Pop’s Chile Rellenos

I have a father and his name is POP. Not DAD, not PAPA, he’s POP. Now, Pop makes some awesome Chile Rellenos. He has made them as long as I can remember, and sadly I didn’t start eating them until a few years ago (I’m new to the egg-eating game, you see). He always makes them whenever we have Mexican feasts (see; every holiday in the McKenzie household), and I would always pass the plate on to the next guest, avoiding them entirely. We were all young and stupid once, right?

Then I got married and introduced John to the traditional Christmas Eve Fiesta of my childhood. These babies were passed around, I skipped it and he did not. After he took one bite he turned to me and asked “HOW do you not like chile rellenos?” I couldn’t answer, because I didn’t know. Over the following months I got brave, grew up and decided I was going to try one. Lo and behold, my love affair began.


Traditionally, these are made with poblano peppers. Pop has always used Anaheim/Ortega peppers, so that’s what I’ve grown to love. Something about the combination of the crisp egg batter and the pepper stuffed with tons of monterrey jack cheese. Maybe it’s the way one bite hits every flavor note. Maybe it’s the way the cheese inevitably gets through the batter and sizzles to crusty cheesy perfection. Who knows.

Since falling in love with these, I have on multiple occasions asked my Pop for his recipe. He has given it to me every single time; don’t think that he’s a heartless chef who doesn’t share secrets. It’s me who failed as a daughter to actually record said recipe and had to keep asking every time I wanted to make these (MAYBE I AM STILL YOUNG AND STUPID, but that’s not the point). So when I came to him and asked him this last time, I also asked his permission to share his recipe with you all, because I love you so darn much. He responded in a typical Pop way; humbly. “It’s not really my recipe.”
“Well who’s is it? Where’d you get it?” I asked.
“I’m not sure. I must have seen it somewhere, but I’ve developed it over time to where I want it to be.” he responded.
That’s Pop. And while he may not want to take credit for the version of Chile Rellenos that melted my cold, cold egg-hating heart, I am giving it to him fully. This is Pop’s Chile Rellenos recipe. And I promise you, its the best one yet.

Pop’s Chile Rellenos
Author: Doug McKenzie (Pop)
Serves: 5 Chile Rellenos
Ingredients
  • 5 Ortega chiles, canned
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Remove chiles from can and rinse. With your hand, carefully split the chile down one side so it lays flat. Completely pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Separate egg whites from yolks and save yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, about 6 or so minutes. In a separate bowl, mix yolks, flour salt and pepper together. Gently fold yolk mixture into egg whites until combined.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet until hot and rippling. Scoop egg mix with a standard sized ice cream scoop (or 1/4 cup) and drop into oil. Place chile into the batter, gently spreading the batter so it surrounds the chile (see picture below). Put a generous amount of cheese in the middle of the chile.
  4. Using a spatula, carefully fold the relleno in half, sandwiching the cheese between chile and batter, creating a half-moon shape. Cook until brown, then flip and cook the other side. When the other side is crisp and brown, remove from pan. Serve immediately, with toppings of your choice or plain (suggested: fresh pico de gallo and sour cream).
3.5.3208

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