It’s Hatch Chile season folks!!
I don’t know about your neck of the woods but here in Texas when Hatch Chile season hits, it hits hard! Everyone from the grocery store, to the local restaurants, to yes, even bloggers, like to celebrate!
So what’s the big deal? Hatch Chiles are a variety of chile pepper from New Mexico. They have an incredibly short season, from mid-August to late-September, and have a mild to medium heat profile. Hatch Chiles are used in a variety of dishes, from salsa verde, to soups, to Chile Con Queso, and the infamous Chiles Rellenos.
Since the arrival of Hatch Chiles, Eric has been begging me to make something with them, specifically Chiles Rellenos, cheese stuffed peppers that are battered and deep fried. So if Eric wanted Chiles Rellenos I was going to make them, but in the classic way.
Unfortunately, he wanted something more elaborate. All fancy and such. Stuffed with things like shredded chicken, ground sausage and veggies.
Ahh, yes! I agree those things would be fab stuffed in a Hatch Chile, but there is just something about a classic dish.
This was actually my first time making Chile Rellenos at home. The recipe below is very simple and classic. The key is to make sure your oil is hot enough but not too hot as to burn your chiles. Using a thermometer is best but you can also check the oil by sprinkling some flour in the oil. If the flour begins to sizzle you are good to go! Another tip to these rellenos is to serve them immediately. Due to being battered and deep fried they do not keep well. So eat up!
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Serves: 6
6 Hatch Chile peppers
1 (8 oz) package cheddar cheese, sliced into strips
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
canola oil, as needed
salsa, for serving, if desired
Line baking sheet with foil and place peppers on baking sheet. Place peppers under broiler and cook 3-4 minutes per side until slightly charred.
Remove peppers from oven, place in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let peppers sit for 5 minutes then pull away charred skin, keeping pepper intact.
Slice a small 1-2 inch slit in the middle/top of the pepper and carefully stuff in strip of cheese.
In a small bowl combine milk, the 1/2 cup flour, egg, baking powder, baking soda, salt and black pepper. Mix well to make a batter.
Place remaining ½ cup of flour in large bowl.
Pour enough oil in heavy frying pan to reach 1 inch in depth and heat over medium-high heat.
Roll each pepper in the remaining flour and dip in the batter. Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove peppers from oil and drain on paper towels.
Serve immediately with salsa if desired.