Tuesday, July 6, 2010
My guys would rather have a steak with a chile relleno than a potato. Any. Day. Something about the blending of the flavors of green chile, Monterrey Jack cheese, crispy batter and a piece of delicious beef cooked perfectly over a hot grill.... well, it's just the about best combination ever invented. The next best way to enjoy one is wrapped with a schmear of refried beans in a freshly toasted flour tortilla. That, my friend, is a burrito that will bring tears of joy to a hungry person.
But, back to the Chile Relleno, simplicity and just the minimum of everyday ingredients once again trumps the overwrought and the over-thought. Steak, Chile Relleno, and maybe some sliced fresh tomato.... now that's what we consider a perfect summer meal.
As the daughter of a chile farmer, I always look for green chile that is thick and meaty. Rounder tips are generally, but not always, milder than the pointy ones. I am very lucky to have a neighborhood store that always has freshly roasted chiles available. And they are usually very good ones. And.....someday I am going to find the sweet little man who roasts them so perfectly and give him a big ol' kiss. Probably.
Cut the Monterrey Jack cheese into strips and stuff them into the chiles.
Now you take some eggs, say one for every 3 chiles that you are going to make, and separate the yolks from the whites. Be careful! You don't want any yolks to mix in with the whites or it won't beat up fluffy and white, like this.
I put some plain flour in a strainer, along with a generous pinch of salt and some baking powder ( a half tsp. per cup of flour). How much flour, you ask? Well, just guestimate about the same volume of flour as yolks.
Then shake your strainer over the yolks and mix the dry ingredients with them, and add a little water until it is thick but not stiff, about pancake batter consistency.
Take the yolk mixture and fold or whisk it into the beaten whites. Don't over-mix it, just until the whites and the yolk mix together. Heat up a pan with about a half inch of light olive oil, or any other oil that you like.
Now, dip your chile into the batter, and lay it carefully in an ugly pan just like this one.