Friday, August 27, 2010
Elva's Chile Relleños
My friend Elva makes the BEST chile relleños in the world period. Over the years, I've had a lot of chiles relleños, and hands down, she makes the best. Several years ago I asked her to teach me how - she responded that it was the wrong time of year for the good chiles.
Well, right now - it's the right time, so go get your chiles and get cooking!
First off, choose fresh chiles peppers. Anaheim are usually the best, and adjust the type you buy depending on how hot you want these to be. Also (I didn't know this at the time) fresh = not wrinkled. Wrinkles make it difficult later on. Also, wider is better (it isn't very often you get to say that!)
10-12 anaheim chile peppers
Oil (optional) - only if using wrinkled peppers
25-30 julienned cheese sticks (mozarella or monterey jack)
1/2 t. baking powder
2-3 heaping t. flour
1/4 t. salt
Oil for frying
Turn on broiler in over and allow to heat up. Meanwhile, arrange chiles on baking sheet. Once oven is hot, place chiles under broiler. Broil until blistered and roasted (almost charred), turn over and repeat until chiles are completely roasted on the outsides. If the chiles are older and wrinkled, prior to baking, wet a paper towel with oil, and wipe over the chiles, to help them peel easier later on.
Working quickly, place chiles in a plastic bag. Spray/sprinkle cold water from the tap onto the bag to help it cool very quickly.
Wrap bag with a cold wet rag, and set in bottom of sink for 10-15 minutes to allow the chiles to sweat.
Meanwhile, julienne cheese into sticks approx. 1/4 inch X 3 inches. If the cheese is a little bit older or hard, it works better.
Remove chiles from bag and gently remove and discard the outer skin layer from each chile. Remove the stems, and insert finger into the chile to remove as many seeds as possible (the seeds generally give it the heat).
Carefully stuff each chile with the cheese sticks, taking caution NOT to split the chiles.
In the meantime, crack a small hole in each egg with a spoon, and drain the whites into a mixing bowl.
Mix egg whites until they come to stiff peaks. Gradually add baking power, and flour.
Mix the egg yolks into the egg white mixture, beating until it becomes yellow and frothy. Add salt.
Heat oil until it is smoking. Gently dip each chile into the batter and place in frying pan with hot oil.
After just a few minutes, turn chiles.
Remove from pan and place on paper towel lined plate or pan so that grease can be soaked up.