This is another one of those recipes that is near and dear to my heart. A recipe from my mom that took me many, many years to finally “get it right.” I still find myself having flashbacks of watching her in the kitchen and some of the tricks she used to prepare her dishes. For years, I just could not get this egg batter to work for me. It was only recently that I was watching a food video about chiles rellenos and I remembered how my mom would tilt her bowl as she beat the batter and how fluffy it would be. The last couple of times I have prepared chiles rellenos, the batter has been just right… thanks, Mom!!!
Yields 6 servings
1/4 cup of olive oil
6 large fresh poblano peppers
1 medium Russet potato or 2 white potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 large Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 to 2 serrano chiles, roughly chopped
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small white onion, diced
For the Chile Relleno Batter:
1/2 cup flour for dredging the stuffed poblanos
6 large eggs, separate egg whites from yolks
2 cups canola oil for frying
Choose the roasting method that works best for you. On most days, I just roast in a pan on the stove top, low and slow.
1. Preheat broiler to high for 5 minutes. Transfer the poblanos to a baking sheet lined with foil paper and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook under the broiler for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove peppers from broiler and transfer to a plastic or paper bag to steam and cool, set aside.
2. Preheat 1/8 cup of olive oil in a nonstick pan to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the diced potatoes and cook until browned in most spots. I like to cover my potatoes while they cook. The steam created helps them cook a little faster from the inside. Transfer potatoes to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, set aside.
3. Add the ground beef to that same skillet and heat to medium. Season beef with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until nicely browned. Add the onions and garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, serranos and 1/4 cup water to the blender and blend until smooth. Pour tomato mixture into picadillo, add potatoes and stir until well combined. Taste for seasonings and continue cooking at a low simmer until sauce thickens and reduces. Remove from heat.
4. Carefully peel the blistered skins from the poblanos, cut an opening and remove the seeds and veins. Stuff each one with picadillo, just enough to fill, do not overstuff. Dredge the filled peppers in the reserved 1/2 cup of flour and set aside.
5. In a medium pan, preheat 2 cups of canola oil to medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the egg whites to a glass bowl and using a hand-held mixer, beat on high until stiff peaks form. Tilt the bowl slightly while beating and move the beaters quickly back and forth. This will help put more air into the egg whites. When ready, add in the egg yolks and beat on low just until blended. Dip each stuffed pepper into egg batter and fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Drain onto plate lined with paper towels. Serve right away or keep warm in a low temperature oven until ready to eat. Serve with your favorite salsa, Mexican red rice, beans and warm tortillas.