional fat for frying chile rellenos, but I use peanut oil. And you don't want to let the finished chile rellenos sit around for a while before serving because 1. they get yucky, and 2. the longer they sit, the oilier they get. <sigh> Some things you just can't change.

                            As for sauces, in many parts a tomato and onion sauce (often called sauce Espanol, but not to be confused with the classic French brown sauce) is traditional. But you can also ladle on a little enchilada sauce thickened with a bit of corn startch or roux, either red or green. But just about any "Mexican" sauce will work, even chili con carne (without beans, but hey, if beans turn you on, why not?). A cheese sauce as in chile con queso is also popular in some parts.

                            So now, as you can see, chile rellenos is a very work intensive dish. So I have a question for you: If you're having special guests you would like to spend some time with, and you specifically want to serve Mexican/border food, why not two or more different kinds of enchiladas? They can be made ahead easily, if you want crunch, just don't cover them completely with sauce before baking, and there is a great variety of enchiladas that are fun to play "mix or match" with. Well, except stacked enchiladas, which are more work for a crowd than chile rellenos! But maybe cheese enchiladas with red sauce, enchiladas Suiza (traditionally green sauce, chicken filling), spinach enchiladas, there are about a gazillion different varieties of enchiladas. This would give you time to enjoy your guests and sip a few cold ones yourself.

                            Whatever you decide, have fun!

                            27 Replies
                            1. re: Caroline1

                              Caroline, good response... and you didn't Tex-Mex it! (I only flinched at the sauce suggestion of chili ......)

                              1. re: janetms383

                                Yeah. I don't much like it, but it seems to be a favorite in Dallas. But then, they make enchiladas with flour tortillas in several restaurants here. Talk about "Yuck!"

                                1. re: Caroline1

                                  My worst Chili Rellenos experience was in Texas when I ordered my favorite dish and the server brought this puffy, eggy, omletty, casserole thing that had chopped peppers and cheddar! cheese. I nearly cried.

                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                    I've said it before and I'll say it again- as far as i'm concerned, if they're made with flour tortillas they're NOT enchiladas- they're burritos. JMHO.

                                    1. re: EWSflash

                                      Actually, no. When you put sauce on them, they turn into soggy orphaned stuffed dumplings!

                                2. re: Caroline1

                                  Caroline,

                                  First thanks for the chuckle with the friend chicken comment. I went to the store after reading the posts here. Got Poblanos because that is what they had. The nice produce guy let me rummage thru all the peppers they had in stock in order to find the biggest/fattest (in anticipation of Caviar and Chitlins warning about tearing. We are making a pile of them in Carolines method. Thank you for the details Caroline. I can envision it. We are using Queso Asadero. My friend is bringing it. No meat or anything else inside. I am also going to make experimental, unconventional crunchies for me out of some sort of whipped egg corn meal batter that I have not completely worked out yet. I may fill them with something else. I am going with the onion tomato sauce.

                                  We are sort of doing a cooking Mexican weekend. My friend's mom gave me an antique wooden tortilla press which I enjoy hauling out on such occasions. it will be especially nice making the torts together with her mom's press. So we are going to make torts. My husband is making his hybridized Mexi/Cuban carnitas which are supremely tender/crispy/garlicky. We are making some sort of queso fundido/mexican raclette of some sort with a cheese I have never heard of. Homemade beans (of course), probably enchiladas one of those days and some tamales - regular and dessert fillings. My husband was making noise about doing carne asada over a wood fire. Lots of food. Oink.

                                  Thank you so much.

                                  I will report back of course. I cannot see this going as smoothly as I want what with seed pod removal and dipping coating with a chile filled with cheese. It should be amusing. I see beer or margaritas involved. Ut oh.

                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                    You're very welcome! My pleasure. If you have a little time to experiment prior to the weekend, you might try making the rellenos as I've suggested, then prior to frying, dip the battered rellenos in a mixture of maybe half cornmeal and half flour? Dust lightly because you don't want a heavy batter. but that might be a way to get the crunch you want from the cornmeal. My concern is that adding cornmeal directly into the batter would weigh it down.

                                    Or another idea for adding crunch might be to crush some crispy tostadas (corn chips) and sprinkle a bit of that on the battered chiles before frying. Crushed chicherones (pork rinds) is another possibility. I don't think you'd have to do actual rellenos to give these a try. The whipped egg batter is really easy to make, and you could simply try it on strips of roasted peppers. Even roasted bell peppers since you;re really testing the batter.

                                    Whatever you decide on, let us know how it works out. And if there's a shutter bug in the family, all the better! '-)

                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                      While totally untraditional, a beer batter has the perfect chrispy contrast to the rellenos.

                                      And the right pepper for me? The ones that are the freshest and the right size and heat for the meal I'm planning - poblanos or anaheims. I've been known to stuff jalapenos and sierranos as well.

                                      Stuffing is another non-traditional mix of cheeses (usually what's in the ref) of cheddar, jack, queso fresco or something else. Sometimes I'll toss in some fresh roasted corn or summer squash.

                                      I serve this meal with both a red and green sauce, rice, beans, salsa fresca, and yogurt. It fits nicely in the china 'tv trays'.

                                      1. re: alwayscooking

                                        Stuffed serranos? You must have superhuman fine motor skills...

                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                          They are often just a shade smaller than jalapenos - no advanced cyborg engineering required.

                                        2. re: alwayscooking

                                          Rellenos with jalapenos were inadvertently reinvented by one of my college roommates decades ago; he didn't remember to get Anaheims. Unexpectedly spicy for all.

                                          Nowadays jalapenos and serranos are getting huge And mild by comparison, not too hard to stuff.

                                          1. re: DiveFan

                                            In Veracruz you can find street vendors that sell Tacos of Jalapenos stuffed with a variety of things.... Black Bean Paste, Fish Minilla, Aged Cheese, Jamon, Quelites or Spinach or Chard etc., etc., some of my favorite tacos ever.

