8 Tips for Making Chiles Rellenos

Chile relleno ek

A battered, cheese-filled poblano pepper awaits a coating of spicy tomatillo sauce

I make the best chiles rellenos. Let me amend that. I make the best California-style chiles rellenos. That means I stuff roasted poblano peppers with a mild melting cheese, like Monterey Jack.  My batter is made of egg whites beaten to a soft peak, and I add one egg yolk.  (I don’t like the batter to be too eggy in flavor.) My sauce is homemade tomatillo.

I’ve made them so many times that I don’t need a recipe.  No matter what recipe you use, here’s a few helpful tips  — especially if you’ve never made them before.

chiles rellenos

A pan of chiles rellenos in green tomatillo sauce is pulled from the oven.

1. Roast the peppers directly on the oven rack, over a pan of water.  I wrote about this technique here:  http://belowthefoldblog.com/2013/11/pepper-salad-with-capers/

2. No worries if the peppers tear while you are peeling and cleaning them. I’ve learned that you can patch together bits of pepper and you can still  create a beautiful stuffed bundle of pepper and cheese.

3.  Don’t clean the seeds by holding the pepper under running water.  (Yes, cleaning out the seeds is laborious.)

4. Cut the cheese into strips (rather than grate it.)

5. After rolling the peppers around the cheese strips, dust the pepper packets with flour.

6. Use a slotted spoon to dip the pepper into the egg-white batter.

7. Fry them on both sides till they are golden. They will puff up and make you happy.

8. After covering the fried stuffed peppers with sauce, add some water to the pan to make sure there will be enough sauce after they are baked (if you don’t add water, the sauce absorbs into the batter, and you’ll wish for more sauce.)