If you’re from New Mexico, then most likely, one of your favorite foods is chile rellenos. For some of us, we just order them when we go to our local favorite New Mexican restaurant. If you’re like the many of New Mexicans that have moved away for work, military, job opportunities, you can’t just go down the street to get a hot, freshly fried Chile Relleno like you can here. Now, despite all odds, you can make your own. Don’t feel as though it’s impossible to find chile anymore. These days, there are many farmers and local retailers that will ship fresh and frozen green chile right to your door. Now, you can have your cake and eat it. I remember the days before the internet when some of these recipes were just passed down from one family member to another.
- 8 Hatch, New Mexico Green chiles; long and straight (Big Jim’s work best, in my opinion)
- 8 Strips Monterey Jack cheese
- Some flour for dusting
- 6 Eggs; separated
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 pinch Baking powder
- 1 tbsp Milk
- Oil, shortening, or lard
Here in New Mexico, the seller of chiles has a big rotating drum in which the chiles are roasted and tumbled over an open flame till the skins are blackened and can be peeled away. At home, the same can be accomplished over the stove, in the broiler, or on a barbecue grill. Turn frequently, roasting until skins are blackened and blistered. Place the roasted chiles in a wet towel for a few minutes, this will help loosen the skin. Peel the skin, then wash chiles in cold water. Make a slit below the stem and remove the seeds, being careful not to break off the stem. At this point, if you have a large batch of chiles, extras may be placed in resealable plastic bags and frozen for future use. Insert a slice of cheese in each chile. In a VERY CLEAN mixer bowl, combine the egg whites, salt, and baking powder. Beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, stir the egg yolks and milk together. VERY GENTLY fold the whipped whites into the yolk-milk mixture. This is a VERY CRITICAL step…. don’t MIX… just fold, two or three times max. The idea here is to not crush the little bubbles of the egg whites. The oil should be deep enough to cover the chiles. This can be done in a deep iron skillet or saucepan. Roll stuffed chiles in flour, then dip in egg batter. Fry till golden brown. Drain excess oil, and serve right away.