Easy Chiles Rellenos


This dish hits me in all the right places. It's so satisfying down to my bones and reminds me of home. Growing up in West Texas meant an annual trip to Hatch, New Mexico. My parents came home with pounds and pounds of green chiles in a car that smelled like roasted chiles for weeks! I want seconds, thirds, and fourths of this dish. I can't make it fast enough for everyone. But I've kept this simple, using Hatch chile sauce, so it can be easily done on a weeknight to meet demand :) .



Easy Chiles Rellenos

Serves 4-6


1 lb. Hatch green chiles (pictured below) or poblano peppers

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lb. block of mild, aged white cheddar cheese

Toothpicks (optional)

Vegetable oil


Batter:

1 cup self-rising flour

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 cup of a light, mildly-flavored beer


Toppings:

28 oz can of Hatch red chile sauce

6 oz cotija cheese, crumbled

1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped

2 limes, sliced

Radishes, sliced (optional)


Preheat the oven to 450º F.


Place the chiles on a rimmed sheet pan lined with aluminum foil. Lightly coat them in olive oil. Roast the chiles in the oven until blistered and turning black in spots, turning them once or twice to blister on all sides. This can take 10-15 minutes. Remove the chiles from the oven and immediately put them in a Ziploc freezer bag, sealed tight, to steam on the countertop for at least 15 minutes.


Carefully open and remove the chiles from the bag. Peel the skin from each chile. It should easily peel off if they steamed long enough. Then, cut a small slit length-wise down each chile, and carefully deseed the chiles without opening them further.



Cut the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch wide rectangular strips that will fit inside the chiles. Stuff each chile with one or two strips of cheese, depending on the size of the chiles.


If your chiles are too soft, you can poke toothpicks through the middle of the cheese and chile (pictured right) to help hold the chile together while you dip them in the batter. The toothpicks will hold up fine when frying and you can remove them before serving.


Heat the red chile sauce in a small pot over medium-low heat. Let simmer.


Prep your deep fryer or fill your stockpot a quarter full with vegetable oil. Start heating your oil in a stock pot over medium to medium-high heat. (I have a gas stove, so mine gets really hot easily!)


While the oil is heating, make the batter by whisking all the batter ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. The thicker the batter, the breadier the batter will be once fried. I like mine a little on the thinner side for a light, crispy batter. To achieve this, pour in enough beer so that the batter is the consistency of pancake batter and slightly runs off the chiles.



Dip and fry the chiles in batches. Dip a chile in batter being sure to coat it entirely, then quickly put it in the hot oil. This part is messy! I can fry about 4 chiles at a time in my stockpot. Fry each chile until golden brown, turning them once so they fry evenly on all sides. This takes about 5 minutes per chile. Remove each chile from the hot oil with tongs, and set aside on paper towels to drain. Keep going until all chiles are fried. They stay pretty hot for a while!


To serve, place the chiles on a plate. Top with red sauce and sprinkle with cilantro and cotija cheese. Serve with slices of lime and radish.



This will take you straight to West Texas! Enjoy!

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