                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                              And then sometimes batter fried and served with a range of fresh salsas. Worth every gallon of perspiration for a great breakfast taco, or whenever. Mango salsa on a jalapeno taco is heavenly.

                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                Mango & Jalapenos are great together... I well remember a salad of Grilled Mango slices tossed with charred jalapenos slices, raw tomatillos, Cebollines (the wild variety of green onion popular in the Great Mountain region) & olive oil.

                                                My personal twist is to toss some Cueritos in there.

                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                  Sounds perfect - what was it dressed with? Lime juice and salt?

                                                  1. re: alwayscooking

                                                    Just olive oil & the juices from the mango... and in my case the vinegary juices from the pickled pork skins.

                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                      Thanks!

                                              2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                E_N, that isn't very nice to make us salivate without suggesting a relevent cookbook or link :-). From your description I'm guessing the options are 'inspired by whats available'. Mostly what you find googling is the usual bubba cheese or bacon filled options.

                                                BTW I was in the store yesterday and saw something that looks (to me) pretty revolting - stuffed chiles in a Can!
                                                http://www.mexgrocer.com/brand-calmex...
                                                Is there something I'm missing?

                                                1. re: DiveFan

                                                  Geez... I don't know where to start to recommend such specialized street dishes and/or home cooking. The best I can do is point you to the CONACULTA series on Veracruz for the techniques & flavor combinations... or if you are down in Mexico take an empty briefcase to fill with the little cooking magazines sold at the Newspaper stands / librerias / CD shops etc.., sometimes you just have to be in the region, purchase something from a local press in order to get the rich detail of local dishes.

                                                  Kare_Raisu has picked up some fabulous stuff... I even know a CIA NY graduate who relies on a Salsas y Recaudos magazine... in order to be able to properly do the obscure specialties like Strawberry Salsa etc.,

                                                  One time in Guadalajara I saw an issue with the Guadalajara home cook's top 100 flavors of Gelatina de Leche (think Panna Cotta) etc.,

                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                    Verrry interesting! This reminded me (off topic) of the present I've gotten from my son each time he's been in France. It's a Saveurs mag. Not Saveur, but with an s on the end. Of course it's in French, but the first issue had an article and recipes about cooking in Macedonia and not the usual "Tastes of Tuscany", etc. I fell in love with this mag.

                                                    I also picked up some wonderful small regional cookbooks (paperback) the last time I was in France. They were way cheap and quite fabulous.

                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                      Muchisimas gracias, E_N! I just discovered that my closest LA County library has quite a few of these Conaculta cookbooks...

                                                      BTW here's an old topic on this: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/374426

                                                      1. re: DiveFan

                                                        Good for you... even the Sonoma County library system had the whole collection so its out there... I have never been able to buy them (you always see them at CONACULTA book stores inside museums & archeological sites... I remember the last I was at Chichen Itza the little shop wanted $20 for a 50 page paperback on Totonac cooking... I just couldn't do it... to much of a rip off. I guess I must have some Monterrey judio ancestry LOL)

                                            2. re: Caroline1

                                              Carolione - I am so glad I checked back. We just rendered what I can only describe as an unholy amount of pork fat and - miracles - have a pile of chicherones which I am going to take for a test drive for my crunchies instead of just shoving them all straight down my gullet. We got 100 chiles. I know. Gulp.

                                              Tonight we roasted 10 and did liek yo said and peeled them after tossing them in a paper bag. LOVELY - thank you! We are doing our testers with Monterrey jack and jalapeno jack. My husband has ideas about drizzling honey. I envision a kitchen fire.

                                              - edit - My husband and our neighbor are taking out the pods. Lord. I hear them laughing. This is not an 11 pm project for goons.

                                              I so wish I had a digital camera. We are a comedy act tonight.

                                              Thanks again for all your help. I will report back tomorrow on the experiment and then after Cinco De Mayo on the whole tadoo.

                                              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                - edit - My husband and our neighbor are taking out the pods. Lord. I hear them laughing. This is not an 11 pm project for goons.
                                                .......................................................................................Sal Vanilla

                                                I can only imagine. I was once a guest at a circumcision ceremony and celebration for over 100 young boys. In your situation there were likely a bunch of Peter Piper jokes?

                                                What time is dinner? '-)

                                          2. re: Caroline1

                                            Okay. I'm adding this here in response to myself so everyone will (hopefully) realize I am not responding to any one particular person. But what did I say about opening up the chile wars again?

                                            For those who have never had a "chile relleno," I urge you to pay no attention to the arguments about whether Hatch/Anaheim/Ortega chiles or poblanos make the "best" relleno. Try them both and see which you prefer. There are some places in Mexico where the "chile of choice" for rellenos is bell peppers! The important thing to understand is that "relleno" or "rellena" simply means "stuffed" in Spanish. Even those "Jalapeno Poppers" you get in sports bars are just another form of chiles rellenos!

                                            I think most people prefer what they grew up with or whatever they are most familiar with. So bottom line is that ANYONE who tells you their way is the only way is very closely related to the people who travel to Europe and come back to America saying, "Those idiots don't know how to use a knife and fork properly!" There is ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat, hold a fork, or stuff a chile!

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              okay you're right, the war of the chilis is on. You knew that was going to happen!

                                              Living in Albuquerque for about a year, I can attest to what you say is true. I also experienced the Hatch chili relleno as well the Bell pepper relleno (in albq) and then too, the Poblano chili relleno, they had all of those. The bell pepper perhaps came from the huge Spanish influence there, I'm guessing.

                                              And all I can say is that the Hatch is best used dried or fresh, and it truly will make the best green chili verde.

