Chiles Rellenos

If using peppers instead of green chillies, mix the grated cheese with 15 ml (1 tbsp) hot chilli powder for a more authentic Southwest taste.


serves 4
8 large green peppers or fresh green chillies such as poblano
15 - 30 ml (1 - 2 tbsp) vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
450 g (1 lb) 4 cups grated cheese
4 eggs, separated
75 g (3 oz) 2/3 cup flour

for the sauce

15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
5 - 10 ml (1 - 2 tsp) red pepper flakes
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cumin
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup beef stock
750 ml (1 1/4 pints) 3 cups canned tomatoes


1. For the sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 8 minutes until just soft. Stir in the salt, pepper flakes, cumin, stock and tomatoes. Cover and simmer gently for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Strain into a clean saucepan. Taste for seasoning, and set aside. Preheat the grill.

3. Brush the peppers lightly with oil. Lay them on a baking sheet. Grill as close to the heat as possible for 5—8 minutes until blackened all over. Cover with a dish towel and set aside.

4. When cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin. Carefully slit the peppers or chillies and scoop
out the seeds.

5. With your hands, form the cheese into eight cylinders that are slighly shorter than the peppers. Place the cheese cylinders inside the peppers. Secure the slits with cocktail sticks. Set aside.

6. Beat the egg whites until just stiff. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate them. Beat in 15 ml (1 tbsp) flour.

7. Put a 2.5 cm (1 in) layer of oil in a frying pan. Heat until hot but not smoking (to test, drop a little batter in the oil: if the oil sizzles, it is hot enough for frying).

8. Coat the peppers lightly in flour all over, shaking off any excess. Dip into the egg batter, then place in the hot oil. Fry for about 2 minutes until brown on one side. Turn carefully and brown the other side.

9. Reheat the sauce and serve with the Chiles Rellenos.

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