The Chile Relleno, literally "stuffed chile" is a dish of Mexican cuisine that originated. some say, in the city of Puebla (while others stating that its origins dates back to the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century). It consists of a stuffed, roasted, fresh Poblano pepper (a mild chili pepper named after the city of Puebla), sometimes substituted with a non-traditional Hatch chile, Anaheim, Pasilla or even Jalapeño chili pepper. In its earliest incarnations, it was described as a "green chile pepper stuffed with minced meat and coated with eggs". In current cuisine, it is typically stuffed with melted cheese, such as queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca or with picadillo meat made of diced pork, raisins and nuts, seasoned with canella; covered in an egg batter or simply corn masa flour and fried. Although it is often served in a tomato sauce, the sauces can vary.
Some versions in Mexico use rehydrated dry chiles such as anchos or pasillas.
In the United States, chiles rellenos are usually filled with asadero, asiago, or Monterey Jack cheese, but can also be found with cheddar or other cheeses. The chile is then dipped in an egg batter and either pan-fried or deep-fried. Variations include pecan-encrusted and crab-filled. Chiles rellenos are a popular cuisine in the state of New Mexico where the Hatch Chile is revered for its slender (rather than round) shape and medium-to-hot flavor. In the US, rellenos are typically served with red or green chile sauce or mole, and rice and beans.
The sharp taste of a Poblano Chile filled with cheese, meat, and at times even vegetables all fried in a crispy egg batter, now thats one tasty Chile Relleno! One of the most traditional Mexican recipes dating back to the early 1600’s some say.
During the 16th century when the dish was originally invented it was stuffed with meat and didn’t have the fried batter layer.
Originally this dish originates form Puebla where the Chile is roasted and then filled.
The making of this dish is quite simple and uses basic ingredients. In any traditional Mexican household a Chile Relleno dish could be smelled throughout the house. Personally I think the smell is part of the tradition. Whether if at grandmas house or even the Tias house on a Sunday afternoon when you smell the strong smell of a roasting Poblano Chile, and hear the sound of the knife hitting the cutting board as the fresh tomato smell mixes with everything else, you know someone's cooking Chile Relleno.
What makes this dish so important to the Mexican culture is that all the ingrediants are fresh. When looking back at relatives living in Mexico four or five decades ago, the dish was prepared with ingredients that were mostly home grown. The Chile Poblano simply grew on a vine and didn’t require much care other than watering it, tomatoes run along the same principles. The eggs are usually collected from the chicken coop in the back yard, and the cheese was usually purchased from a local farmer. If including chicken it was usually a home grown chicken, or since this dish doesn’t require much meat it is common to use left over chicken from days before. With all the ingredients being as fresh as possible the cook is sure to stuff every Chile with a hearty amount of cheese and meat.
Whether on a summer afternoon or even a cold December night this dish goes well with any season. The more popular occasions include 16 de Septiembre (Mexican Independance Day), Cinco de Mayo (Victory at the Battle of Puebla) and Christmas of course. However, many Mexican families like to dine on it moe frequently than that. And that's OK!
During Christmas time the dish is classic because its usually cooked in larger quantities and eaten along side other dishes like Tamales and Posole. The warm fried Chile is perfect for the cold December months. The crisp outer layer allows for that crunchy texture which sets the stage for the smooth melted cheese layer on the inside. Personally, the Chile Relleno is one of my favorite Mexican dishes but its certainly hard deciding which dish is my favorite one as they all have their particular taste and all taste so good.
Have a Chile Relleno Combo Plate at Marquez Mexican Restaurant served with rice and beans. Bring the family. Mention this article and get 10% off of your entire order!