Chiles Rellenos

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Chiles RellenosA fabulous classic: The crisp coating is light and airy, the chiles soft and yielding, and the cheese oozing. You’ll never regret the hour it takes to make these — they’re that good. If time is an issue, make the chiles through Step 1 up to a day in advance, cover, and refrigerate until ready to batter and cook them.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour


  • 4 large or 8 small poblano chiles
  • 3 cups grated or shredded Chihuahua cheese or
  • Monterey Jack
  • Good-quality vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup beer or water
  • Green Enchilada Sauce (page 664) or Salsa Borracha
  • (page 663)
  • Crumbled queso fresco for garnish
How to Make It
  1. Roast the chiles as directed on page 228; peel off the skins, but leave the stems on. Cut a slit in one side and remove the seeds. Stuff the chiles with the cheese; use toothpicks or a long bamboo skewer to sew them shut.
  2. Put at least 3 inches (more is better) oil in a large, deep saucepan. The narrower the saucepan, the less oil you’ll need, but the more oil you use, the more chiles you can cook at the same time. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat the oil to about 365°F (a pinch of the batter will sizzle immediately).
  3. Whip the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Whisk together the flour, salt, and beer in a medium bowl. It should be the consistency of thin pancake batter;
  4. add flour or beer if necessary. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter; some white streaks remaining are okay.
  5. Dip the stuffed chiles into the batter to coat and immediately fry until crisp and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Use the long skewers to help rotate and remove the chiles or use a spatula; drain on paper towels. Remove the picks or skewers and serve immediately with the sauce, sprinkled with queso fresco.
  6. GRILLED CHILES RELLENOS A quicker no-peeling, no-frying variation. The papery skin blisters a bit and can either be eaten or removed by the diners: Skip the roasting and batter and grill the stuffed chiles, turning once or twice, over moderately high heat until the skins are blistered and the flesh is tender. Serve immediately with the sauce.

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