On one of our first visits to Santa Fe New Mexico we had Chili Rellenos at a place on the square called the LaFonda. It became an immediate favorite dish at a favorite destination in a favorite town. It’s a dish with many interpretations, not all of them to my liking. I came across a recipe that I tweaked a bit and though it’s something I rarely make it’s something we really enjoy! The preparation is a bit tedious but the end result is worth it. The first thing I do is make the sauce.
Roasted Pepper and Tomato Sauce
2 T olive oil
3 red, yellow or orange sweet peppers roasted and diced
1 large sweet yellow onion diced
3-4 cloves of garlic roasted
1 pint jar (or 14.5 oz can fire roasted) tomatoes
1/4 cup diced cilantro
1 T honey
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Halve the sweet peppers and remove the seeds and stem. Rub with a little olive oil and, along with the garlic, roast on a foil covered sheet pan for 20-30 minutes until peppers are blistered. Remove from oven and put peppers and garlic in a bowl and cover with Saran Wrap. Wait until the peppers are completely cool and peel and rough dice peppers and squeeze roasted garlic from their skins. Meanwhile heat 2 T of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Rough dice onions and add onions, peppers, and garlic to hot oil and simmer 10-15 minutes until tender. Add tomatoes and cook until thickened and reduced. Put tomato mixture in the food processor along with the cilantro. Pulse a few times. Stir in the honey and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and hold at room temperature to serve with the chilies.
5-6 pablano peppers
2 1/2 cups chickpeas
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups goat cheese
1/4-1/2 cup cilantro
1 bottle of beer
1/2 c flour
1 cup corn meal
peanut oil for deep frying
Roast the whole peppers in a 400 degree oven until skins are blistered, 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven, put in a bowl and cover with Saran Wrap. Set aside until completely cooled. Put chick peas, shredded Monterey Jack, goat cheese, and cilantro in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Remove cheese mixture and shape to resemble the pablano peppers.
Leaving the stems intact remove skins from the pablano peppers, slit on one side and remove seeds and membranes. Place peppers on paper towel to drain. Place cheese mixture inside of the peeled and cleaned pepper and, using your hands, shape to seal around the filling.
Heat oil in a heavy kettle or Dutch oven to 400. Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature. With a whisk lightly beat the 3 eggs in a medium size bowl. Whisk in the beer. Put the corn meal in a shallow bowl or on a plate and do the same with the flour. Once the oil is at the appropriate temperature dip the stuffed pepper into the flour, then into the beer/egg mixture and then the cornmeal. Deep fry until golden on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Serve with the roasted pepper and tomato sauce and guacamole if you choose.
Chili Rellenos with homemade refried beans. It’s what was for dinner tonight.
TIP: I always shred my cheese versus purchasing it pre-shredded. It is more economical and there are no additives. And I think the cheese has much better flavor.