Learn all the tricks to making a great chile relleno. Allow yourself a little extra time the first time you make it, but once you learn how, they are very easy. Make sure you have all the tools and ingredients assembled first. You can omit the flour for a low-carb version.
For more detailed instructions, here is a Step-by-Step Tutorial with pictures of each step.
Time Required: 15 to 20 minutes
- Roast the chiles (see list below for types)
Roast the chiles on a hot grill, or in a broiler on high heat. Turn them occasionally until the skins are blackened and charred. When the skin of the chiles is sufficiently charred and blistered, remove from the heat and let them cool to room temperature so you don't burn yourself. Peel the skin from the cooled chile, rinsing your fingers if they become sticky. Be careful to not tear the chile while peeling it.
*If fresh green chiles are unavailable, use canned whole green chiles.
- Remove the seeds
Here is the tricky part. Roasted chiles are very soft, and tear easily. You are going to make a small slice into the side of the chile, just big enough to get a spoon into, about 2-3 inches. (Or use an existing tear if there is one.) Insert the spoon into the chile and scrape the seeds and the white membrane out, try to not tear the chiles flesh any more than possible.
- Stuff the chiles
Place a slice of cheese into the chile, or spoon the filling in, but don't force it. If the cheese is too large, trim it down until it fits inside. Don't over-stuff it. Make sure the open edges of the chile still come together.
- Prepare the chiles
This step is optional for those that have difficulty with the egg batter sticking to the chile. Try to make them without this step at first. Place half of the flour on the bottom of a plate. Place the chiles on the flour and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top. Use your finger to make sure the entire chile is coated. Dust off remaining flour and set chiles aside. If you rinsed your chiles in water, or if you are using canned chiles you may need to do this to help the batter to stick.
- Prepare batter
For a simple batter, whip 3-6 cold egg whites in a chilled bowl until they are stiff. Stir up the remaining yolks and slowly fold them in with a pinch of salt. Use approximately 2 large eggs for each pound of chiles, or 1 egg per extra-large chile.
- Cook chiles
One at a time, hold the chiles by the stem and support the bottom with your fingers or a spoon, and dip the stuffed chiles into the batter. Carefully place them into a pan with 1 1/2 inches of hot oil. Cook each side until batter is a crisp golden brown.
- Drain excess oil
Remove chiles from the oil and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with your favorite salsa.
- Use cold eggs for the batter.
- Test the oil with a drop of batter before putting a whole chile in. If the drop of batter sizzles and floats to the top, it's the right temp. If it sinks, the oil is not hot enough.
- The flour should be a very light coat. It helps the batter stick to the chile.
- Monterey Jack and Queso Blanco work well for Chile Rellenos
What You Need:
- 2 pounds large, roasted and peeled chiles (Anaheim, or Poblano work well)
- 3-6 large eggs (approx. 1 egg for 2 small/medium chiles)
- 1/4 cup flour (optional)
- Sliced cheese, shredded cheese, shredded seasoned chicken or other filling.
- Deep fryer or a large pan with 2 inches of oil
- Pinch of salt
- Paper towels for draining