Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ugly Duckling Chiles Rellenos

No, they're not beautiful, but the peppers came fresh from the farmers market and they're organic. Yes, the batter was a bit too thin, causing some of it to slip off the peppers while cooking. So they're not so pretty.

But the taste. Ah, the taste. Puffy and crispy with a taste only a very fresh pepper can give, then runny and cheesey on the inside with the contrast of chewy rice and tender chicken. It was delicious. A bit hot, but delicious.
Did I make these? Nope. Mr CC did,all by his very own self. Clever guy. All I had to do was eat and enjoy. My idea of a perfect meal.

Mr CC's Chiles Rellenos
4 poblano chiles
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup white whole wheat flour, more if needed
1 cup good beer
salt and pepper to taste
cooked, shredded chicken
rice (we like Trader Joe's Rice Medley, a combination of brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds)
Monterey jack cheese, shredded
oil for the pan
Have all your ingredients at hand when you begin.
The rice was cooked in advance. Ours was cooked in chicken broth with cumin, corriander and ancho chile powder. We keep shredded, home-rotisseried chicken in small packages in the freezer for times such as this.
Char, peel and de-seed the peppers, keeping the stem ends intact. Allow to cool. I wish I'd taken photos of the process, but I wasn't in the kitchen at the time.
Stuff each pepper with rice, chicken and cheese. Close the peppers up as best you can. Not always easy to do, but do your best.
Whisk the egg yolks, flour, salt, pepper and beer until well blended. Add more flour if the batter isn't the consistency of pancake batter.
Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks then gently fold into the batter.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add about 1/3 cup of oil, such as canola.
Gently dip a stuffed pepper into the batter mixture, coating it all over.
Ever so gently, drop it into the hot skillet.
Repeat with the remaining peppers.
Using tongs, rotate the peppers in the skillet until they are tender and golden brown on all sides.
Remove to paper towels to drain.
Serve with a cooling cucumber and tomato salad.

Cook's Notes:
Although these were labeled poblanos at the farmers market, which I've always found to be a mild chile, a few of them had turned red and were quite hot to the tongue (and the rest of the mouth), which was a surprise to me. I would suggest you ask your vendor about the heat scale of the chiles before buying.
You can read about charring and peeling peppers, plus see a recipe for a sauce that would go well with this dish by clicking here.
Sorry about the lighting in these photos, it was night time.

Copyright © 2005-2007, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Well done, Mr. CC!
    They look wonderful! Even if the batter was a little 'slippery'...

  2. Clever chap that Mr CC and they look good too.

  3. Hi Christine,
    I think chile rellenos would be almost impossible to get a great photo of, they are inherently kinda gross looking. You've done a fine job of it. The thing that is not captured by any photo is the wonderful aroma of freshly made chili rellenos. Yum! These sound fabulous.

  4. I've had these before, while they may not look attractive, they taste darn good and yours is no exception.

  5. I relayed your accolades to Mr CC, Katie. He blushed.

    He can be very clever in a kitchen, Anne. But it's my blog... :)

    Thanks so much, Cynthia and Elise. They were quite delicious despite their looks. Low light photography gives me fits.

  6. Those look really good!

    And thanks for the tip on the Trader Joe's rice medley.

  7. You are one lucky lady Christine! I really have got to do this kind of chiles rellenos, they've been on my to do list for way to long.
    Tell Mr CC he's done a totally fabulous rellenos! Some things are so ugly (taste so beautiful) that it makes them beautiful!

  8. Mary, Thanks for stopping by. That rice medley is my hands-down favorite.

    Tanna, I'll let Mr CC know what you've said. He's a bit embarrassed to have these photos on the blog. Now he wants to make the rellenos again and get better photos. I say, bring 'em on!

  9. Actually, I think the low lighting makes them look rather fancy! Not an ugly duckling at all. I would be ever so thankful if Farmboy would get in the kitchen for something other than grilling the beef! You are one blessed woman!

  10. I know I'd love this dish. Mr. CC made this? Wow! I'm impressed!



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