Chile rellenos have always been one of my favorite Mexican dishes. My one of my favorites would have to be at Super Cucas. A buck fifty on the a la carte menu! Um… sí, por favor! I decided it would be worth a shot to try to make my own chile rellenos gluten-free style.
I must admit until I started making my own homemade Mexican food from scratch, I have no idea how much damn work in some Mexican dishes. These chile rellenos were no exception. I had no clue how chile rellenos were actually made and this dish had a little more work than I anticipated. I definitely have a new found respect for Mexican cooking.
I based my ranchero sauce on this version from Epicurious making a few adjustments based on ingredients on hand and to make it vegetarian
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 3 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups canned low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 8-ounce can tomato paste
Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add next 6 ingredients and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth and tomato sauce and cook until sauce thickens and reduces to 1 1/2 cups, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.
Chile Rellenos (for 2)
I had no clue how chile rellenos were actually made. I didn’t know that there was whipped eggs involved in the batter process, but when you think about the consistency of the batter, it makes sense. I also encountered a bit of a problem with the peeling and seeding of the roasted chiles. I was originally going to attempt to use canned roasted chiles, but despite searching several huge grocery stores and Mexican markets, I couldn’t find any canned chiles bigger than a jalapeno. I would also suggest using slices of cheese as opposed to shredded cheese like I did. Slices would definitely be easier to stuff the chiles with than shredded cheese. I followed the instructions found here, making a few adjustments as I needed to.
- 4 large pasilla chiles
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
- Oil for frying
- Roast the chiles. I roasted the chiles on a tinfoil lined cookie sheet under a broiler on high for about 10 minutes, turning them after 5.
- Peel the chiles. In order to make the chiles easier to peel, it’s a good idea to sweat them. After the chiles have been removed from under the broiler, place them in a plastic ziploc with some paper towels, and allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes. This will help the skins come off a lot easier. If possible, try to keep the chiles in one piece when you are peeling and removing the seeds, this will also help with stuffing the chiles.
- Stuff the chiles. Once the chiles are peeled and seeded, stuff them with cheese or whatever other filling you would like (roasted vegetables, onions, peppers, chicken, etc.). I had to use toothpicks to keep my chiles together because they had split while I was peeling them.
- Batter the chiles. Dredged the stuffed chiles in a bit of the rice flour to help the batter stick better. Then whip the egg whites together until they are stiff. Fold in the egg yokes and a pinch of salt. Dip the peppers into the batter. Use your fingers to coat the chile, if the batter will not stick.
- Cook the chiles. Place the chiles one at a time in a pan of heated oil and cook each side until golden brown. Once cooked, drain the excess oil on paper towels.
- Serve the chiles. Make sure to remove any toothpicks if you used them to hold the chiles together. Top with ranchero sauce. Serve and enjoy!