This recipe may be a bit time-consuming, but it’s worth it. If you really don’t want to spend time making all the elements, skip the sauce and use your favorite salsa.—Peter Serantoni
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup queso fresco, plus additional for garnish
1/4 cup flour, plus 2 cups for dredging
8 poblano chiles, at least 5 inches long, roasted and peeled (see Note)
1. Combine the three cheeses in a mixing bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
2. Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a clean, dry mixing bowl and the yolks in a separate mixing bowl. (The bowl for the whites must be completely grease free and the egg whites must not have even the slightest bit of yolk in them in order to stiffen properly when whipped.) Using a handheld mixer on high speed, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted up and out of the whipped whites. Add the 1/4 cup of flour and mix for 10 seconds. Add the reserved egg yolks and mix into the whites and flour, using medium speed, for 10 seconds. Using a large rubber spatula, finish incorporating the yolks by folding them in. Cover and refrigerate until ready to batter the relleños.
3. Make a cut down the length of the chiles. Gently open chiles and hold under cold running water to rinse away the seeds. Carefully remove the stem. Pat the chiles dry with paper towels. Gently press about 1/3 cup of the cheese mixture into an oval-shaped ball and place inside one of the chiles. Using a wooden toothpick, “sew” the seam of the chile shut. Repeat until all the chiles are filled.
4. Place the flour on a plate. Gently roll the stuffed chiles in the flour to coat. Then dip the stuffed chiles in the egg mixture and coat completely. Line another plate with paper towels.
5. Fill a heavy skillet with 3 to 4 inches of the oil and heat over high until oil sizzles when a pinch of flour is dropped in. Add the stuffed chiles and fry one at a time. When the chiles are light golden brown, turn them to brown the other side. Remove the chiles from the hot oil with tongs and transfer to the paper towel-lined plate to drain.
1. Place 2 relleños on each plate and remove the toothpicks.
2. Spoon the Ranchero Sauce over the relleños and sprinkle with any remaining cheese.
Note: To roast peppers, preheat the broiler. Place the peppers under the hot broiler, turning regularly until all side are evenly blackened. Place them in a container and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam for 5 to 10 minutes. Peel or rub the skin off with paper towels.
Recipe © 2000 Ten Speed Press. All rights reserved.