Good morning DFO!
Good to have you back after a somewhat, let’s say less than immaculate recipe last week.
This week we’ve got real goddamn recipes and a shitload of photos to guide you along.
We go back to our request line for this one, actually I think there were 2 folks that requested it.
You long time readers know I love Mexican food and we’ve featured plenty of recipes to support that claim.
Takes deep breath.
We’ve done fish tacos,
With photographic evidence.
Carne Guisada! So fucking good!
Of course we’ve made carne asada!
My very first Sunday Gravy post ever featured my all time favorite condiment and constant addiction Chile tepin.
Just know that my bonafides are in place and proper.
I’ve also made more pots of pinto beans and Mexican rice than I can keep track of. Don’t worry we’re going to do a batch of vegan pinto beans again today.
When the first suggestion was made for me to attempt making chili relleno – I believe it was from Blaxabbath – I remembered back to the time when I was married to the “former missus right.” She loved chile relleno and we made them on a fairly regular basis. The requesters for today’s inspiration both said they had issues with the batter staying on the chile rellenos during the cooking process and I too remember having similar issues in the past. Today’s challenge was not only cooking chile rellenos but solving the “Mystery of the Slipping Batter.”
Without Scooby Doo.
If you look at that banner photo again you can see that I had pretty good success with the batter. I did some serious fucking research to solve this issue and it turns out that it is pretty fucking common with home cooks who attempt this dish.
I narrowed the possible solution down to two potential fixes. Not sure if it was one, the other or both in conjunction that solved the dilemma but it was solved indeed.
Got a whole lot of shit to get to today and an ass ton of photos. So let’s do this motherfucker!
2 Anaheim or poblano chilies – fire roasted and deseeded
2 eggs separated
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Monterrey jack cheese
1 cup of cooking oil
That’s it. I left the amounts a little vague since the number of rellenos you cook will depend on how many you will be feeding. The above amounts are for only 2 chili rellenos which is how many I personally made.
Get some chilies!
These are Anaheim chilies. They tend to be a bit milder than a poblano or a pasilla chili.
Please note: none of these chilies would even remotely be considered hot or spicy. They all have that nice, rich, green chili taste that we all know and dig the shit out of.
First thing we gots to do is fire roast these sumbitches. You all know the drill by now.
The fire roasting gives us a nice flavor in addition to the removal of a pretty fucking chewy skin. Another thing it does is make the surface of the chili tacky. Remember we’re fixing that “batter falling off” shit today.
These will roast for a few minutes until the surface blackens. Next place the blackened chilies in a bowl and cover with some plastic wrap to steam the chilies and help loosen the skins. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
Now the skins should be easy to remove.
Be sure to leave that stem on there for use as a little “handle.”
Once the chilies have been skinned it’s time to deseed them. Make one thin slit on the edge of the chili and carefully reach in, I found a standard spoon works well for gutting that chili. We don’t want to tear the outside of the chili so use a little caution.
Now they’re deseeded and ready to stuff.
Let’s get to work on the batter for these. You will be greatly rewarded in the preparation of these if you have a stand mixer. Just saying.
Separate your eggs, with the whites going into the working bowl of your mixer.
Standard egg separating rule of thumb is; you can get a little egg white into your yolks but do NOT get any egg yolk into your egg whites.
We are going to attach the whisk attachment to the mixer and let’s get after them whites.
These will mix on a medium-medium high speed for just a few minutes.
What are we looking for here?
Next, using a fork mix the egg yolks with the teaspoon of baking powder. Then add the yolk mix to the beaten whites and gently stir to incorporate.
Serious shit with the fold gently thing. The reason we beat the egg whites is we wanted a soft fluffy batter. Over mixing here can lead to breaking the egg mixture back down and back to that whole “batter falling off the fucking relleno” thing.
Next add the cooking oil to a fairly deep skillet and heat over a medium heat.
Let’s go ahead and stuff the prepared chilies with the cheese.
A couple of small wedges of the cheese for each chili. Don’t want to over-stuff here.
A quick note about the cheese. Monterrey jack is the standard boring Americanized/Mexican fare but it cooks well. You can vary up your cheese here. If you can find “asadero” use that. It’s a Mexican cheese similar in a lot of ways to a fresh mozzarella. I would not recommend using a flavor forward cheese like say aged cheddar. The relleno is a very subtle dish and the wrong cheese can overpower the chili flavor. I couldn’t find asadero so jack cheese it was.
