4cupsvegetable oilfor frying (at least 1 cup or more)
How To Make the Sauce
Roughly chop the onion and garlic. Add them to a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.
Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, use caution and pour the tomato puree into the hot oil and stand back! According to Mexican cuisine, you want to “fry” the sauce. The sauce may spatter and spit, at first, but will subside as you stir it down.
Stir in the Mexican oregano to season the sauce.
Simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally for at least 15 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. This sauce needs a little extra salt than you may normally use. Add in small amounts, tasting in between additions.
How To Prepare The Poblanos for Stuffing
While the sauce simmers, prepare the chiles for stuffing and fry them. First, you want to blister and peel the external portion of the skin from the poblano chiles. There are a number of ways in which you can roast or charm (Learn about HERE) or you can lay them in a heavy cast-iron pan and blister turning every two to three minutes. The peppers must be charred and blistered on the outside and the flesh on the inside should become soft. The pepper must be cooked but not burnt.
Next, place the hot charred poblano into a bowl covered with plastic wrap or a plate. Alternatively, you can place them in a plastic bag and close it tightly. Whichever method you prefer, let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes.
Once cool, peel the skin gently, starting at the charred sections where the skin is loose, preferably under a thin stream of cold water. Use a paper towel to dry them off and remove any leftover charred skin from the flesh.
Stuff the Poblano Peppers With Cheese
Once the pepper is prepared for stuffing, divide the cheese among the peppers. Stuff the cheese wedges inside the peppers, being careful not to puncture or overstuff the peppers. You may need to cut the cheese as needed to put inside the peppers. Slightly fold the flap of chile over the other side of the slit to seal in the cheese.
How to Batter Chiles Rellenos
Begin by beating the egg whites and salt with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Make sure you do not beat them too much or they will become dry.
Next, fold the egg yolk into the egg whites, one at a time, until well incorporated and mix through. Be gentle not to deflate the egg whites.
Now, hold the flap of the stuffed poblano closed and roll the chile into the flour without getting too much inside the slit. Coat the entire chile in flour to give the egg mixture something to stick to.
Finally, dip the flour coated chile into the egg mixture. Coat the chile completely with the egg mixture.
How To Fry The Chiles Rellenos
Add enough oil to the skillet so that there is about 1-inch of oil in the pan and heat to 350 degrees F.
While the oil is heating, line a platter or large plate with several paper towels so the chiles can drain after frying.
When the oil is hot, add only two chiles to the oil at a time. This chiles brown very fast. Working with more will be too much to handle at once, and one of the chiles could burn if left unattended too long.
Brown the chiles on all sides, turning each chile over after about 30 to 45 seconds. When the the white foamy batter turns brown, remove the chiles to drain on the prepared paper towel-lined dish. Keep the chiles warm while cooking the remaining chiles.
How To Serve Chiles Rellenos
Spoon some of the warm sauce into each serving dish, then add a chiles rellenos on top of each dish. Pour a little more sauce over the top of each chile rellenos. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
The Chiles: If you cannot find poblano peppers, ancho, pasilla, or anaheim chiles can also be used for this recipe. Time Saver: You can prepare the chiles for battering a day in advance by blistering, peeling, and stuffing, then cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to batter and fry.Mexican Oregano:Mexican oregano is different from traditional Mediterranean oregano because it is grown in Mexico and has a more woodsy, earthy flavor. You can use regular oregano or marjoram if you do not have Mexican oregano. There is a significant difference in flavor, so I recommend getting some to have on hand for all of your homemade Mexican dishes. You can purchase some HERE.Simmering the Sauce:To me, 15 minutes was not long enough to meld the flavors. I recommend simmering for longer if you can.Charring Peppers:Roast or char the peppers, which you can learn about HERE, or you can lay them in a heavy cast-iron pan and blister turning every two to three minutes.Remove the Seeds For Less Spicy Rellenos: We like our Chiles Rellenos spicy, but if you remove the seeds, you can lessen the amount of heat the finished chili will have.To remove seeds from a whole roasted poblano cut a 3-inch slit into one side of the poblano. Insert a small spoon, and gently scrape all of the seeds and membrane out of the interior without tearing the pepper.You can use toothpicks to help hold it together, but I found that the egg batter helps it seal shut beautifully.The Cheese: Different Mexican recipes call for a variety of different cheeses to make Chiles Rellenos including Oaxaca, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack. I highly recommend Oaxaca, but if you have trouble finding it, the mozzarella or Monterey jack is the best substitute.Recipe adapted from KathleenIsCookingMexico.wordpress.com
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