                                              I remember it all so well, becuase I missed the Mexican food (that I'd grown to love since I was 20 years old). It's all in what you're used to is all, and that makes mighty strong ties. Especially when you've had food that is so crazy good and delicious. Go to any tacqueria in San Francisco, then to one in Oakland, now go to one here in my town the ever growing in bad publicity, town of Tracy, and you will find that they all make them with the poblano. I don't think I've in my 25 cough plus years of living in and around the Bay Area, been to a restuarant that uses the hatch for rellenos. rellenos being one of my hugely favorite Mexican entrees, I always would try them whenever at a new restaurant.

                                              On vacation in Puerto Vallarta, I of course had to have chili rellenos, they served me an uncharred unpeeled, slightly undercooked (al dente) huge fresh poblano that was hotter than ANY poblano I ever had, stuffed with cheese and shrimp. It was outstanding! The flavor if their chilis are unbeatable. But then of course that margarita was the best one I ever had too.......

                                              Chili relleos Caroline1 are the hardest things to make and the easiest to screw up.
                                              I know you're well traveled and been around the World a few times, but didn't I hear you say that your ex-housekeeper made the best chili rellenos???? huh-huh? : )!!!
                                              Love this topic!

                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                I have had god-knows-how-many chiles rellenos in my lifetime and what I like or have enjoyed doesn't mean it is what you or anyone else has liked or enjoyed. I don't think it is possible to say "This is the right way." Period. There is no right way. There is the way that any given individual enjoys, but that doesn't mean it is universally right.

                                                If you research the history of the "Anaheim'Hatch/Ortega chile," you will find a very interesting tale. The purpose of the whole project, in all of its guises, was to develop a chile that was consistent in its heat or mildness. Turns out that nature's little joke is that you cannot entirely "bio-engineer" a chile to be faithfully consistent on degree of heat in every pod from every plant. But you can get them so they're sort of ball park, with most of the chiles off a particular plant falling in the same general section of the Scoville scale. To the best of my knowledge, the Anaheim/Hatch/Ortega chile is the only one in the world that has had that much research and development put into trying to establish quality control. Some of us do not enjoy intense physical pain that can take a day or two to clear from eating the wrong chile. Poblanos DO have a unique flavor, and they are a bit "meatier" than Ortegas, but they are also less consistent in degree of heat from pepper to pepper. When cooking for a large crowd that has a fair amount of people it is reasonable to assume will not appreciate "hot stuff," it is safer to use Anaheims than poblanos. Simple fact.

                                                And FYI, the reason I have a housekeeper is for inescapable health reasons, but all of my housekeepers have performed more as my "sous chefs" than as cooks. One housekeeper in El Paso did make chiles rellenos for me, but I can't say they were better or worse than mine. But it's nice not to have to do the cooking every once in a while..

                                                But I truly don't see anything to be gained by people insisting that their version of stuffed chiles is the ONLY version. It's just a silly game of, "My dad can beat up your dad." Eat what you enjoy and don't worry about the rest of the world!

                                                Movin' on.

                                          3. Mentioned this before. Last chile relleno I had in the street market in Huatusco, Vera Cruz, was filled with a large pig's knuckle.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                              That is both disgusting and tantalizing. My husband would LOVE that.

                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                I've had patas emborrajadas (breaded pigs feet) in Ecuador. Would this be pata enchilada (foot in chile)?

                                                1. re: paulj

                                                  Much better than pie en la boca.

                                              2. Pobalanos, yes make sure to grill them first, and clean them remove the seed pod gently and don't wash the chiliis. Allow yourself sometime, this is the one step that time wise, is the challenge, it takes awhile to roast, peel and seed. So even do this step a day ahead (if you're making quite a few)
                                                Then stuffing - that 's up to you, me I just love cheese. Three cheeses, fontina, monterey and top with the Mexican cheese
                                                The sauce is thin mixed with broth or can be thicker, I prefer the brothy version.
                                                Then the batter, is a light cruchy, not too eggy, and I've a good recipe. But it all depends on what you prefer.
                                                I am not able to help you with traditional, only what's Regional here in Northern CA, and they are darn good!

                                                Here is a string of photos that will take you throught the process of making cheese chili rellenos. My favorite!
                                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/7220939@...

                                                my batter recipe is great if I do say so, and I've tried many. This is the least "eggy".
                                                I made it with 4 whipped egg whites-moderately stiff peaks, beat 1 T flour with salt, into egg yolks, folded that into the egg whites.
                                                The charred and peeled chilis, stuffed with white monterey jack, dipped into the souffle like batter, fried them up in a cast iron pan, and are they lovely... made a sauce with a little onion, and the a spicey mexican tomato sauce, and chicken broth. Pretty tasty.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                  Gosh those pictures made me drool!
                                                  - And I hope you don't mind - I looked at some of your other photos... very handsome family! My fave was your little boy making pizza dough!

                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                    Why thank you!

                                                    And yes the little one is learning to cook. Playing with dough is all part of it. He thinks that when he hears me say "let's have a salad", then it's soley his responsibility to make it. About him, Oh I could go on, but I'll try not to!

                                                    The reason I linked the rellenos, is simply because they are not easy to make and make good. Not even medium easy, they are difficult and very time consuming and it's taken me quite a few years to get the batter just the way I like it, the sauce the way I like it, and finally the cheeses, just the way I like it. oooo and with that little pep talk, I think I'll make chili rellenos tomorrow!

                                                    Actually, they are a two day deal. I think good Mexican food is involved and if you love to eat it, it's worth it to go through the effort and learn to make it right.

                                                2. All these left coasters pimping anaheims over poblanos? Demented. If I could kneel on your Nevada border with hammer and chisel and set you free (and adrift), I would do the trek.

                                                  22 Replies
                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    Hey, Mikey, TRY IT! You just might like it. And what a fine mess you'd be in then! LOL!

