Easy Baked/Grilled Chile Rellenos

Andy Stone's New Mexican Green Chiles

When we arrived home yesterday, there was a generic USPS flat rate large box. As I wasn’t expecting a package, I had no clue what it might be.

Within about 5 yards of the door, I knew exactly what it was. There was this delicious, sharp, fresh, slightly spicy smell in the air.

Could it be?

Yup — it was a box full of fresh New Mexican Chile Peppers from Andrew Stone. Awesome. Brought back vivid memories of the summer (1992 or so) some friends and I lived with Andrew and worked on Stone Studio (now Stone Works). We lived on black beans, chile peppers, eggs, goat cheese, and fresh baked bread, mountain biking in the Rio Grande river valley every day. Good times.

Chile peppers are a celebration in New Mexico every bit as much as Garlic is a phenomenon in Northern California. And late summer is chile pepper season. Slashfood has a good summary of the chile pepper scene.

And, of course, with fresh chiles at hand, it was obviously time to make Chile Rellenos!

Chile Rellenos Ready for Grilling

When people hear Chile Rellenos, they often think of the soggy, over-breaded, deep fried chile rellenos so often served at mexican restaurants. Personally, I can’t stand that type of rellenos. It is a disgusting, greasy, mess that lacks distinctive flavors and any kind of texture. Yuck.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Baked or grilled chile rellenos is much better. And it is really easy to do.

As with many chile recipes, you first need to skin the peppers. I like to use a plumber’s torch.

Torch Skinned Chiles

For each pepper:

  • With a plumber’s torch, sear the skin of the chile pepper until it is black and/or bubbly all over. A long pair of locking hemostats can be clipped to the stem end to keep the flame away from your fingers. Blue flame is Hot!
  • Once seared, immediately drop the chile pepper into a paper bag and close the bag. A grocery bag with the top folded over works well.
  • Repeat for each pepper, then wait about 5 minutes after the last pepper is dropped in the bag.
  • To skin the peppers, simply rub with a dish towel or non-metallic scrub pad (something abrasive, but not so abrasive that it’ll shred the peppers). The skin should peel off really easy. Don’t worry about getting every last bit.

End result? Chile peppers ready to be used in whatever recipes you can imagine; chopped up in an omelette, on a burger, or… of course… CHILE RELLENOS!

Grilled Chile Rellenos

Grilled Chile Rellenos

  • Prep: You’ll need three large plates for dredging action; one covered in flour, one in a couple of thoroughly mixed eggs, and one containing bread crumbs and/or finely crunched fritos.
  • Prep (if grilling): Make a little baking dish out aluminum foil. Oil it with canola oil or some other relatively high heat oil.
  • Slit each chile pepper down one side.
  • Remove some of the seeds, if there are a lot. I never de-vein the peppers, but you can do so if you want to eliminate some of the spiciness.
  • Slide a strip of cheese into the pepper. I usually use jack cheese, but sometimes cheddar or smoked gouda. Or a mix.
  • Optionally add smoked pork, crab, or onion. Or other yummy stuff.
  • dredge the chile in flour, making sure all of the exposed outside is floured
  • dredge the chile in egg, making sure all the flour is moistened with egg.
  • dredge the chile in the crushed fritos / bread crumbs / dry spices.
  • Place chile, slit side up (so the cheese doesn’t escape), in the oiled baking dish.
  • Toss on a 300 degree or so grill for about an hour.

Resulting is cheesy chile deliciousness with a bit of crunch on the outside. Depending on the chile peppers used, they may be mild or spicy.

Often, the rellenos will be hotter closer to the stem end. Always fun: “Here is a mild one! Chomp… WHOAH!”

8 Responses to “Easy Baked/Grilled Chile Rellenos”

  1. annbb says:

    You forgot one step…after the egg dredging, then dredge the chili in the bread crumbs/finely crushed fritos.

    I can vouch resoundingly that these are the very finest rellenos you will ever eat! Not those greasy things
    most restaurants offer. Do try them, and Bill, ship me some of those peppers! Oh, and throw in some Meyer
    lemons as well!

    xoxyour big sis

  2. Jason Harris says:

    Dude, you’re killing me… Those look wonderful!

  3. John says:

    Soon to be experienced at Apple Caffe Macs!!! These look and sound incredible!

  4. John C. Randolph says:

    Speaking of torches, I wonder how an HHO torch would do for this kind of thing. They burn hydrogen, so there shouldn’t be any possibility of them changing the flavor of the food other than through caramelization effects.

    A hydrogen creme brulee would be an interesting experiment.


  5. Amie says:

    You know, it never occurred to me to roast peppers with my little butane torch I have for making creme brulee. I always just throw them on top of a burner on the stove and turn as needed.

    I think we’ll definitely have to try this. We have a ton of peppers left and we’re doing every hot pepper recipe known to man, including a recent pico de gallo where we swapped the typical tomato to pepper ratio. Deadly!

  6. David says:

    OMG, I love to cook and my wife will love me forever if I try these. She loves chile rellenos! What a fabulous idea to torch them with my creme brulee torch either – I am going to try these tonight. Thanks for the recipe and photos (makes my life easier to know what they’ll look like, or should look like.)

  7. Scott Roberts says:

    Chile rellenos are the bomb! I’m SO glad you’re promoting them being grilled or baked, instead of the mushy crap they serve at restaurants around here. Thanks for the awesome article.

  8. Kim says:

    These rellenos are fantastic! That’s authentic Mexican food – like the above poster, not the mushy chile rellenos they serve in wanna be restaurants! Thanks!

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