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You are a little high..and bored with the same old munchies (slyt)
February 28, 2014 4:11 PM   Subscribe

you will so want to make some up...like about a dozen..or two! Chili Relleno simply means ‘stuffed chilies’ that form a part of the Mexican cuisine. This dish traces its origins to the city of Puebla and consists of roasted poblano pepper, a mild pepper variety named after the city it comes from. Sometimes instead of poblano pepper, hatch green chile, Anaheim, pasilla or even jalapeño chili peppers are used. Commonly, queso Chihuahua or queso Oaxaca cheese is used for the stuffing. Generally, masa flour or egg whites with a pinch of salt is used as the batter for the chili relleno dish.

Usually, the chillies are stuffed with diced pork, melted cheese, some nuts and raisins, and seasoned or coated with egg batter or only cornflour before frying. Frying is the preferred method of cooking this Mexican dish. Chili relleno is commonly garnished with white cheese and it is then served with chili relleno sauce, which is most often a tomato sauce but in the US, rellenos are normally served with red or green chilli sauce, and specifically in California a brown sauce is used for this purpose. Similarly, in the US, chilli rellenos may be stuffed with a variety of different cheeses such as Monterey, cheddar or others.



Enjoy this cheesy, hot friend friendly dish soon!
posted by shockingbluamp (70 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know this will cause outrage in some circles but there is nothing worse than digging into a big ole hot fabulous chili relleno only to find nuts and raisins. They really need to emphasize that on the menu if they don't want me to spit it back out on the plate.
posted by double bubble at 4:29 PM on February 28 [14 favorites]


Hatch farms green chile is the only way. Having grown up in New Mexico and been raised on Hatch green chile in everything (and amazing local red chile sauces), the other options for the chile pepper seem alien and morally wrong to me, like California fusion unnecessarily applied to already perfect food. I could be biased...
posted by krinklyfig at 4:31 PM on February 28 [10 favorites]


I love these, but I usually get killer heartburn from peppers and chiles. Sometimes, it is worth the discomfort.
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:31 PM on February 28


FWIW, I totally agree, double bubble
posted by krinklyfig at 4:34 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


"Thank you, Grandma!"

"So can I get back to my telanovela now?"
posted by Danf at 4:38 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


My favorite delivery system for chili relleno is in a burrito.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:39 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


there is nothing worse than digging into a big ole hot fabulous chili relleno only to find nuts and raisins

Maybe, and I could understand the disappointment of an experience misaligned with expectation, but not so if it were Chiles en Nogada, which is my favorite uses of a pepper, bar none. Is using nuts and raisins to stuff peppers (other then chiles en nogada) a common thing you've bumped into?
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 4:40 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Roasting Hatch Green Chilis

These long green chiles are virtually identical to California and Anaheim chiles, with one distinct difference. They are much, much hotter. Hatch chiles are New Mexico chiles that are grown in the small town of Hatch, New Mexico and are considered premium green chiles. every year there is a Hatch Chile Festival on Labor Day where up to 30,000 people come to the little town to buy and eat these delicious chiles.
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:43 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


If anyone has a vegan chile relleno dish they've actually made, tried, and liked, please post! I've been wanting to make it for some family members that don't consume animal products but I've yet to see an online recipe that looked really great or at least semi-Authentic (minus the cheese!)
posted by cell divide at 4:58 PM on February 28


"Usually, the chillies are stuffed with diced pork, melted cheese, some nuts and raisins..."

Does anyone do this except for Texans? Chile rellenos are only supposed to be stuffed with cheese. Nothing else is supposed to go inside them. There isn't even room inside a Hatch New Mexican Green Chile for anything but a goodly portion of cheese. The sauce is supposed to be red chile made from the best red chiles, which come from Chimayo, New Mexico.

Sorry. I am kind of particular about this. (And honestly, does anyone anywhere really do this stuffing-a-relleno-with-stuff-that-isn't-cheese thing? It's crazy.)
posted by koeselitz at 4:59 PM on February 28 [12 favorites]


And now I am very hungry.
posted by koeselitz at 4:59 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


shockingbluamp, the Chiliman's roaster is a thing of beauty. Thanks!
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:00 PM on February 28


No one's mentioned wrapping them with bacon yet? FFS, people!
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:01 PM on February 28


Ha. Now I realize that probably everyone is creative in their relleno stuffings outside New Mexico, and my loyalty probably just confused me. Still, I like em with just cheese, thanks. Also, that bell pepper relleno I once had in Texas seemed like a mistake, but maybe somebody could make it work.
posted by koeselitz at 5:04 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Well I never heard anything about rellenos with Chimayo red sauce, specifically, though that's a tasty combination. Red or green is good with me, or both, as long as it's Hatch. Other people may prefer other fillings than cheese, and who am I to judge?- for all I know they were raised as feral children and don't know any better.

