These crispy and smoky green chile fries are an exotic take on a classic finger food. Roast the peppers before frying them to enhance their natural flavor.
Vegetable dippers are quickly a becoming popular staple item in hip restaurants. This roasted green chile fries recipe is my personal take on a Rachael Ray recipe I saw on the Food Network. The main difference between our recipes is that I roasted the peppers before frying them in order to enhance their natural flavors and add a taste of smokiness. Rachael Ray not only oven-baked them but also added cheese to her breadcrumb batter. I opted for frying the peppers because I really enjoy the crispy texture.
Grill peppers on direct heat, turning as needed to brown on both sides.
Once roasted, transfer to a plastic storage bag (such as a Ziploc® bag) and let cool completely. You want the skins to blister, but you don’t want the peppers to overcook and become too soft.
Once cooled, removed the skins, stems and seeds. Slice into rajas (strips).
Set up the breading station using three shallow dishes.
In the first dish, add flour and season with 1/2 tablespoon each of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
In the second dish, whisk eggs with 2 tablespoons of hot sauce.
In the third dish, add bread crumbs and again season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment or foil paper. Dredge a couple of pepper strips in the flour, dip into egg mix, then lay into bread crumbs. I suggest having one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry.
Using the dry hand, carefully pat the strips into breadcrumbs. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and let the strips set for about 30 minutes.
Preheat oil in a skillet and the oven to 200 ºF.
Fry 6 to 7 strips at a time. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.
Transfer to an oven-safe metal rack lined with a baking sheet underneath. This will let any excess oil drain off. Keep the chile fries warm and crisp in the oven at low temperature until you are all done frying.
Before serving, mix the crema, salsa and lime juice together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve right away.
In order for the chile fries not to feel soggy and oily, I let them cool on a metal rack post frying. This kept the air flowing and prevented the steaming that potentially makes them mushy.
You can prepare the chile fries recipe using raw peppers, however, I think it’s much more flavorful when the peppers are roasted. Not to mention that the peppers get very tender and counterbalance the fried crust wonderfully.
If you prefer not frying the peppers, lay them out on a baking sheet and drizzle a little oil on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. Make sure to turn the peppers so that they roast equally on both sides.