It’s not pretty, but it is tasty.
I love chiles rellenos. Luuuuuuv. Ate them on a nearly daily basis when I lived in Santa Fe. But up here, not so much. The one positive chile relleno experience I have had in 16 years in San Francisco was the version cooked up at Platanos, where they wrap the roasted pepper in an egg crepe rather the dipped in batter, kind of deconstructed. I like. (Do they even still have this on the menu? I haven’t been in years.)
The traditional chile relleno is, after all, problematic. All too often, you get a sadly abused poblano pepper, jammed full of mediocre cheese, dipped in batter, fried in not-hot-enough oil until flabby and drowned in wan red sauce. The result is both greasy and textureless. Ya basta.
Inspired by a certain New-World Epicure, and a certain snarkmistress up north, I have decided life is better without batter. The best — and, conveniently, easiest — way to do a perfectly satisfying chile relleno is simply to stuff the thing with a sautéed mélange of fresh vegetables, top with cheese and broil for golden-brown deliciousness. Of course you have to roast the pepper first, which this time I did under the broiler as opposed to on the stovetop; both methods work just fine. (OK, so I overroasted my poblanos just a smidge, and they lost their shape. Did not impact their edibility, I assure you.)
In this case, my veg filling was a combo of pan-fried corn, finely chopped itsy bitsy squashes, some red onion, scallion, a scoop of cellini beans that have been hanging out in the fridge and a dollop of the rockin’ salsa from Papalote. The cheese was, I am mildly embarrassed to say, just store-bought mozz, but it worked just fine, thankyouverymuch. I served them on a pool of thin tomato sauce for a light yet satisfying dinner. But I’m thinking they’d be every bit as good for brunch, lunch or a first course. Heck, I’d eat one for breakfast.
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo a todos!
One year ago today … I gave a dissertation on the art of the salad.