AFAIK, Hatch farms refers to a whole group of chile farmers in NM and not just those located in Hatch itself, who all grow the same hybrids (many of which were developed by UNM agriculture in the '70s). Pls correct me if I'm wrong, but that was always my understanding.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:24 PM on February 28


The nuts and raisins things sneaks up on you quite a bit here in Texas. It's always touted as "traditional". My first disappointing encounter was on a Friday night after a particularly grueling week during tax season when I really wanted to drown my sorrow in cheese and then some more cheese. I swear for a couple of seconds I thought there were bugs in my relleno. It was much much worse. Blech.
posted by double bubble at 5:35 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid I'm giving the wrong impression to those who haven't had the pleasure - a chili relleno is a piece of all that is good and holy. Unless it has raisins - then it's bleeeeeccchhhhhccceeechhhh.

(For the record, all that is good and holy is cheese. Melted. Gooey. Yummy. Cheese.)
posted by double bubble at 5:42 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


We get our hatch green chile shipped to us every harvest from here. They are currently taking pre-orders for the 2014 season.

Apparently they pick the chile during the day, pack it into priority shipping boxes, and hand it to the post office that night. It arrives at your door within 3 days of being picked. That's about as fresh as you're going to get if you don't actually live in New Mexico.
posted by hippybear at 5:42 PM on February 28 [9 favorites]


Also, if you're going to make rellenos, you can't do the "roast 'em when you get 'em and freeze 'em and thaw for later use" thing. Rellenos, especially with Hatch chiles, work best with fresh chiles.

Shockingly, I found fresh hot green chiles at the Portland Farmer's Market in October. I bought enough for a good relleno dinner and Mr. hippybear actually squeed when I got home with them.
posted by hippybear at 5:44 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Well, double bubble, your surprise raisin-fillled chile does sound disheartening, especially for an avowed devotee of all things cheese. Nuts and raisins (and other fruits) have an exalted place as chile stuffers in Mexico (and apparently Texas), and yet cheese certainly reigns supreme as a chile stuffer everywhere, and so I agree that it's just wrong to subvert expectations like that. You should have been warned.

Mrs. JiLS and I and a good friend are tentatively planning a trip to New Mexico next year, a trip I've wanted to make for decades for all sorts of reasons, but I expressly want to go there to indulge in New Mexico green and red chile burgers, Hatch chiles, and all other New Mexico heritage foods in all their glory.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 5:45 PM on February 28


I haven't ever had Chili en Nogada. Is it like a chili stuffed with mince meat?
posted by double bubble at 6:30 PM on February 28


What a awesome (grand)son he only skips a beat once when she says now I will cut the cheese... And oh the look he gives as a parent you wonder do I scold or run the hell outta the kitchen before I laugh!

Also I have never had these... I like them... I want them.
posted by mrgroweler at 6:42 PM on February 28


I haven't ever had Chili en Nogada. Is it like a chili stuffed with mince meat?

double bubble, look through some of the recipes I've linked for more info, but basically, yes, a chile en nogada is a poblano pepper stuffed with mincemeat (meat plus fruit or raisins) and dressed with a walnut-based white sauce (thus the "nogada" in the name) and decorated with pomegranate seeds. Because pomegranates are in season in September in Central Mexico, and because the colors of the pepper, sauce, and pomegranate seeds match the colors of the Mexican flag, it is considered a traditional dish to eat on and around Mexican Independence Day (September 16). Chile en Nogada is a Mexican food, chef-created and not a folk food, and also definitely not indigenous to New Mexico or Texas. It's a dish that is (relatively) easy to find here in Chicago, because of our humongous first- and second-generation Mexican population combined with our city's love and support for Mexican cuisine at all levels of execution (Bayless on down), so I can always satiate my periodic lust for them. However, the best one I ever had was at the very old-school Cafe la Blanca in the Centro Historico of Mexico City.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 6:52 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


I love love love chili rellenos. Love em rolled in crisp blue corn meal in New Mexico and love 'em stuffed with cheese and a little schmear of masa inside a burrito in LA. Never have encountered a raisin in my chili rellenos and now I'm terrified it could happen one day. Thanks a lot!
posted by Scram at 6:54 PM on February 28


At the old Nic's restaurant in L.A. Larry Nicola used to make a fusion-y version with pasillas, lamb, and Harvarti. I love chili rellenos of all stripes, but those are something I often crave, 20 years on.

