We’ve all had traditional chiles rellenos. As a matter of fact, I had one for dinner tonight, in a combo #23 (along with a deliciously greasy shredded beef taco, cheese enchilada and of course, rice and beans) from Super Mex, the local chain Mexican dive. Traditional chiles rellenos are usually a mild green chile (usually a poblano or Anaheim) which are roasted, peeled and seeded and stuffed with a mild, melting cheese. In the US, it’s usually a Monterey Jack or mild Cheddar. In Mexico, it’s typically queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca, both of which are mild, white and very amenable to melting into pools of gooey goodness. The stuffed chile is then dipped in an egg batter and shallow-fried. When nice and puffy and golden brown, the chile relleno is removed from the pan, and dressed with a mild red chile sauce. Properly made, a chile relleno is a thing of beauty. Poorly made, well, it’s a poorly made disaster.
We’ll make traditional chiles rellenos eventually, because even though I got a good fix tonight courtesy of Super Mex (still burping good salsa burps too…..), the chile relleno fix doesn’t last too long, and I’ll get to craving another hit pretty quickly. And mine are pretty damned good and close to authentic. Especially for a Polish/Norwegian girl from South Chicago.
But now we’re talking about a different kind of a chile relleno. Technically, “chile relleno” translates literally as “stuffed chile”. So, chiles en nogada are a form of chiles rellenos. But they are as far from what you’ll find in Super Mex combo #23 as a beautiful Maryland blue crab cake is from a “Krab patty” made with that chopped, pressed and dyed faux “krab”. OK….bad analogy….the chiles rellenos in combo #23 are actually really GOOD. “Krab patties” are never, ever, really good, or even passable. But you get the drift.
This is a relleno like you’ve never “relleno-ed” before. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?