Prep 45 mins
Cook 30 mins
This is my best recipe. I conducted a LOT of research and experimentation to achieve this one, much of which involved eating chilies rellenos at Mexican restaurants all over the country and, subsequently conducting friendly interrogations of Mexican chefs and waiters. The result I achieved culminated in chilies rellenos that I like better than the ones at all of those great restaurants. It looks complicated but if you get your stuff laid out in advance it goes very fast and smoothly. I ended up using (heirloom) Anaheim peppers because that's what I raise in my garden but you can use Poblanos with equal success. I did cheat a bit on the batter coating for the peppers by using the tempura batter mix (an Asian product), and here’s why: having reviewed many batter recipes for chilies rellenos, I discovered that the base ingredients compared very closely with those of the tempura batter mix ingredients. The more important point, though, is that tempura batter is very easy to use, tastes great, and adheres incredibly well to the peppers during the frying process. I should also add that the sauce is a major feature of this recipe and it can be used with equal versatility on enchiladas and huevos rancheros. I hope you like these chilies rellenos as much as my friends, family and me! big pat.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salted butter
- 2 serrano peppers, diced, with seeds (canned or fresh)
- 2 chipotle peppers, diced, with a little sauce (canned in adobo sauce)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons Wondra Flour (can go 4 tablespoons)
- 15 ounces chicken broth (canned)
- 6 ounces tomato sauce
- 5 teaspoons chili powder (fresh, good quality)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar (or honey)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
- 2 cups tempura flour, mix (batter, I use Hime brand)
- 1 1⁄2 cups water, ICE COLD
- 12 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded, brought to room temperature
- 20 ounces corn oil
- 6 large anaheim chilies, fresh
- Make the sauce. This can be done 1-2 days in advance, and the sauce reheated just before making the Chilies Rellenos.
- In a large skillet, sauté the onions and serrano and chipotle peppers over medium high heat in the melted butter and olive oil.
- Just as the onions are ready to brown, sprinkle the Wondra flour over it and allow to sauté for about five minutes, stirring occasionally -- the onions/peppers should be fairly dry at the end of this process.
- Slowly add the chicken broth and whisk into a gravy. Add the chili powder, sugar and salt.
- When the mix begins to boil, add the tomato sauce and whisk.
- When the mix re-boils for a second time, reduce heat.
- (You can add additional chicken broth and whisk over low heat at this point to achieve desired thickness.) Set aside or, refrigerate if you aren't making the Chilies Rellenos right away.
- Now, prepare the peppers: Place the peppers in an ungreased 9x13-inch ungreased casserole dish and place them under the broiler, using the top rack of the oven. The objective is to char the peppers that they become mostly blackened.
- Keep a close eye on the peppers under the broiler. As they blacken, you will hear them make popping sounds. Once they are pretty much charred on one side (some will be more so than others), remove the dish and turn the peppers. Place them back under the broiler until the second side is charred.
- Once the peppers are pretty well charred, remove them from the oven and immediately wrap each one in a damp paper towel, which will serve to loosen the charred skin.
- After five minutes or so, remove the paper towels and pull the skin from each pepper with your fingers, or use a paring knife to gently scrape off the skin. Do not be concerned if some skin remains attached -- this does not affect the quality of the dish. Repeat until all the peppers are skinned.
- Now is the best time to pour your corn oil into a large skillet and allow it to heat to 375 degrees F. on the stove top.
- Back to the peppers, carefully cut a slit into each skinned pepper from about 1" from the tip to fairly close to the stem. Then, cut in a small perpendicular cut on the stem end to form an elongated "T". Carefully remove as many seeds as possible from each pepper.
- Once the peppers are de-seeded, gently stuff them with the shredded, room-temperature Monterey Jack cheese. When finished, each pepper should appear close to its original girth -- you do not want them to gape open at the seam. Set them aside for the moment.
- Next, prepare the tempura batter by pouring 1 1/2 cups of ICE COLD water into a mixing bowl (or into the bowl of your Kitchen Aide mixer with whisk attachment) and begin running the beater or blender as you pour in the tempura batter mix. Blend only just until any large lumps have disappeared (10-20 seconds). Don't worry about small lumps.
- Cradle each pepper in your fingers, as not to open the seam, and submerge it into the batter, coating as evenly as possible (this is a messy operation!).
- As each pepper is battered, place it directly into the hot oil in the skillet, seam side DOWN. Do not crowd the peppers -- I like to fry no more than 3 at one time.
- Turn each pepper one time so that both sides end up a light golden brown, (the seam will be sealed shut at this point), which is about 3-5 minutes per side.
- Plate up the peppers directly from the skillet on to serving platters/plates. Two peppers make a large serving. Generously pour heated Ranchera sauce over each of the plated peppers.
- Topping with additional cheese is optional. Serve with rice as a side dish if you wish.