Cheese Filled Chiles (Chiles rellenos de queso)
These are spicy chiles, stuffed with cheese, battered and deep-fried. Simply amazing. You can serve these as a starter or as part of a collection of things making a main course. Called "Chiles rellenos de queso" in Mexico. Mexican cooks will leave the stem on the chile to show it was fresh.
- Wash the peppers. Roast them until skin is scorched. Place them straight from oven into a paper bag or in an empty pot with a lid, and leave them for 10 to 15 minutes to "steam" to loosen the skins further.
- Remove the skins of the peppers, and cut a small slit along one side of the chiles and remove the seeds. Pat chilies dry with paper towel, then stuff each with a piece of cheese. You can make ahead up to here and store covered in the fridge till the next day. [Tip: in fact, we recommend doing this in the morning or the evening before, as the skinning and seeding is quite time-consuming and fiddly.]
- Meanwhile, cut the cheese into 6 long, strips. Separate the egg whites from the yolks, beat the whites until stiff. Slightly beat the egg yolks, then stir them well into the beaten egg white. Set aside.
- Start heating the oil in a pan.
- Roll chiles in flour, then dip in egg to coat. When the oil is hot, fry until golden brown. Serve hot, with a fresh or cooked tomato sauce.
Use long, thin green chiles such as California, banana, etc. This dish is quite fiddly, but it has a big "wow" factor from the flavour and the heat. his recipe is easily doubled or triple -- but if you're making enough quantities for a party, make sure you have helping hands as peeling and stuffing the chiles can be more time consuming than you'd think. ¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese = 125 g
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