                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                      *Cough-cough" ummmm...
                                                      "All these left coasters pimping anaheims over poblanos? Demented."
                                                      Hey. I am from the Bay Area, been here forever... I said poblanos! : )
                                                      I just bought six of them today, and along with cheeses, I will making rellenos Saturday, since I want to celebrate on the weekend.. I'll grill a naked Anaheim on bbq, stick a wedge of melting cheese, and eat them that way, as an appetizer. But I would never call them a relleno.It has to be the Poblano, you're absolutely correct.

                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                        I'm with you, cc. I've never made rellenos but may after reaidng this. But I would only use poblanos. I stuff Anaheims with chorizo, cheese, spinach and a bunch of other things and bake. But that's not rellenos.

                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                          What you make is chiles rellenos, too, c oliver. Seldom or never would anaheims be used in Mexico, but other kinds of chiles besides poblanos (including some dried chiles) are stuffed with all manner of things. The rellenos dipped in batter we all love are made with poblanos, normally stuffed with either cheese or a picadillo. I think Janet's misconception is from the earlier "Mexican" cookbooks printed in the US. The so-called "authentic" recipes were far from it! Reason? The ingredients were not available. Substitutions actually were necessary. Canned green chiles were what Sunset or any other book in those days told you to use. Next, the fresh Anaheims became available. It was many years before I saw poblanos in the supermarket (usually called pasillas where I lived in N Cal.)

                                                          1. re: MazDee

                                                            Yeah, I realized later that a stuffed chile is a chile relleno :) So I mis-typed. But this thread has gotten me interested in making them - the REAL CR. It's one of my husband's favorites.

                                                            1. re: MazDee

                                                              The problem of availability makes sense.

                                                              Also, Caroline linked to an interesting article above. It mentions that the Anahaim cultivar seeds originated in New Mexico and were taken to Anaheim CA where they were widely cultivated, and would explain why Anaheims for chiles rellenos seem to be popular in parts of New Mexico and California. Also, Dr. Garcia, who developed the cultivar thought that if he developed milder chiles, "consumption would increase among the Anglo population".

                                                              1. re: MazDee

                                                                No misconception and certainly not from cookbooks printed in the US. I grew up in San Diego with many Chicanas as friends and substitute family. Anaheim were used for rellenos. I never had a poblano until I moved up to LA county. I know people like them, but for me they are just wrong. Not what I grew up with!

                                                                1. re: MazDee

                                                                  And may I add, how presumptious to assume I'm old enough to know what a Sunset Cookbook was!!! :-)

                                                                  (i still have 2 of them in my library)

                                                                  1. re: janetms383

                                                                    Ok, I'm so old I didn't know that they weren't doing cookbooks any longer !

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      hehe when I google them, they come up as "classic" or "vintage". Oh dear! If I had to choose, I'd rather be classic than vintage.

                                                                      1. re: janetms383

                                                                        Worse yet, I own the Mexican Sunset Cookbook... Gee they recommend using canned chile, and then they give recipes for batter (that is awful by the way) and then they give out some fairly decent recipes for the fillings. What a trip, I never noticed that before!

                                                                2. re: c oliver

                                                                  I love chili rellenos so much, well Mexican food, as much as Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc. Learning how to make some of the ethnic dishes is so gratifying, not to mention how happy I am when I eat it!
                                                                  Yes I make Anaheims on the bbq grill as you describe, scrumptious!
                                                                  I bought some little yellow peppers the other day. I have no idea what kind or their name. But I was watching a Mexican woman at the market and I asked how she made them, and she said she fried them, and then puts them in sliced in half, seeds and all, into her refried beans. OMG, does that sound scrumptious or what?
                                                                  I've seen these little yellow peppers prepared pickled and once, they fried they had them whole, stem and all with just salt and pepper. One just picks it up and eats it. Can't wait to try these.

                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                    A favorite lunch out for us is chorizo fundido y chilis fritas. They toss the whole jalapenos in hot oil long enough to wrinkle the skin of it. They add it to other peppers, onions and mushrooms that have been grilled. With some shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and avocado --- and of course margaritas --- it's a perfect lunch with nap afterwards

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      OH goodness! That sounds terrific, am I expecting there to be chorizo in this gloriius mix? Do you eat this in a tortilla, or just has a hot and cold sort of salad. I love the idea of just dunking the peppers in oil, the lady that I talked to, likes to eat them with her refried beans, but she fried them seeds and all too. oh this is great, will add these to my menu for the weekend late Cinqo De Mayo celebration!

                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                        The chorizo and cheese are melted in a shallow gratin dish and then the peppers etc. are on a separate plate as are the cold fixin's. And, yes, definitely in tortillas. But perhaps what I like even better is piling it all up on warm tortilla chips. We get three different salsas because the gringo/gringa ones are too wimpy. We mix them all together. As is typical of jalapenos these days, they vary widely in heat. So we taste and decide whether to remove all, none or some of the seeds. Very tasty.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          Great description, I felt like I was there! It's about an hour to dinner, I'm starving as I skipped lunch, and I'm tasting this. I have never had these peppers, and I love this idea. I am going to make a couple of people around here VERY happy. This is perfect, my sons will LOVE This dish.
                                                                          Thank you c. oliver, you just gave me a recipe that I know is going to be used over and over.

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            I assume you are talking mexican chorizo, not spanish? Not a big fan of the "mexican" brands I've tried. A couple of stores make their own around here. I might have to try again.

                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                              This restaurant makes their own. I also have a local Mexican market that has chorizo. I try to keep a couple of pounds in quarter pound portions in the freezer. Nothing better with eggs.

                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                      I probably won't ever try rellenos again. When I've tried the breadg fell off, ti was a soggy mess, honestly I don't know if I'm cut out for semi-deep-frying of complex dishes. It's a genetic defect I have, I fear.

                                                                      1. re: EWSflash

                                                                        What a devastating but understandable thing to say! We all have to find a solution for you.

