Chiles Rellenos

That’s right, mis amigos.  Chiles Rellenos.

Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

If you read my post on Shredded Chicken Enchiladas, you probably know I tend to shy away from making Mexican food at home.  Why?  I guess it’s because I just prefer it to be made by the experts.  Oh — and Dustin doesn’t tend to like much Mexican food — so, there’s that too.

Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t yearn for some delicious homemade Mexican food…in my home.  So, when our CSA gave us — yet another — bag of beautiful Anaheim chiles for the third straight week, I figured something had to be done.

Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

And, really, what better way for Anaheim chiles to meet their full potential than as chiles rellenos, right?  I mean, c’mon!

Before we go any further, I have a confession to make: this was my first attempt at making chiles rellenos.  Kinda hard to believe when they’re one of my top favorite Mexican comfort foods, huh?  I know…your minds are all blown by this revelation.  I’m sorry.

Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

I have to admit: I was a bit nervous to try my hand at making them.  They look so complicated…and, well, stuffed.  I always figured it was tons of work to perfect.  Again, another reason I’ve avoided them in the past.

And, really, what better way for Anaheim chiles to meet their full potential than as chiles rellenos, right?  I mean, c'mon!

The result?  Perfectly delicious.   Crunchy, yet fluffy, exterior.  Delicate, cheesy and tender chile interior.  So.  Good.  And not too much work.  Yes, they do require some love…but they’ll pay you back double.  Plus, the special chile relleno sauce I made as an accompaniment will likely have you wanting to lick your plate to get every last drop.  Okay, maybe that’s just me.

Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Chiles Rellenos recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

And, no, I didn’t lick my plate…but I thought about it.

Buen provecho!

Chiles Rellenos

(chile relleno sauce provided below)

5-6 medium-to-large Anaheim chile peppers, unpeeled, stems attached
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, grated
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour plus 1/4 cup for coating
2 eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. olive oil plus enough to coat deep skillet to approx. 1/4-inch
vegetable/canola oil, enough to coat deep skillet to approx. 1/4-inch

Directions

There are several ways to peel a chile pepper: (1) place about six inches beneath the broiler on a baking sheet, (2) place on an outdoor grill or (3) place on top of a gas stove (my method — though be sure to have ventilation ‘cuz it can get a bit smoky). Any way you choose, use tongs to turn the chile peppers as they darken. The idea is to burn as much of the peel/skin as possible.  Keep a close eye on the chiles as they may go from blistered to burnt very quickly.

Once the skin is fully charred, place the hot chiles into a Ziploc bag and seal. Set aside for several minutes. The steam within the bag will help with removal of the skin.

Once the chiles are cool enough to touch, carefully make one slit up the side of each chile, keeping the stem intact. Gently remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers.  Gently stuff each chile with a combination of grated cheddar and Monterrey jack cheese until you’re just able to close at the slit comfortably. If the chile is refusing to stay together, you can try using a toothpick, but I found it unnecessary.

Whip the egg whites by hand or with an electric mixer until stiff.  Set aside.  Combine milk, 1/2 cup flour, egg yolks, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. olive oil in a deep large bowl. Gently fold in the egg whites until just mixed.

Pour equal amounts olive oil and vegetable/canola oil to reach 1/4-inch depth in a large, deep skillet. Heat oil to medium-high.

In a shallow bowl, spread out 1/4 cup flour. Roll each stuffed chile in the flour and gently shake off all excess flour. Dip chile into batter, holding the chile by its stem.  Cover the chile as much as possible with the batter up to the stem, but leave the stem uncovered. The stem will be your holding/flipping device.  Quickly transfer to hot skillet.  Cook each chile until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels until ready to serve.  Serve quickly if possible, and with some chile relleno sauce (see below for recipe).

Chile Relleno Sauce

1 tbsp. olive oil
2/3 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Directions

Heat oil in medium-large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until sweating, about 5-8 minutes. Add kosher salt, pepper and garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add flour, tomatoes and oregano and cook until thickened, about 5-8 minutes.

Add stock and bay leaf and bring to a boiling, cooking for about 10 minutes. Remove bay leaf and discard.

Using a stick blender, blender or food processor, puree the sauce until smooth. Serve with chiles rellenos.

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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

17 comments… add one

  1. Miss Becky January 19, 2011, 2:05 pm

    Lacey I clicked on this right before leaving for the store, and I’m so so happy that I did, because I’m making these. They’ve been one of my favorite dishes to eat but I’ve never made them and you’ve motivated me to try. This recipe looks scrumptious, and it doesn’t seem that difficult. thanks for including the photos, it helps. I have everything but the Anaheims. oh yum.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef January 19, 2011, 10:20 pm

      Yay, Miss Becky! I hope you like the chiles rellenos. They are a tad more work than normal, but definitely worth it. So yummy. I’d love to know what you think.

      Reply
  2. NanaBread January 19, 2011, 2:42 pm

    Oooooo… these are one of my all-time favorite foods. And cheese-filled is the best. I could eat them until I get sick. And yes…I would have TOTALLY licked the plate. Yours look divine. So yummy…so very, very yummy. I want one right now!

    Reply
  3. Priya Mahadevan January 21, 2011, 1:00 pm

    That looks completely delectable! I will be trying this recipe soo – The chillies are calling out to me – Hi! first time on your blog – happy my blog hopping brought me here :0
    Hop over to my blog, if you like some simple, yet tasty veggie recipes from India and other places too

    Reply
  4. sally January 31, 2011, 9:07 pm

    Yum! Love chiles rellenos! I’ve never attempted to make them myself though. I’ll have to give your recipe a try.

    Reply
  5. Linda May 8, 2011, 3:28 pm

    SO YUMMY-GOOD!!! Thanks for the recipe. My husband and I made this for my Mother’s Day dinner and loved it!

    Reply
  6. alma barron July 17, 2011, 10:26 pm

    Wow Lacey!! These are exactly like my mom’s, right down to the sauce. The only difference is the bay leaf. Chile rellenos are always a disappointment in
    restaurants…congrats, you’ve got the authentic recipe!!!

    Reply
  7. Tracee February 29, 2012, 8:57 am

    Try some of the chicken from your enchildas in these. Have you ever had these at Chuy’s? OMG Delicious!

    Reply
  8. Azzany M January 27, 2013, 6:54 pm

    Hey lacey that one of my fav’s and if ypu stuff them w ground beef and cheese their awesome , you can also serve them w ground beef(inside) and top them w white sAuce made w heavy cream , pecans and parmesan… Its really good

    Reply
  9. nora August 25, 2013, 4:02 pm

    I have aquestion? Do I have to broil the chilies.Can I just stuff and cook?

    Reply
  10. Sarah October 18, 2013, 10:01 pm

    This is exactly the sauce I was looking for, I can’t wait to try this! I love chile rellenos!

    Reply

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