Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chile Relleno with Ranchero Sauce


I don't usually order chile rellenos in restaurants, even though I like them, because often times I find them to be greasy. Cooking them at home solves this problem!  This is tasty and can be served with or without the sauce, as an appetizer, or an entrée.

Directions:
4 poblano peppers
1 pound queso fresco cheese
3 eggs
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup oil
Toothpicks

Ranchero sauce:
3 cups diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Directions:
Char the poblano peppers at high heat either on the grill, or in the oven, whichever is more convenient.  Either way, coat with a bit of olive oil first.  Grill and char the peppers on both sides. Once blackened, place in a plastic bag for 10 minutes to sweat out any moisture. Then slice the peppers down the middle and remove the seeds, leaving the tops attached.  Stuff the peppers with strips of the queso fresco, using toothpicks to close the peppers back up.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add the egg whites to a large bowl. Reserve the yolks. Beat the egg whites until they fluff up. Add the flour and yolks and mix well.

For the sauce - start by heating the oil.  Cook the garlic, jalapeño and onions for 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat and add the tomatoes, cilantro, and tomato sauce. Then add the seasonings and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Serve the sauce chunky, as is, or let it cool and then blend it.

Add oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Dip the stuffed peppers into the batter and fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and move to a serving platter.  Pour the tomato sauce over the cooked chile rellenos on the serving platter and serve.

Tips:  Other variations include adding beans or rice to the inside when stuffing, or swapping out the cheese for something more exotic. Spicy!

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