The Chile Rellenos

One of our favorite foods is Chili Rellenos, which is Spanish for stuffed Chili’s. Our Odyssey of Rellenos began in school in Houston at poncho’s, where a West Texas friend called them “chili Reno’s”. A few years later we arrived in Clovis, New Mexico at the polite request of Uncle Sam, and ate the New Mexico version of chili rellenos at the Busy Bee Café, a chili pepper, stuffed with cheese dipped in cornmeal batter and deep fried, like chicken. We labored for years striving to duplicate these delicacies, then finally settled on our own version. Sometimes we still deep fry, but more often we bake them in the oven or Dutch oven.

First you fire roast the peppers, we like either large New Mexico’s, or poblano’s. Then peel them, and through a slit on the side take out the seeds (unless you want them really spicy!)Next you make Picadillo (Mexican hash) by frying hamburger (even buffalo burger) with onions, garlic, and tomatoes, seasoned with chili powder, cumin (Comino) oregano, thyme, and a little cinnamon and cloves, and add raisins and pecans, salt and pepper to taste.

Now stuff the Picadillo into the pepper and roll it in flour or cornmeal. Make a batter of egg white and the same cornmeal with Salt and pepper and maybe a touch of buttermilk, and dip it in. Then either fry it in hot (350) oil,or bake it. Usually, we still put cheese in with the Picadillo

Often we make a seafood stuffing of shrimp and crab with white wine.

You almost can’t mess up, and you can eat your mistakes. Like my soul-brother Rick used to say “it’s not rocket science; it was food when you put it in the pot, so it’s food when you take it out! “

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