                                                                        1. re: EWSflash

                                                                          Unless I'm just making two (all for me!) I skip the breading. The spongy/leggy thing esp. after moistened with sauce, is just not worth it to me. The pepper and fillings, maybe a sauce, are fine on their own. On occasion, I'll do a couple with egg wash and panko, pan fried.

                                                                          Of note is, bought three beautiful poblanos, labled "pasilla", in my Asian market yesteday.

                                                                          1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                            The answer to the breading-falling-off is the intermediate step I don't think anyone has mentioned, that of flouring the peppers before dipping them in batter. This is why it helps to have two people doing the production work, since doing this flouring and battering by hand tends to build up globs of dough on one's fingers, making it awkward to wield spatula or tongs. Anyway, the flour clings to the surface of the chiles and the batter clings to it, thus preventing fall-off.

                                                                            I've done it this way with both fresh and canned chiles. I do not consider the latter unacceptable, as when I was introduced to this dish, and for some years after, these were the only peppers available... and we all tend to regard our introductory version of any dish to be the "authentic" prototype.

                                                                  2. Never canned. I always use fresh poblanos, and the egg white/yolk batter. I prep the peppers ahead and remove the seeds.

                                                                    I've never had chiles rellenos with Anaheim peppers so I don't agree with the "No no to poblanos". and only "misguided chefs use poblanos". That's crazy talk ; ). However, never had them in California, but have had chili rellenos (one of my favorite Mexican dishes) on the East Coast, Arizona (where I live now), Texas (El Paso, where my husband is from, Houston, and Austin), and of course Mexico.

                                                                    I like them them stuffed with carnitas, queso, or picadillo, while Ernesto prefers them with just the cheese, pic:
                                                                    http://tinyurl.com/czsqpa

                                                                    A batch of my sister-in-law's delicious chiles rellenos the last time we were in El Paso:
                                                                    http://tinyurl.com/d4zlla

                                                                    PS. A tip I learned from Rick Bayless' cookbooks. He talks about two methods for peeling chiles - the open-flame or broiler roasting, and the oil blistering. I now prefer the oil since I have it already to go anyways to cook the battered chiles. There's less chance of overcooking the flesh as much, making them easier to stuff without tearing, and also is more even for the peppers that have deep crevices.

                                                                    (Pic of roasted on left, oil blistering method on the right).

                                                                    http://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b6c...

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                                      Thank you, Rubee. You sing the siren song of poblanos better than I ever could, and I am humbly warbling along in your shadow.
                                                                      Veg

                                                                      1. re: Rubee

                                                                        Ours look like the right. We oiled them and then put them over the fire then into the paper bag. Tequila was involved. But we are only doing a test run.

                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                          Right. In the real run you'll have to drink pulque and mescal.

                                                                      2. I grow 6 varieties of Poblanos ( farmers market guy turned me on to" Tiburon"; usually just the right amount of heat), 2 of Anaheim/NuMex, ISO the ultimate rellenos! Cheese filling is nice, but I also like picadillo.I don't do the puffy coating, but I coat and pan fry with flour and mabye cornmeal when I'm only making a few (and eat them all myself! Yum!).

                                                                        Rubee; I'm going to assume your pobalanos did not start out the same size?

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                          I think that Chiles Rellenos would be my wish for a last meal. I make them often even though I find them really a messy job to prepare. I've gotten somewhat competent and can now stuff them and coat them without too many big goofs. I always use poblanos, too. I first started making them with canned whole Ortega chiles, but now would not think of doing that unless I was stuck somewhere that didn't have any fresh chiles.

                                                                          The worst part is that I've become allergic to the capsicum (sp?) fumes and must wear one of those masks while prepping the chiles. It's extremely uncomfortable, but worth it.

                                                                          A tip is to leave the stem in so that they'll be easier to dip into the batter. If they're falling apart and you don't trust lifting them, you can always put in a few skewers to hold them together while dipping.

                                                                          Mmmmmm, I feel the urge to make them coming on....especially after those photos from you evil tempters.

                                                                        2. Worst Chile to use... Bell Pepper without a doubt.

                                                                          The best Chile Rellenos I have eaten:

                                                                          (1) Chile en Nogada (Poblano not battered) served at Antigua Hacienda de Tlalpan (Mexico D.F.)

                                                                          (2) Oaxacan style Poblano stuffed with Cheese in Egg Batter, sauced with Tomato-Epazote sauce

                                                                          (3) Guero Chiles stuffed with Crab, Tempura Batter served with Soy, Chile sauce (Ensenada)

                                                                          (4) Abuelita's Potato & Cheese stuffed Poblano (Roasted not Battered)

                                                                          (5) Cuaresmeno (Large Jalapeno) stuffed with Crab served with Tomato-Epazote sauce (Xalapa, Veracruz)

                                                                          (6) Anchos stuffed with Potato-Chorizo Hash sauced with Caldillo Agridulce (Vinegar & Piloncillo broth)... cooked by Moi

                                                                          48 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                            #6 sounds amazing. Ooohhh.

                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                              Kare Raisu once helped me prepare Anchos stuffed with Chocolate Pasta, Seared Scallops, sauced with White Chocolate & Lavendar... execution needed some work... but the concept was Ooohhh.... something made up given ingredients on hand... but #6 is entirely traditional and the recipe / technique has been perfected over centuries.

                                                                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                I know you're not a recipe kinda person but I am. Does #6 have a *name* that I could search for?

                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                  The name would Ancho Relleno de Choripapas... if you just do an advanced search of google: "Ancho Relleno" receta - restricted to .mx domains you will find a dozen or ideas for stuffing the dried Anchos.

                                                                                  I am also 80% sure that I have seen a recipe for something very close to #6 in Bayless: 'Mexican Kitchen'

                                                                                  If you want to brave the epidemic... next time you are in Mexico look for a book store and ask to see the cooking magazines... you will find these inexpensive all recipe (no b.s. articles or reviews) issues that specialize in a particular dish or ingredient. I.e., there is one devoted to stuffing dry chiles..