I've never had luck making chili rellenos myself but I'm hoping there will be lots of inspirations here. Great post.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:01 PM on February 28


This dish traces its origins to the city of Puebla and consists of roasted poblano pepper, a mild pepper variety named after the city it comes from.

So they're not supposed to be so screaming hot that you worry you'll permanently damage something? Good to know.
posted by sneebler at 7:04 PM on February 28


Room 641-A, I wouldn't worry; from my experience with a lot of bad examples, purportedly prepared by professionals, I'd say it's actually a pretty difficult preparation to do right. But done right, it is a work of art. And while I can see why the OP might conclude they are a great food to eat when high (yes, indeed), I don't think you'd want to try making them while high, unless of course you were a yoeman Mexican line cook working at your trade, in which case I imagine you could handle that admirably.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 7:07 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Chiles Rellenos con Picadillo Oaxaqueño are delicious. They are not "California Fusion", either- picadillo came to Mexico via Spain. You can find it in Cuba and the Philippines as well, where they also include raisins.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:09 PM on February 28


Beware of chile with the wrong spelling, lest there be raisins.
posted by yohko at 7:11 PM on February 28


... and if you think about the savory-sweet aspect of combining dried fruit and nuts with meat and spices, you can see the Moorish influence on Spanish food was transported into Mexican cuisine as well.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:13 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


I've never heard of stuffing nuts and raisins into chili rellenos, but that actually sounds kind of awesome.
posted by indubitable at 7:17 PM on February 28


I'd say with respect to the chile relleno, your imagination must be your guide. Certainly that appears to have been the driving force behind the preparations of the dish running through the various regions of Mexico, both current and historic, and their immigrants. Hell, there is a Yucatacan restaurant around here that (at least used to) offer a chile relleno with tuna filling. The only thing to keep in mind is that a bell pepper will be too bitter to really work; you need to go with a Mexican/poblano pepper, to my way of thinking.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 7:19 PM on February 28


I've never heard of stuffing nuts and raisins into chili rellenos, but that actually sounds kind of awesome.

Actually, it does sound awesome.

Although if I was expecting cheese and got that instead, I would probably also spit it out. PROPER LABELING IS NECESSARY, PEOPLE!
posted by hippybear at 7:22 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Roasting Hatch Green Chilis yt

I have drool running down my chin now thanks.
posted by rtha at 7:25 PM on February 28


I make my rellenos with Dungeness crab and a mix of white cheeses, topped in a roasted tomato salsa with Cotija crumbled over. Roasted, not fried.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 7:27 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Chile rellenos are only supposed to be stuffed with cheese meat and potatoes.
posted by 445supermag at 7:31 PM on February 28


Hrm. Now I'm going to have to go hunting for Anaheims in the markets around town. I can make up the lack of heat by adding some of the stash of roasted, frozen hatch chiles we have in our deep freeze. This will probably happen this weekend. Yay!
posted by hippybear at 7:32 PM on February 28


So pobleno chiles sound a little weak. Has anyone tried them with habaneros?
posted by happyroach at 7:54 PM on February 28


The point of chile rellenos is not the heat. Mainly, though, habaneros are kind of small - how would you fit the tasty goodness inside?
posted by rtha at 8:00 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


I'm sure you could chop up some habaneros or process them into a salsa with tomato, tomatillo, or a neutralizer like lettuce, and ladle that on top of a chile relleno, but a habenero is such a small size, it would be a lot of effort to fill it. You're a better fresser than I if you can chomp down on an habanero as a main course. That said, I'm sure somebody has tried it.

On preview, what rtha said.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:01 PM on February 28


I grew up eating a lot of Mexican food in Tucson and I'm with the purists -- a chile relleno just has cheese, a chile en nogada is a totally different thing. Ever fly out of Milwaukee? The unpromising looking Mexican restaurant across the street from the airport, Jalapeno Loco, is actually a great Oaxacan place and has the best chiles en nogada I've ever had.

