It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not December. It’s Hatch chile season, and that is truly an exciting annual event. Once you get sucked into Hatch season, holiday food pales in comparison. If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating Hatch chiles, do yourself a favor and try them. They are worth the hype, trust me.
As soon as the season kicked off around here and the bins of Young Guns chiles appeared in our local stores, I was right there with a huge cart buying literal cases of these green beauties. I have been making many of my favorite green chile dishes, but the crown jewel is the ridiculously delicious Hatch chile relleno.
These crispy, yet tender, cheese-filled peppers are so good that you will not be able to stop thinking about them, which may be a good thing during chile season. They’re inexpensive and easy to make, and everyone loves them. So be like me, and buy cases of these. Roast them and save them up for winter, because there’s only one Hatch season per year.
6 large Hatch chiles (or poblano peppers), roasted, peeled and seeded
6 strips of your favorite cheese: Muenster, queso asadero, Oaxaca cheese, Monterey Jack, or any other favorite
1 c. flour
2 c. frying oil
Salt and pepper
Green chile, red chile, salsa, cheese, cilantro, green onions, or any other favorite toppings
If you need to roast the peppers, preheat the oven to broil. Place the chiles on a lined baking sheet and broil them for 5 minutes. Flip them over and broil them until they are blistered and blackened (but not burned).
Place them in a glass bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let the chiles rest for about 10 minutes. This will make them easier to peel. Carefully peel the skin off of the chiles, make a slit in each one lengthwise and remove the seeds. Set aside.
Stuff each chile with the cheese very carefully. The chiles are a bit fragile after roasting, so be gentle. If they tear a little, it’s no biggie. You can place toothpicks through them to hold them together if necessary. Just don’t forget to take the toothpicks out prior to serving!
Prepare the oil for frying by heating it in a deep, large skillet over medium high heat. Set a paper towel-lined plate next to the stove so that you can place your chiles there to drain after frying.
While the oil is heating up, combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a large plate. Set aside.
Separate the egg whites and yolks in separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Whisk in the yolks until they are well combined. Season with a little salt and pepper and whisk one more time.
To batter the chiles, roll each one in the flour mixture and then dip them into the egg mixture.
To fry the rellenos, carefully place two at a time into the hot oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are browned and crispy. Turn them over and cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Place them on the paper towel-lined plate to drain.
To serve, place the chile rellenos on a plate and serve smothered with red or green chile; or if you prefer, alone with your favorite accompaniments on the side. Enjoy!