Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hatch Chile Rellenos

Some like it hot.

Hatch Chile Rellenos: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
And some run to the kitchen to ice their flaming lips and cry like little babies and soak their burning hot hands/faces/mouths in olive oil and ice cream and butter and baking soda.

Hatch Chile Rellenos: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Guys… I’ll admit it, I’m not a major heat seeker. I mean, I’m a 2 star kinda gal. But really, these peppers were hot. Blazing, blistering, freakin’ hot.

Hatch Chile Rellenos: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
So, everyone knows that Hatch Chiles from New Mexico are like, the bees knees, right? Well, when I saw that Whole Foods had fresh NM Hatch Chiles, I went a little crazy with excitement. I love a good (mild-to-medium) green chile. And Amanda’s boyfriend Pete’s family lives in NM and has a chile farm (ranch?) for crying out loud. With visions of chile rellenos dancing in my head, I tweeted Whole Foods to find out which store had the goods, then sent Amanda to pick up our loot.

Hatch Chile Rellenos: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Well, unknowingly, Amanda selected peppers from the HOT side of the bin… not the mild-to-medium side. So we made these super beautiful chile rellenos—stuffed peppers that even Pete’s peck-of-pepper-picking (er, growing) mom would be proud of—took a bite, and… holy effing hell. HOOOboy.

Hatch Chile Rellenos: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Oh. My. Bejeezus. those peppers were hot. I think only 2 in the whole batch were edible! Yowza! Amanda’s hands were on fire from peeling the peppers, my lips felt like they were melting off my face from ONE FREAKING BITE!

Hatch Chile Rellenos: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

The two not-hots that made it into Amanda’s basket were actually really, really delicious. So, you should definitely make this recipe. Tasty green chile peppers wrapped around melty jack cheese, battered and fried up all golden… it’s a winner. But make sure you choose from the mild bin. Or have sour cream/ice/ice cream/fire extinguishers on hand.

Hatch Chile Rellenos: Loves Food, Loves to Eat

Good luck.

Hatch Chile Rellenos: Loves Food, Loves to Eat
Chile Rellenos
Adapted from this recipe 

There are a few steps involved, so be sure to read through the whole recipe before getting started!

10 large whole green chiles, with stems
1 lb jack cheese, cut into strips
1 cup flour                        
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder           
1/2 teaspoon salt                    
1 cup milk
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Oil for frying       

Optional for serving:
Cotija cheese
Sour cream
Red or green chile sauce     

First, you need to blister the peppers and remove the skin: Roast the peppers, either on the grill, under the broiler, or on a gas burner, turning occasionally, until blackened and blistered on all sides.

Put hot blistered peppers in a paper bag, and roll tightly to seal. Let the chiles steam until cool, about 15 minutes. Gently scrape away and discard the skins, slit the peppers open lengthwise on one side (below the stem), and gently remove the seeds.

While the peppers are steaming in the bag, prepare your batter: Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Stir in eggs and milk until smooth.

To assemble and cook: Heat 2 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed pan on medium-high heat. Fill peeled peppers with cheese strips, being careful not to rip pepper, and roll closed. Dip in batter. Fry, turning once, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
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