Hmm -- on the other hand, in this article they quote the proprietor of the Rocking Horse Cafe in Chelsea, home of the second best chiles en nogada I've ever had, as saying:

''One time, we had chiles en nogada on the menu and somebody said, 'I liked the dish, but it wasn't Mexican; it didn't have cheese on it,' '' said Roe DiBona, an owner of Rocking Horse. ''It's a different relleno, from a different region of Mexico, and they're different.''

So I guess it is a kind of relleno after all, and I'm just wrong?
posted by escabeche at 8:03 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


To the extent that "chile relleno" means "pepper stuffed with something," then yes, chiles en nogadas are chiles renellos. That's why I jumped into the thread with my observation about them. Also, I now have to drive up to Milwaukee to try the chiles en nogada at Jalapeno Loco!
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 8:10 PM on February 28


The point of chile rellenos is not the heat.

Well, the point of the chile rellenos is the flavor of the chile and the coating and whatever is filling it.

But having grown up 20 miles from Hatch... if it ain't got the heat, it ain't worth the effort.
posted by hippybear at 8:11 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


These long green chiles are virtually identical to California and Anaheim chiles, with one distinct difference. They are much, much hotter.

I worked at a farmer's market in Arizona one year, and the difference wasn't the just heat. For most of the year we roasted Anaheims from either California or Mexico to sell as "green chile." During August and September we brought them in by the truckload from Hatch. They were distinctly more thick walled and packed a bigger green chile punch. When they weren't in season, I always went with poblanos over Anaheims, I think they're more flavorful and easier to peel. Now that I have a chest freezer though, the chile festival is a great excuse to visit beautiful NM every fall and bring back a couple coolers of fresh roasted chiles.

And yes, those squirrel cage chile roasters are awesome...unless you're standing over one when it's 110 degrees. On the plus side, I did come home from work every evening smelling like delicious burritos and my wife would always demand we go out for Mexican after giving me a hug.
posted by TungstenChef at 8:17 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Well, yeah - I guess, the point is not "so hot can't taste anything else in the dish." I have not yet eaten my weight in Hatch chiles (I need to get to NM more often), but from what I've eaten, they are somewhat variable in their hotness - some quite hot, most kind spicy, some not very hot. Poblanos are more evenly "not really hot, unless you get one that's a little hotter."

last time we were in Santa Fe it was fall and the air smelled like roasting chiles and my mouth watered all the time.
posted by rtha at 8:18 PM on February 28


I miss New Mexico.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:26 PM on February 28 [5 favorites]


About the heat, it depends on variety and growing conditions. Big Jims are what they sell as mild or medium depending on the batch. Sandias are sold as hot Hatch chiles, in my experience they're a little bit more thin walled and their aroma is a little closer to serrano peppers. I don't know the names of the varieties above that, but they go all the way up to XXX-hot. When your wife talks you into entering the chile-eating competition, believe me that the plate they're going to give you is full of XXX-hots and you're about to be embarrassed by someone's grandma in front of the whole fair.
posted by TungstenChef at 8:36 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Every year, for decades, I have gone to Federal Boulevard -in Denver - to pick up a bushel or two of roasted-on-the-spot green chiles. Mmmm good for the rest of the year. Process - and there is a debate here, but not an important one. (De-seed/and membrane or not before freezing.)

The problem is specifying the heat level. I've purchased medium-hot peppers that burn your mouth; and I've purchased "hot" peppers that taste like supermarket green peppers, roasted.

The Hatch label means nothing to me, but is a selling point to drive-by buyers.

Some of the best peppers have been from southern Colorado…Pueblo/Trinidad area.

If you buy not-hot-enough chiles, you can always throw in a few roasted/dried Ancho or other fired peppers to up the heat, so you can never go wrong.

If you live in the unpepper regions of the world, well, may God help you. Although buying a frozen pound of green chiles from the frozen food section of your supermarket is almost as good as the real thing.
posted by kozad at 8:50 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Although buying a frozen pound of green chiles from the frozen food section of your supermarket is almost as good as the real thing.

Plastic tubs of Bueno FTW!
posted by hippybear at 8:58 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


The best relleno I ever had was at a restaurant run by a friend from Mexico, but trained as a French waiter. The batter for his relleno was whipped (to a soft peak) egg whites, then fried so quickly the coating just set. The roasted pepper stuffed with cheese inside an angelic coating was something I've never had since.

