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Ranch Chiles Rellenos with Ancho Chile Salsa

Chile RellenoEnjoy this recipe from the Ranch cookbook, “Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho Puerta” by Deborah Szekely, Deborah Schneider and Robert Holmes.  

Deborah Remembers… Chiles Rellenos have been a Ranch standard from day one.  I’ve never had anyone say, “I don’t like them,” and lots of guests absolutely rave about them.  They’re one of my most favorite dinners or lunches, and I especially like them with tangy Jack cheese.

Dark-green, shiny poblano chiles are the traditional choice for chiles rellenos.  They have great flavor, but may be too spicy for some tastes.  Anaheim chiles or colorful red chiles are reliably mild substitutes.  You can stuff chiles with almost anything; cheese, shrimp, smoked fish, tuna and sour cream, grilled vegetables, crabmeat.  You get the idea.  For a larger crowd, the recipe can be doubled.  For an appetizer or cocktails nibble, stuff small colorful peppers.

Chile Rellenos Ingredients:

  • 6 Poblano or Anaheim chiles
  • 4 Ounces Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 Teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 Extra-large egg white, beaten until light and frothy

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Char the chiles on all sides directly over a gas flame until the skin blackens and blisters, or broil directly under a hot broiler until the skin begins to pull away from the pepper.  Wrap in paper towels until cool.
  3. Handle the peppers carefully so they do not tear.  Use the paper towel to rub off the blistered skin.  Leave the stems on.  Make a 2-inch slit lengthwise in each chile and remove the seeds.  Tuck a piece of cheese into each chile and fold the chile over to completely enclose the cheese, so it doesn’t ooze out when it melts.
  4. Over a small bowl, rub the oregano between your palms to bring out the flavor.  Add the flour and salt and stir to combine mixture.  Spread the flour on a plate.
  5. In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Dip each chile into the flour to coat on all sides, and brush off any excess, then dip into the egg white.  Carefully set into the hot pan and cook until the cheese is melted and the chiles are golden brown on both sides.  Serve with warm salsa.

Ancho Chile Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 Teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 Medium onion, cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 Small garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 Dried ancho chiles, seeded and torn into pieces
  • 3 Dried Guajillo or California chiles, seeded and torn into pieces
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 Large green tomatillos, husks removed, washed, and roughly chopped
  • 2 Cups water or basic vegetable stock
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon fresh grounded pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh Mexican oregano, or 1 tablespoon dried (be sure to use Mexican oregano, which has a milder taste than Mediterranean varieties)
  • Fresh cilantro (12 sprigs), about 1/2 cup, stemmed and chopped

Directions:

  1. In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and dried chiles, and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and you can smell the chiles.
  2. Add the tomatoes and tomatillos, reduce the heat slightly, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the water or stock, 1 teaspoon of salt, and pepper.  Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the oregano, cool for a few minutes, puree the sauce in a blender until smooth, then stir in the cilantro.

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