Next thing we’re gonna do is coat the stuffed chili in some flour.
Grab that stem of the chili that you brilliantly left in place and gently dip that chili into our egg batter. Gentle is the key phrase here. Be sure to coat it well on all sides. Now gently place the relleno into the hot oil.
Two additional anti-stick tricks we are going to employ here; first, go ahead and spoon just a bit more batter to the top of each chili while it just starts to cook. This will ensure solid batter coverage.
The second trick, and a right proper motherfucker of a trick, is to employ the “slosh” technique.
AHA! Use a spoon or spatula to gently slosh some of the hot oil over the top of the chili while it’s cooking. If you’re like me and like a sunny side up fried egg as long as the white is cooked, this method may be familiar to you. It’s exactly how I finish cooking a fried egg. We’re doing it here to ensure the batter stays in place prior to flipping the chili over. Cook the chilies for about 5 minutes per side.
After the flip!
Nailed that fucker.
Five more minutes cooking, then gently remove to drain on a paper towel.
You, my friend, are now a goddamn chili relleno MASTER!
To summarize: the methods used to help the batter stay in place include; fire roasting and peeling the chili to get the surface tacky. Gently whipping the egg whites and mixing with the yolks to create a fluffy batter more likely to adhere to the surface. We also coated with flour prior to battering, giving the batter something additional to stick to. We also added a little extra batter to the top of the rellenos while they were cooking giving them ample batter coverage. Finally by employing the “slosh” technique of splashing oil over the top of the uncooked batter we helped it set firmly in place prior to flipping over.
Don’t worry, I ain’t gonna leave you with a plain old unadorned chili relleno. We got to dress that fucker up PROPER!
Let’s make a homemade enchilada sauce!
No more store bought shit for you!
recipe via Allrecipes.com
1/4 cup of cooking oil
2 tablespoons of self rising flour
1/4 cup of chili powder, if you can find it use this shit.
That’s dried New Mexico chili powder.
Do you all have access to these little cellophane bags of cheap spices? Or is that just a Southwest US thing? These bags are dirt cheap and plentiful. All of my black peppercorns, chile tepin, cumin, garlic powder and many other spices come from these.
(1) 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
Enough water to dilute the sauce to your desired consistency. About a cup or cup and a half.
Ingredients in visual form!
Heat up the oil in a skillet over medium heat then add in the flour and the chili powder.
Lower the heat to medium-low and cook to incorporate the spices. Just a minute or 2. Next add in the rest of the ingredients but just a cup of the water to start. We can thin it a little more later.
Simmer down for 10 minutes.
Let the sauce reduce a bit and season with salt to taste.
I made this a day ahead and refrigerated it overnight.
I also made a pot of pinto beans for this meal.
One of them links up there has the recipe but it’s 1/2 pound of dried pinto beans, picked through and rinsed. Half an onion chopped. Four cloves of garlic minced. 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin. Salt and pepper. It’s about 4 cups of water.
Get everything into a pot and get to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 3 hours until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. Mash or blend about 1/2 of the beans for texture and serve.
Please note that this entire meal at this point is vegan! There was no pork added to the beans today.
This was basically to prove that I could do it and also to show that Sunday Gravy can be vegan friendly.
Some of my photo pre-screeners mentioned that this photo was slightly, shall we say “fecal” in nature.
Is it? I can’t judge because I know that this meal was fucking delicious! Slightly smoky, a green chili tang, that enchilada sauce is a real keeper with a gentle simmering heat from the chili powder. Goddamn delicious.
Not to mention an all out successful prep on the chili relleno.
Now to answer the question that’s on everyone’s minds.
No I didn’t make an entire Sunday dinner that was vegan. I’ll send you out with some additional photos.
Then just get ’em crispy.
The carnitas, while delicious had one minor issue today.
What the fuck is this shit Ralph’s?
Pork for stew? And no whole pork shoulder on hand?
Motherfuckers even trimmed the excess fat!
Goddammit I’m gonna write my congressman.
How the fuck are we supposed to have savory, porky deliciousness when you trimmed the motherfucking fat off.
Goddammit this is basically a war crime!
Thanks for being here folks.
I appreciate you.
And another thing, the next time I go to the fucking store there better be an entire section dedicated to full-fat slabs of Boston Butt. I will not settle for this bullshit… I will come down there and….