I was lucky enough to pass through Hatch on a southwest road trip about fifteen years ago. Chiles were being roasted in rotating cage roasters on the sidewalk all along the main drag. We bought two burlap bags of them, and the back of the truck smelled so good all the way back to Seattle. We shared them with friends and had great chile all winter that year.
posted by dbmcd at 9:42 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Finding good chile rellenos east of the Mississippi is difficult. In Washington DC they sometimes refer to bell peppers as chiles and stuffed bell peppers as chile rellenos. (The horror of this may be lost on some.) At a DC restaurant to be sure, I asked if the chiles were long and flat. They said yes and served me a smashed, stretched out stuffed bell pepper.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:12 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


happyroach: “So pobleno chiles sound a little weak. Has anyone tried them with habaneros?”

New Mexico green chiles, man. It's the only way to make them. Habaneros are tiny, not good at all for such things. And I have had New Mexico green chiles which are hotter than habaneros.
posted by koeselitz at 10:17 PM on February 28


kozad: “Every year, for decades, I have gone to Federal Boulevard -in Denver - to pick up a bushel or two of roasted-on-the-spot green chiles... The Hatch label means nothing to me, but is a selling point to drive-by buyers. Some of the best peppers have been from southern Colorado…Pueblo/Trinidad area.”

As someone who's lived all over Colorado and several places in New Mexico, I could not disagree more strenuously. And I'm guessing you've never actually been to Hatch.
posted by koeselitz at 10:19 PM on February 28


(Not that that's totally fair, but seriously, Hatch is awesome, their chiles are fantastic, and it's unfair to dismiss them so easily.)
posted by koeselitz at 10:20 PM on February 28


I often make mine with refried beans inside (as well as cheese of course). I server with spanish rice, more refried beans on the side, on a tortilla with some more cheddar melted on top.

I end up dirtying a lot of dishes, but it's one of those meals that I feel like I could die from food happiness.

This is one of my go-to dishes when eating at a Mexican place.
posted by el io at 10:49 PM on February 28


This is an awesome thread, but having it in February is just cruel.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:02 PM on February 28 [4 favorites]


I grew up eating a lot of Mexican food in Tucson and I'm with the purists -- a chile relleno just has cheese, a chile en nogada is a totally different thing.

It's really more "American" than "purist" to insist that a chile relleno only has cheese. In Mexico chiles rellenos are stuffed with all kinds of things.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:49 PM on February 28


I honestly can't imagine a chile relleno being made with anything but Hatch chiles, poblanos, or at the very least Anaheims. Just doesn't compute. And raisins and rice? That's not a relleno, as noted above. Also, chile relleno burritos? HEAVEN.

And back on the chiles, I dated for a time a lovely Mexican lady who often took me home for weekend meals with her family. And the several times that I was served chile rellenos by her beautiful mother, those things were SPICY. Like well above Hatch chile spiciness. I never thought to ask what chile she was using. Of course this was the same mamacita who would would make vegetarian tamales for me, with a filling of minced chipotle chiles and queso oaxaca and some mystery spice(s) that were hotter than blue blazes. I asked my girlfriend and her brother if all her cooking was this spicy because it was so far out of the norms of what I had experienced in all my time eating Mexican food and they both shrugged and said it was the style of her home village and it was considered normal. Good thing I love hot food beyond any sort of reasonableness.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 12:48 AM on March 1


Overthinking a plate of beans never tasted better.
posted by spitbull at 12:52 AM on March 1 [3 favorites]


These long green chiles are virtually identical to California and Anaheim chiles, with one distinct difference. They are much, much hotter.

This couldn't be more wrong. I grew up in Las Cruces, NM, and chiles are a way of life. Hatch chiles are not known for their heat, but for their distinct flavor. The are sweet, and not as acrid as anaheim or other chiles. It depends on the variety, with Big Jim being the best for the relleno. The hatch chiles can get hot, but that is not why they are known to be the best.
posted by Benway at 4:40 AM on March 1 [8 favorites]


Am making a big batch of chile verde this weekend but now I'm going to have to make chile rellenos to go with it. We sometimes cheat and do a baked version - think stuffed chiles floating in a souffle - delicious and less unhealthy but obviously not the same thing.
posted by leslies at 6:40 AM on March 1


Why is cilantro not in the sauce? An otherwise perfectly executed dish, ruined
posted by oceanjesse at 9:21 AM on March 1


We go through 3-4 bushels of roasted chiles a year, and Mosco peppers hit my sweet spot just right for most purposes. They're relatively new, and were developed specifically as a roasting pepper. They're thick walled and easily peeled when roasted, like Big Jims, but they're a Mirasol variety, so they have a lot more flavor.

