I have lived in New Mexico for most of my life. Every year, I look forward to the end of August with excitement and anticipation and glee. Why? Two simple words: chile season. Real New Mexico green chile is only in season for a few short weeks at the end of summer. Roadside vendors pop up. Chile festivals happen. And the air is heavy with the aroma of chiles roasting over propane burners. If I could bottle that smell, I’d make a million dollars (actually, I think a local candlemaker has a roasted green chile candle). But I digress. One of my favorite things to do with those fresh roasted chiles is stuff them with cheese and fry them up. Part of the fun of peeling and freezing chiles is picking the perfect chiles for making rellenos. This recipe also works well for making jalapeno poppers just in case you are unfortunate enough to live somewhere where you can’t get whole, fresh New Mexico green chile.
Start by peeling the roasted chile. Try to leave the stem on, it makes a nice handle later. Make a slit in the side of the chile and clean out most of the seeds. Then, stuff them with cheese. I use shredded cheese mixed with an egg to help reduce the amount of melty cheese that leaks out during frying..
After stuffing, dip in batter and place in hot oil. You can use a deep fryer instead of a skillet, but I don’t have one.
Fry until golden brown and crispy. If you use a deep fryer, they’ll be nice and round instead of flat on the sides. They taste fantastic either way.
oil for frying
5-6 medium New Mexico green chiles
1 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup water
Pour about 1/4 inch oil in the bottom of your skillet and heat over medium heat. Peel green chiles. Make a slit in the side and remove seeds. Be careful not to pull the stem off the top of the chile.
Mix 1 cup shredded cheese and one egg together until well mixed. Fill chiles with cheese mixture.
In a shallow dish, combine cornstarch, flour, baking powder salt and pepper. Add egg and water and stir until combined.
Test oil with a drop of batter. If it bubbles and floats to the top, the oil is ready. Coat chiles in batter and carefully place in oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, and flip. Remove from oil when both sides are golden and crispy and cheese is melted. Drain on paper towels. Serve immediately either plain or smothered with green chile sauce.