                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                    Thanks for the recs.. Not afraid of travel but when we head south, we head WAY south to Rio. But I'm going to make this for sure.

                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                      Another idea from Tijuana's Villa Saverio:

                                                                                      Ancho Chiles stuffed with beef cheeks, raisins, dates & almonds served over couscous & wine reduction.

                                                                                      http://www.villasaverios.com/menu_eng...

                                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                        So, in addition to being a great cook, you're psychic??? I have TWO packs of beef cheeks in the freezer. YAY!!!

                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                          Dinner is at Ms Oliver's tonight, ladies & gentlemen =)

                                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                            I have enough dinner plates for about two dozen but willing to get more!

                                                                                        2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                          I think you've just won the prize for creative web surfing! "SLICED ROASTED DUCK BREAST served over a tangy guayaba sauce, in its own juices and a duck confit burrito....$175.00" I may have a misplaced funny bone, but the confit burrito made me laugh out loud!

                                                                                          And I can't remember the last time I saw a menu in Tijuiana with the prices in pesos. Maybe the 12th of Never? Amusing. And possibly reassuring to diners!

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            Actually Villa Saverios has been around since the 1960's with prices always quoted in Pesos... a little further south in Ensenada... El Rey Sol has brought world class French denominated in Pesos (maybe it has slipped a little in the last decade but still deserve kudos)... since the late 60's. Actually, now that I think about it I have not seen any restaurant deep in Tijuana's residential areas (ie., outside of Ave. Revolucion & adjacent neighborhoods) that is denominated in dollars.

                                                                                            Further... the Duck Breast in Guava sauce is a modern classic dating back to the 70's found in hundreds of restaurants around Mexico.

                                                                                            And the duck confit (i.e, carnitas) burrito makes complete since in a place like TJ that has a long tradition of Chihuahua style burritos... and well duck is more endemic to Mexico than say pork.

                                                                              2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                Bell peppers stuffed in the Mexican style with cheese and a batter probably isn't a good idea (though I've never tried it), but they work well stuffed with rice, nuts, ground meat etc, and then baked. There's nothing wrong with either the Spanish or the Polish version of these stuffed peppers.

                                                                                1. re: paulj

                                                                                  I have never had a good version of Stuffed Bell Peppers... all I have had are the kind you mention... the Bell Pepper to me... has an annoying flavour, bad texture & you repeat the meal over & over again.

                                                                                  I have always been Anti Bell Pepper as I think they are one of the worst chiles ever cultivated... however, a few recent experiences with griddled Bell Peppers used in Sinaloa style seafood tacos (Smoked Tuna, Scallops, Shrimp etc.,) have opened my mind to the idea that they might be less than vile... I am always open to be persuaded.

                                                                                  Alright big boy... you are on the spot.... where can I find a great version of stuffed pepper that will change my prejudices?

                                                                                  1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                    A nose in of the camel here for tastes and techniques - anything but green works just great for roasted, stuffed, and grilled.

                                                                                    [nose out now!]

                                                                                    1. re: alwayscooking

                                                                                      Agree with alwayscooking, some people don't digest green bells very well.

                                                                                      To prepare stuffed bell peppers, I start with the Jeff Smith filling recipe which is infinitely variable (btw it's pretty close to George Langs version).
                                                                                      http://www.bigoven.com/139082-Hungari...

                                                                                      I top them with an allegedly Hungarian, very gabacho sauce, likewise from Jeff Smith: http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/twarda/r...
                                                                                      In this sauce roasted poblanos substitute well (of course) for the Anaheims. I know that E_N will substitute crema as well. The sauce also goes well on pink beans, sauerkraut, other veggies, etc. - must be the dairy addiction talkin'.

                                                                                      NOW we've smothered those bell peppers into obscurity....

                                                                                      1. re: DiveFan

                                                                                        Hungarian is probably THE great cusine of Central Europe... when they speak I listen... I would gladly give an authentic Hungarian bell pepper dish a go.

                                                                                    2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                      I make a Thai stuffed bellpepper that won the 37th East Hong Kong, Illinois, Gore Met Cook Off of 1973. My dish was taken up by enthusiastic cooks in Thailand who immediately wrote back, 'วันนี้เป็นวันเกิด อยากได้ลายมืออันน่าประทับใจให้ทุก". And although I have no idea what they said and in spite of going on to win "Best Dressed Man of 1976" in Tarija, Bolivia, my pimentones rellenos continue to be a favorite dish of the remaining surviving family of the ex dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin Dada who now live in Newark, New Jersey.

                                                                                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                        Sam, you may want to check out the latest issue of Caballero Trimestral, the Bolivian edition of GQ. Men's fashion has changed a lot there in the last 33 years.

                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                          I'll do that, but right now I'm just sitting here wating for E_N to ask me for my recipe.

                                                                                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                          Wow, that is impressive!
                                                                                          Although I have no idea what a Thai stuffed bell pepper would look like. What did you stuff them with that voted them the winning dish?

                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                            1/2 lb ground pork, 2 oz raw shelled deveined and chopped shrimp, 2 Tbsp chopped green onion, 1 Tbsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp chopped ginger, 1/4 tsp ground white pepper, chopped chiles to taste, couple - three good squirts of fish sauce, 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in water. Stuff in 8 small (-est you can find) green bell peppers. Steam for 30 - 40 minutes. Top with sauce of 1/2 cup toato sauce, 1 Tbsp chile sauce, and 1 Tbsp lime juce.

                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                              Oh yikes! I'd already saved this thread and now this? Holy moly, it sounds good.

                                                                                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                Lordy! Well no wonder you won, I found some tiny bell multicolored peppers yesterday, and this would be perfect. I was not feeling very creative when I saw them, and passed them up. This would be perfect. I can fit this in with my appetzier night (actually this is lovely first course).
                                                                                                Chili sauce? That's not a product I buy, do you mean like the bottled coctail sauce?
                                                                                                Thanks Sam!

