Eat your heart out El Mexicano Restaurante.
While Mr. S and I were at the Most Wonderful Mexican Grocery in the World the other day, he picked up some pasilla chiles, which are on the same page as poblanos. In our house, though, these peppers have a different name - death peppers.
You see, last year, after going to a similarly wonderful store in Maryland and purchasing said peppers, I made a massive mistake. I tried to clean them, raw.
I nearly died you guys. It was bad. Mr. S found me on the floor of the kitchen, rolled up in a little ball, gasping, crying, and in a general hot mess.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - DO NOT CUT INTO THESE PEPPERS WHILE THEY ARE RAW. And don't run them, raw, under water to try to get the seeds off either. The capsasin creates an air-borne lethal weapon. You will die.
So, here's what you do to achieve the beautiful chile relleno pictured above: Roast the Dickens Out of Them.
Turn the suckers black. Puffy. Crispy. Then sweat them in a bag for 10 minutes, so all the nasty capsasin goes away. Then, you can peel all the skin off and get the seeds out.
You are left with this. Glorious!
Obviously you want to fill those beauties with chorizo.
This is the kind we found. It's the store's own recipe for "Chorizo del Puerco" and has some interesting spices. I think there's a heavy hand of cinnamon in there among other things.
Here it is all fried up:
Now, throw in a packet of Sofrito, a bit of diced onion, and some rice.
Try to not eat it all.
Then you put a layer into your peppers, add some cheese, and layer a bit more rice on.
Looks pretty good right?
Now you pull the pepper together, compact that rice mixture, and jab forcefully with toothpicks.
Dump that sucker in a airy egg batter and toss into some screaming hot oil.
Turn over once, and let brown. You're ready to plate!
Chile Rellenos con Chorizo
Batter adapted from Carla Rodriguez
For the peppers:
4 pasilla peppers, charred
2 c. cooked rice
1 link or about 5-6 inches of Mexican pork chorizo
1/4 c. diced red onion
1 4oz packet of sofrito, or 8 Tbsp jarred sofrito
3/4 c. cheddar jack cheese, or the Mexican blend
Salt and Pepper to taste
For the batter:
2 eggs, separated (yolks in a small bowl, whites in a bigger bowl)
1 Tbsp flour
Pinches of salt and pepper
Once the peppers are charred and black (you can either hold them over your gas burner or toss them in the oven for awhile), put them in a plastic bag, sealed, for 10 minutes to sweat. Then, peel the charred skin off the peppers, and any other shiny skin you see. With a sharp knife, make one slit down one of the sides. Remove the seeds and veins, being careful not to rip the pepper. Rinse the pepper under cold water to make sure all the seeds are gone.
Brown your chorizo in a medium saute pan. Toss in the onions and the sofrito. Cook until the onions are just soft. Toss in the rice and mix together.
Lay out the peppers as seen in photo #2. Place a wooden-spoonful of rice onto the open pepper. Add a layer of cheese, and top with another spoonful. Bring up the sides of the pepper and gently press down to compact the rice. Hopefully, the top of the pepper sorta comes together. Insert toothpicks to keep the pepper closed. Count them and make sure you know how many you put in. You need to take that many out. Repeat for the other 3 peppers.
To create the batter, separate your eggs. Whisk the whites until they are frothy, almost soft peaks. whisk in the flour, yolks, and seasoning.
Gently dunk your peppers into the batter and slide into a pan of screaming hot oil (1/4 c. vegetable oil and a medium saute pan should work). When the batter on the bottom browns, gently flip over with a spatula. Once that side had browned, remove from pan and remove toothpicks. Hope you got them all!
Dress with queso fresco, cilantro, and some guacamole. Eat!