I think my brother-in-law is a fairly typical New Mexican – he likes green chile on pizza, on his grilled cheese sandwiches, and in his burgers. I mostly just want it in Mexican food. (Mostly – it is great in burgers.) It’s a good thing too, because the Hatch green chile supply is limited out here in Pennsylvania. My mom is kind enough to send me a box of fresh green chiles every fall, and then I have to dedicate the better part of a day to roasting, peeling, and seeding them. My mom sends a box to my brother in Iowa as well, and we agreed that it’s a lot of work for basically one gallon-size zip-top bag of chiles.
Obviously it’s worth it in the end, or we wouldn’t do it. Dave and I have had green chile huevos twice since the shipment of green chiles came a few weeks ago, and we agree that it’s our favorite breakfast. The only other thing I’ve made with them so far is these chile rellenos, although I’m looking forward to green chile chicken enchiladas, cream of green chile chicken soup, green chile burgers, and a lot more huevos.
Chile rellenos aren’t something I tend to order at restaurants, but Dave likes them and they really are better than I usually expect. They’re simply cheese stuffed in a whole (roasted and peeled) chile, dipped in cornmeal batter, then fried. They’re usually served with green chile sauce, but I didn’t want to make any, and I didn’t miss it. Without the sauce, the green chile, cheese, and batter get equal billing, instead of the green chile dominating.
I chopped most of the green chiles before I froze them, but I have one more set of non-chopped chiles in the freezer waiting to be made into rellenos. They were so good this time, I’m definitely looking forward to making them again.
(I just realized that, although I keep talking about green chiles, they look more red in the picture above. That’s what happens went they’re shipped across the country before they can be roasted – they turn from green to slightly red. I haven’t noticed a difference in flavor though.)
Green Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed Green Chiles) (adapted from Simply Simpatico, from the Junior League of Albuquerque, New Mexico)
If Hatch green chiles aren’t available, poblanos are supposedly more authentic anyway.
1 quart vegetable or peanut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cornmeal
1 cup milk
10 green chiles, roasted and peeled* (canned chile may be used)
10 ounces Longhorn cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
1. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat to 350-375 degrees.
2. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Blend milk with egg, then combine milk and eggs mixture with the dry ingredients.
3. Cut cheese into slices ½-inch thick and the length of the chile. Make a small slit in chile just big enough to insert cheese.
4. Dip stuffed chiles in batter, using a spoon to coat the chile with batter. (I didn’t want to turn the chile in the batter because I was worried about the cheese coming out.)
5. Add 5 battered chiles to hot oil. Fry until first side is golden brown, 2-3 minutes, then turn the chiles over and fry until the second side is golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve.
*To roast chiles, grill or broil them until the skin is spotty black (blacker than you think it should be probably), then put them in a covered bowl or a bag for 10 minutes or so. After that, the skin should slip off easily. Be sure to leave the stem attached for rellenos.