Hatch Chiles Rellenos
Chile relleno is so comforting — in the way that only deep-fried Mexican food can be. It’s most commonly made with poblano peppers … but we’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s also incredible with Hatch chiles. We love the flavor they bring to the deep-fried Pueblan dish: smoky and vegetal, with just a touch of heat. Stuffed inside? Mild Oaxaca cheese and savory refried beans. So simple yet so satisfying.
And let’s not forget the batter! You beat eggs until they’re light and frothy, so the batter puffs up in the hot oil and creates a super delicate, super crispy crust around the tender Hatch chiles. The textural contrast with the melty cheese and creamy beans is such a treat.
We garnish Hatch chiles rellenos with cotija crumbles and fresh cilantro and serve them in a pool of homemade tomato salsa. It’s brightly acidic, lightly sweet, and garlicky — the perfect foil to the deep-fried goodness. Take a bite, and you’ll realize that the more you eat of this, the more you want. It’s a never-ending loop of chile relleno love!
Hatch Chiles Rellenos
To prepare the tomato salsa: In a blender, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and 1 cup of water and blend for 1 minute, or until smooth. Set aside.
To prepare the chile rellenos: Heat a gas burner to high heat. Place the chiles directly on the burner and cook, turning occasionally, until completely charred, about 5 minutes. Note: Alternatively, you can roast the chiles directly under the broiler for about 2 minutes per side.
Place the roasted chiles in a heatproof bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam for 15 minutes.
Transfer the chiles to a cutting board and, using your hands or a paring knife, peel and discard the charred skin. Slice one side of each pepper from the stem to the tip to create an opening. Carefully remove and discard the core and seeds.
Gently fill each chile with 2 tablespoons each of refried beans and Oaxaca cheese. Be careful not to overstuff the chiles or they may burst when fried. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on medium-high speed until they just hold their shape and are light yellow and quadrupled in size, about 5 minutes. Transfer the eggs to a shallow dish.
In a second shallow dish, whisk together the flour and salt.
Fill a large, heavy-bottomed skillet with ¾” of vegetable oil, and heat over high heat to 350º.
Transfer the tomato salsa to a medium skillet and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to cook while you batter and fry the chiles, then season with salt.
Carefully place each pepper in the dish filled with flour and turn to coat well, shaking off any excess. Transfer the stuffed pepper to the dish filled with eggs and spoon the eggs on top to coat generously.
Working in batches, place the battered peppers in the hot oil and fry, spooning oil over the top, until puffy and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the fried peppers to a plate lined with paper towels.
To serve, spoon most of the hot tomato salsa onto a large serving platter. Place the fried chiles on top and spoon the remaining salsa over them. Garnish with the cotija and cilantro and serve hot.
Recipe adapted from: My Mexico City Kitchen by Gabriela Cámara