While at the market gathering ingredients for tamales, I noticed beautiful, fresh poblano chile peppers. Right then I decided I would serve chile relleno alongside the tamales. When I can, I use fresh Hatch green chiles from New Mexico. When Hatch chiles are out of season, I use poblanos. Either way, you want to use the freshest chiles you can find.
For the Chile Relleno
8-10 fresh Hatch or Poblano Chiles
1 pound Monterey jack or pepper jack cheese
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
4 eggs, separated
oil for frying
Begin by roasting the chiles. Roast them on a very hot grill, turning about every 5 minutes, until all sides are charred. Be sure and make a small slit in each chile to allow the steam to escape, prior to roasting.
It is important to wear gloves when handling the chiles. Once the chiles are roasted, place them in a plastic bag to “steam” about 10 minutes. Remove the chiles from the bag and gently peel away the charred skin. Cut a slit in one side of the chile. Pull out the seeds as gently as possible.
Cut the cheese into rectangles that will fit into the chile. Place a piece of cheese in each chile. Close the open edge with a toothpick.
Separate the four eggs. Beat the whites to form stiff peaks. Break up the yolks with a fork. Gently fold the yokes into the whites with a spatula. Place the flour on a plate or bowl that the chile will fit into. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Heat about 1″ of oil in heavy skillet, over medium high heat.
Dredge the stuffed chile in the flour.
Dip the chile in the egg mixture. Hold the chile by the stem and let the excess egg mixture drip off.
Place the chile into the hot oil. Brown on all sides.
Place the fried chiles on a rack over a pan. When ready to serve, heat them in a 350′ oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with red enchilada style sauce Be sure to let your guests know to watch out for the toothpick!