                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                  NOOO on the cocktail suace! You will find generally sweet chili sauces in you asian section. Linghams from Malaysia is my favorite, but there are many varieties and brands.

                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                    Oh-Oh-Oh so sorry! OMG!
                                                                                                    My brain malfunctioned! When you said, "1 Tbso chile sauce", I thought, cocktail sauce!! I was thinking to myself, well okay I don't use that stuff, but this must be good, he won the cook-off! haha!!!

                                                                                                    Of course! You were in Thailand!
                                                                                                    Okay, Sweet Chili Sauce, I use Mae Ploy brand, I'll can take a trip over to the Filipino market here in town, they might have Linghams.

                                                                                                    Ohhhh man these are going to be so good. We all really love small plates. During the Spring and Summer, I serve a lot of appetizer or what would qualify as first course dishes instead of a traditional dinner dinner.
                                                                                                    This is perfect, Thanks Sam!

                                                                                                  2. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                    Green bells are usually stuffed with the top cut off.

                                                                                                    But with the ripe ones, slicing them in half vertically, and stuffing the shallower halves might look better. Especially if made as an appetizer or side dish.

                                                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                                                      I cut all bell peppers in half, top to bottom, and stuff. I get more stuffing that way. And if in half, both pieces are the same size. I copied that from a JC recipe years ago.

                                                                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                                                                        That sounds so pretty, could be a very elegant first course. Nice.

                                                                                          2. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                            mw c'mon... no recipes? no links?

                                                                                            1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                              http://www-psych.nmsu.edu/~linda/chil...

                                                                                              Have fun. It's encyclopedic. There's even a chile relleno recipe down toward the bottom.

                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                Uncle! I'm overwhelmed. I have, and have read, most of Dave De Witt's stuff. I will probably buy plants within the next five days.Until '08, I grew it all from seed. I can still buy plants at MORNINGSUN HERB FARM in Vacaville. Can you help me narrow down what I pursue here?

                                                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                  You're asking me for help choosing plants? You silly soul, you!

                                                                                                  HEY, YOU GUYS! CAN YOU LEND A HAND HERE?

                                                                                              2. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5444...

                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                  Such a tease! WHERE is the recipe for that gorgeous ancho chile stuffed with chocolate pasta? It looks like a tapestry purse! A true work of art. Did it taste as good as it looks?

                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                    Thanks... it tasted good.. the execution needed work, needed a little something... but I think everybody enjoyed it. The Chocolate pasta made an intriguing pairing with the layers of dried fruit in the Ancho... the White Mole while providing an interesting visual context lacked the acidity needed to lift the flavors in the Ancho.

                                                                                                    With regards to a recipe... as Kare_Raisu can attest... I don't cook from recipes... I just make a bunch of ilegible scribbles and go from there.

                                                                                                    KR... actually prepared the pasta (Bay Area boutique brand) and the Ancho (which I believe he just lightly toast / steamed in a dry covered omelette pan + a few drops of water... but if he sees this post he might remember the exact technique)... if I made it again instead I would definitely use the classic agridulce calidillo to lightly plump up the Ancho (made from fruity vinegar, piloncillo & spicies)

                                                                                                    The White Mole was more or less the traditional recipe except that I forget to purchase Tomatillos sand did not use enough blonde chiles (hence the lack of acidity & sharpness).

                                                                                                    The dark mole paste was prepared by Lola's Supermarket... the Quail where straightforward... pan sear the Quail... add the lightly hidrated Mole to the very hot pan (basic Molcajete searing technique) so that the Mole adheres completely to the Quail then cover & turn down the heat to low for the flavors to meld a little.... but make sure to not cook past Medium.

                                                                                              3. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                I agree with c oliver, #6 sounds delish!! Here is a recipe given to me by a good friend in Mexico City. I have been doing this one for years with pork and chicken. http://www.grouprecipes.com/46297/chi...

                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                  I have only seen Ancho in the dried state. Where are you lucky enought to find those fresh?

                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                    Hi Chef Chicklet,

                                                                                                    Ancho or Mulato IS the dried state of the Poblano Chile. There is no such animal as a fresh one.

                                                                                                    1. re: jimrug1

                                                                                                      Well I've only seen them dried so that explains it! Never seen them stuffed though, how are they?

                                                                                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                        I've had a relleno made with an ancho, just once. I don't know if it was part of the cook's tradition, or substitution made out of necessity. Overall flavor was good, but toughness of the skin was distracting. Once rehydrated, you can't separate the flesh from the skin without turning the flesh into a pulp.

                                                                                                        I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with using an ancho, you just have accept that the texture is going to be different.

                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                          Really good to know. Sometimes textures like that don't bother me, in fact I rather like it. Might have to try those. I think if i recall correctly, Rick Bayless or Diana Kennedy might have a recipe in one of their cookbooks.

                                                                                                          I do love the smell and flavor of the Ancho chili, I use it along with a couple of other chilis (Pasilla, and the California dried chili) in the red sauce for my pork tamales. I can tell you first hand, I do know how hard they are to get soft, not allowing them to soak long enough where they are perfect for pureeing, they will show up throughout your red sauce as little dark leathery bits, which I don't like. The sauce should be of a nice consistency, rich and smooth.

                                                                                                          My next chili to tackle is the yellow small chilis, ( Ithink they're a Santa Fe chili) which I have seen pickled and only once fried. Any ideas?

                                                                                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                            Yes, I've made one of Rick Bayless' stuffed ancho recipes - Chorizo and potato-stuffed anchos with escabeche. It's a different texture with the anchos, but delicious since they are toasted and hydrated in a sweet and sour escabeche with vinegar, spices and piloncillo (make sure to use nice pliable anchos). The recipe is in his "Mexican Kitchen" book, and he says it's a Central Mexican specialty.