I put most of them in green chili, but they're perfect for rellenos, too.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:52 AM on March 1


You people are just cruel. It's ten at night and now I'm craving chiles so bad...and tomorrow I'm leaving for a two-week work trip to China! I was all set to go enjoy some good Shanghai cuisine and now all I can think about is HATCH CHILES MOAR MOAR AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH
posted by Doleful Creature at 8:53 PM on March 1


New Mexican food is not the same as Mexican.

It's funny now that I'm in Chicago and most restaurants that call themselves Mexican and don't serve microwaved food out of a can are fairly un-Americanized, frequently Oaxacan, but it turns out I don't like a lot of it. Because there's a lot of mixing savory with sweet, like the aforementioned raisins.

(Also leaving aside sweet savory crossover, raisins are gross yo)
posted by PMdixon at 12:19 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]


I have an intense memory of the first time I ever ate rellenos.

14 years ago. An unspeakably lovely woman I knew from elsenet was attending a gathering of other people I knew from elsenet. She's Oaxacan, if memory serves, and she makes them the way her granny did.

Big fat lightly spicy green peppers, stuffed to the gills with some sort of cheese whose name I forget. Dipped in egg white and deep fried until awesome.

Didn't even bother with sauce, just gobbled that fucker down and begged for more. I can remember, exactly, the crunch of the coating, the soft slight resistance and piquancy of the pepper itself, and then the just-shy-of-molten-lava hot gooey cheese inside. It's one of my favourite food memories, and I have never been able to quite replicate the perfection she achieved.

I think I may need to make some but deep frying in an apartment sucks.

Anyone in Toronto, El Sol does rellenos, but you have to pre-order a day in advance (or when you make your reso), and for some bizarre reason they come smothered in some sort of tomato sauce.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:30 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]



New Mexican food is not the same as Mexican.

No, it's not, which is why it sounds somewhat provincial that in a post about Mexican chiles rellenos some people will insist that there should never, ever be raisins or nuts in chiles rellenos. It's cool if people don't like 'em that way, but cheese filled is only one type among many authentic versions. That's like saying something is not a taco if it doesn't contain ground beef in a crispy tortilla.

Also, more than one type of chile is grown in the Hatch Valley. There is no one type of pepper called a "hatch pepper". Which is why some people think they are "hotter than Anaheims", and other people describe them as mild.

In fact, the Anaheim chile originated in New Mexico, and is perfectly good for chiles rellenos. Developed from Anaheim are "Big Jim" and "Heritage". They are better adapted to the shorter growing season in Hatch than chiles grown in Southern California. Here's one place you can buy some of the types of seeds grown in Hatch.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:42 PM on March 2 [6 favorites]


The added difficulty with Hatch chiles is that people tend to play fast and loose with the 'Hatch' designation. If you were to believe the roadside roasters, 'Hatch' is just a synonym for Anaheim peppers, or sometimes, for all green chiles.

I'm pretty sure the best way to identify real Hatch chiles grown in the Hatch region is to look for sellers who post angry polemics like this one alongside their signs.
posted by ernielundquist at 4:32 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


cell divide: we've been using this recipe for years, and it's fantastic. It also introduced me to the pleasures of mexican oregano paired with chiles (in place of the usual stuff) and we've had a shrub of it growing for the last four years almost exclusively to fuel relleno days. The only other substitution we generally make is to replace the soy milk with oat or almond milk (sometimes that soymilk nutty/beany mouthfeel is too easy to pick up in a dish for my tastes).

Also take note of this dish, which is a bit easier to deal with in a pinch (especially if you just make some basic blender cashew cream instead of a fancy vegan cheese--although the referenced Schinner book is worth your experimental time for the basic cheddar recipe alone).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 12:19 PM on March 3


I'm pretty sure the best way to identify real Hatch chiles grown in the Hatch region is to look for sellers who post angry polemics like this one alongside their signs.

Or, you know, order from one of these places. (Yes, my link from above is included in the front page here.)
posted by hippybear at 8:15 PM on March 5 [1 favorite]


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