Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Chiles Rellenos en Caldillo (Stuffed Poblanos)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings
If you are looking for a classic and traditional Mexican dish for your next fiesta, these chiles rellenos en caldillo is just what you need! Stuffed with beef picadillo and coated in a fluffy egg batter. And the zesty tomato caldillo pairs perfectly!

There are so many things I can say about these chiles rellenos en caldillo! These picadillo stuffed rellenos were and still are a family favorite. When Mom prepared chiles rellenos, you made sure not to miss dinner on that night! The zesty tomato caldillo pairs well with these rellenos. If beef picadillo is not your favorite, choose a tasty Mexican melting cheese such as queso Oaxaca for a filling. If you feel a bit intimidated by this recipe, start small. Try this recipe using some large jalapeños to practice. By the way, that, too, is a delicious recipe to serve as an appetizer. Are you ready to try?


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For the Picadillo
  1. Preheat skillet to medium for a few minutes. Add ground chuck. Season with 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin. Cook for 10-12 minutes, crumbling as it cooks down. Add the onion, minced garlic and jalapeño. Sauté for 3 minutes.
  2. Dice 1 Roma tomato and add it to the picadillo. Roughly chop the other tomato and transfer to blender. Blend until smooth and add this to the picadillo. Mix in the green chiles. Re-season as needed. Cover, reduce heat and cook until liquid reduces. Remove from heat.
For the Caldillo
  1. Combine the tomatoes, chile guajillo, chile de arbol, onion and 1 clove of garlic to a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook for 10 minutes, or until skins begin to pull away from tomatoes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to a plate and carefully remove the skins. Transfer tomatoes to the blender along with guajillos, chile de arbol, onion, garlic and 2 cups of water that the tomatoes cooked in. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Preheat 2 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan at medium heat for 2 minutes. Pour in the caldillo (tomato sauce). Add the bouillon, oregano and pepper. Cook at a steady simmer for 7-9 minutes. Taste for salt. Cover and remove from heat.
For the Chiles Rellenos
  1. Remove the blistered skins from the poblanos. With a small knife, slice a T-shape below the base of the pepper. Open and using a knife or fingers remove the seeds and membranes. Stuff each poblano with picadillo making sure you can still close the pepper. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. When ready, remove the stuffed poblanos from the refrigerator. Sprinkle with all-purpose flour, making sure you coat the entire surface. Transfer to a clean plate.
  3. In a frying pan, add 4 cups of oil and preheat for 7-8 minutes at medium heat. The ideal temperature would be 360ºF.
  4. While the oil heats up, add the egg whites to a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on high for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form. Turn mixer to low and mix in the egg yolks.
  5. Using a large metal slotted spoon, dip the relleno into the egg batter making sure the entire surface is coated. Carefully transfer to pan with hot oil. Fry for a few minutes per side, using a metal spoon to ladle some of the hot oil gently over the top of relleno. To flip relleno over, use both a metal spatula and metal spoon at the same time. Transfer fried rellenos to a plate lined with paper towels. Use clean paper towels to blot off excess oil from the tops of the chiles rellenos.
  6. To plate, warm caldillo and ladle ½ cup to a shallow bowl. Add 1 relleno to caldillo. Serve with warm tortillas and rice.

Chef Notes

This picadillo recipe could fill up to 6 medium poblanos. Rule of thumb for the egg batter is to use 1 large egg per 1 large pepper to make sure you will have enough batter. Make sure your eggs are at room temperature for the best results!

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