                                                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                              Well you sure just made it sound pretty darn good, like I said, the texture wouldn't put me off (i love those fruit chews that are like gummy bears!)
                                                                                                              and I love the flavors, guess I better find the book again!

                                                                                                          2. re: paulj

                                                                                                            If the cook knows what he/she are doing... the Ancho's texture will be good... it will never be tender (without going mush)... but I think you can liken it to a really thick Nori... similar pliability with an almost fish skin like texture etc.,

                                                                                                            1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                              Nice, do you make these much yourself?

                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                Maybe once or twice a year.

                                                                                                                1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                                  I always have a bag or two of Anchos in my pantry, these sound like just the thing to try the next time I am feeling adventureous. Thank you!

                                                                                                            2. re: paulj

                                                                                                              I have to suggest theat the poblano chile was improperly scorched. Otherwise it would have been plenty easy to remove the skin. I've done it a hundred times and I'm not THAT good.

                                                                                                    2. My very favorite rellenos ae those stuffed with a mix of chorizo, rice and raisins.

                                                                                                      Anyway, can someone help me figure out how not to rip the peppers when I am preparing them? I seem to end up with an aweful lot of peppers that have tears and holes.

                                                                                                      Oh, and by the way, my daughter's Mexican FIL likes to do a naked relleno when he does his outdoor grilling. He preps the peppers (Polanos, for the record, but sometimes larger jalepenos) by charring/peeling/slitting. He puts a little stick of cheese inside, then throws them on the grill until the cheese melts. He puts 'em on a plate, and gives them to the hungry hoards to munch on with some grill-warmed tortillas while the rest of the meal cooks.

                                                                                                      14 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                        Tip on the Poblanos... the majority of professionals in Mexico have adapted a deep frying technique to roast the poblanos... they miss out on the smokiness of grilling over wood but the result will be a perfect textured, blemish free roasted Poblano that is a cinch to peel. Just get some fresh oil up to 375... dip the Poblano and within a few minutes the color will change and the skin will wrinkle up.. done... drain, cool & peel.

                                                                                                        1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                          damn. Those Mexicans are tricky. I'll try that next time. I had a feeling that part of my ripping problem was because the peppers were too well cooked from being overly charred. This might solve the problem. Sure beats wasting all that time turning & watching & watching and turning.

                                                                                                          1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                                                                                            hmmmmm.... I wonder if there is any type of liquid or powdered smoke that could be used to simulate that charred flavor? I just smelled my hickory liquid smoke and immediately ruled it out. Maybe mesquite? Have to go on a sniff and shop excursion.

                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                              I love natural wood-smoked sea salt. It adds a wonderful smokiness to anything - a little goes a long way.

                                                                                                              Two I use:

                                                                                                              Smoked alderwood sea salt
                                                                                                              http://www.worldspice.com/spices/0697...

                                                                                                              Spanish smoked sea salt:
                                                                                                              http://www.saltworks.us/shop/product....

                                                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                Nice links. Thanks! Overall, are you happy with the World Spice products you've tried so far?

                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                  Yes, definitely, although I've only tried three items from that site thus far. Thanks for the reminder to try some more!

                                                                                                                  I ordered the alderwood smoked sea salt because of a discussion with Delucacheesemonger on another thread, who said to try that instead of the Spanish smoked salt I usually use. I also love the adobo seasoning. I use Penzey's adobo seasoning blend a lot, but really liked World Spices because of their addition of orange peel. And, love the Japanese spice blend Togarashi (Chinese chile, Orange peel, Seaweed, Ginger, Poppy seeds, and Sesame seeds). Especially good on vegetable dishes, shrimp, and seafood.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                    Thanks! I have an order ready to go. I do like their prices. I lost all of my lavender when my spice rack fell from the wall, and I feel sort of ham-strung without it. They also have tellicherry black pepper, which is getting harder and harder to find. And $3.00 an ounce for real wasabi powder is pretty darn good!

                                                                                                              2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                Oh, please stay with natural ingredients. That extra fresh green snap of the stuffed poblano when you peel them after the hot oil bath should stand on its own. If you want extra flavor, put some pieces of garlicy sauteed shrimp in with your queso filling.

                                                                                                            2. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                              Above in an earlier response, I posted pics on the poblano frying method (link below) that Eat Nopal mentions - that's how I do it too. Smoked Spanish sea salt adds a nice woodsy smokiness. I use Matiz Mediterraneo.

                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6163...

                                                                                                              1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                                I'm guessing these papers did not start out the some size, right?

                                                                                                                1. re: Shrinkrap

                                                                                                                  Right. They didn't. I should have compared similar-sized and shaped poblanos.

                                                                                                              2. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                                                I think as long as you don't overcook them, the best technique I've found is sort of a T cut.
                                                                                                                It's like surgery. I lay the peeled chili on the cutting board, and using a sharp paring knife, cut across the top part just under the stem. Just about the width of the chili, careful not to cut through to the other side. Then in the center of that cut, down the chili 3/4 way. I use small scissors, and remove the pod that way. Don't rinse it, a few seeds aren't going to be noticed but if you do break the seed pod, use a small demitasse spoon or I use a baby spoon, to scrape the seeds out.
                                                                                                                Still have to use a toothpick after filling, so when you dip them in batter, the stuffing doesn't fall out.

                                                                                                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/7220939@...

                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                                  I used to make them with the "Full Immersion Method", i.e., I put one in the palm of my hand, and dipped my hand and the chile into the batter. I then used to turn it over and scoop the whole thing up and into the oil. What a mess!. I now use toothpicks.

                                                                                                                  I guess you could argue that the hands-on method really involves one in the process and your hand holding the chile in the batter like holy water. You can tell I'm not religious. Nah! Toothpicks are the way to go.

                                                                                                                  1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                    I use two large spoons.