Traditionally, the chile relleno is made with a poblano pepper stuffed with cheese or beef, battered with egg, fried, and served with a simple fresh tomato salsa. As poblano peppers can be a little hard to come by on this side of the world, I have a version I make with long green capsicums (rather than bell-shaped capsicums). These have a similar shape to the long peppers.
4 green capsicums (with a long, thin shape not bell-shaped)
200g Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese (depending on your preference)
4 eggs separated
Richie’s California Style Fresh Red Salsa (medium)
1 cup olive oil
Step 1: Roast
Roast capsicums over an open flame. Keep rotating them until the skin is blackened and starts to puff up a bit. Make sure they don’t burn – this should only take a few minutes. If you have access to poblano or pasilla chiles, you can use these instead of the capsicums.
Place roasted capsicums in a small bowl and cover the bowl, letting them steam for about 5 minutes. This allows them to soften (easier to peel). Using fingers or a paper towel, peel and remove the skin. Make sure you don’t use water to wash the skin off as you will lose that wonderful charred flavour.
Step 2: Fill
Starting at the top, make a slice down the middle of the capsicum or pepper with a knife. Slice about 2/3 of the way down only. Take the membranes out from the inside, and the seeds by either cutting them out or using a spoon to spoon them out. If you are using a spicy pepper, the seeds will be hot so be careful with how you take them out. Cut cheese into ‘rectangles’ and stuff each piece into the capsicums.
Step 3: Batter
Separate egg whites from egg yolks and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolks – this makes a nice batter. Dip each stuffed capsicum into the batter until it has a nice thick coating.
Step 4: Cook
Heat about 1/4 cup oil in a frying pan. Place one capsicum into the pan with the split side up. Fry for a few minutes until it is deliciously golden brown. Turn it over to fry the other side. Spoon oil over any part of the batter that hasn’t been fried. Leave for a couple more minutes until it is golden brown all over. Your capsicum has now transformed into a chile relleno! Take the chile relleno out and let it drain. Repeat with the other 3 capsicums.
Serve each chile relleno on a plate with Richie’s California Style Fresh Salsa spooned over the top. Enjoy!
If you are making a few, you can put them in a low oven so they can stay warm until you have finished frying them all. If you want to skip the frying and make them a little lighter, you can always bake the stuffed peppers in the oven.