Monday, July 14, 2008

Recap and Rellenos

Well kids it's Monday, I'm back, and I survived my reunion. The weekend passed without any Carrie-esque blood spillage or any emergency calls to a psychiatrist. The people I have liked since junior high and even elementary school were their same sweet selves. All is right with the world.

We have had rain here almost everyday this week. A couple of mornings even felt like autumn. Fall weather always puts me in the mood to craft and cook, so on Sunday night I decided to make chili rellenos. Since I was doing this at a reasonable hour instead of during my usual after midnight time frame, my Sweetie agreed to take some pics of the whole process so I could share them with you.
First find some nice green chilies. Around here the peak season for them is late September, but they are still available at the market. Long straight chilies are optimal for relleno making because they they are easier to work with and provide better presentation. Sometimes it's difficult to find ones like this though, hence the curly ones in the pan.
I started by roasting the chilies in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. They could have probably stayed a little longer, but I jumped the gun. The smell of roasted chili is amazing.
You want the chilies to be under the heat long enough for the skin to blister. During the 45 minutes, I turned them at least twice.
After removing the pan from the oven, cover the chilies with a few moist paper towels. This will help create some steam in the chili and allow for easier removal of the skin.
Taking off the skin can be a pain because often times you accidentally remove some of the fleshy part of the chili as well. You want to get off as much of the roasted layer of skin as possible, because while it is edible, it is very stalky in texture.
Try and slip the tip of a small paring knife into an area of the skin that is blistered. This will help give you a good starting point and hopefully the skin can then be removed in large sections.
It's not difficult to remove the skin, you just have to be patient. The taste is worth the effort.
After removing the skin, the seeds are next. These are attached to a membrane at the base of the stem on the inside of the chili. You need to make a slit in the backside of the chili to be able to remove the seeds. Detach the membrane from the stem, and the majority of the seeds should come out all together.
If you have stubborn seeds place the chili under a slow trickle of water and this will help to wash them out. The seeds pack a lot of pepper heat in them so try to remove them all.
When your chilies have all been cleaned, they are ready to be dredged in flour. I usually salt and pepper the four. I used 1 cup of flour with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper mixed into it. I only made six rellenos in this batch so a had quite a bit of flour left over.
I know it might sound weird to dip them in the flour before the egg mixture, but that's how it's done.
Next you are going to beat up some egg whites. You need 1 egg for every 2 rellenos you wish to make. When you are separating your eggs, save the yolks because those get folded back into the egg white mixture.
Give the egg yolks that you have set aside a little whisk, and then you will be ready to fold them in.
The egg whites should be beaten until soft peaks form. When they are ready pour in the beaten egg yolks.
Combine gently with a spoon.
Now a relleno just wouldn't be a relleno without cheese. I use mild cheddar and cut generous slices that will be slipped into the back of the chili pepper.
Your chilies should already have slits in them from when you cleaned out the seeds. Slip the cheese into the chili.
In order to keep the cheese from escaping while being fried, join the two side of the chili together with toothpicks.
After loading the chilies up with cheese, it's now time to dunk them in the egg mixture.
You will submerge each chili completely in the egg mixture before placing it in the frying pan.
When the chilies are pulled out of the egg mixture they will have a wonderful frothy coating.
Before you begin dipping you should have a skillet heating with 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in it. You want the burner to be at least on medium high and the oil should be hot and ready for frying before placing the chilies in the pan. You will want to dip as you go with the chilies. In other words, dip it in the egg and then place it immediately in the hot skillet. Dipping them all first does not work.
Fry on each side until golden brown. You will probably flip each one more than once while they are cooking, because after all that work you definitely don't want to burn them.
When rellenos reach that golden brown shade, remove them from the skillet and place on paper towels for draining. These are great by themselves or with beans and rice. Hope you enjoy them.
I'm off to craft now.
If this overcast weather persists who knows what I might get accomplished!

6 comments:

Kim's Treasures said...

I have never eaten these but they sure look yummy!
Have a good day!
Kim

Elizabeth said...

YUMMY!! We live in an area with a big Hispanic population, so we have eaten many of those babies! Great tutorial though :)

P.S. I have given you an award;you are one of my favorite blogs to read. See my Monday post

Kim's Treasures said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hear a lot of people have troubles growing pumpkins...so far so good here!
Kim

m i c h e l l e said...

Oh now my stomach is growling!!! I LOVE chili rellenos! Whenever I go to a new Mexican restaurant, I order that and if they're good, then the restaurant "passes" the test! Well, that and if they make good margaritas. :-)

Thank you SO much for sharing!!!!

Blanca said...

Hello,

I came over from inspire co. and saw this great post. That is one of my favorite mexican dishes. My mom makes them and they are so YUMMY.

Blanca

Cali Homemaker said...

they look soooooo soooooo very good!