Chile Relleno

Good chile rellenos are made from chilies that are roasted but maintain some al dente muscle in their vegetable walls. They are stuffed with cream-rich molten cheese and haloed in a coat of featherweight batter, then fried to a fragile crisp. Nearly all of those encountered in the Southwest are made from mild pods – Anaheims, Big Jims, or Poblanos – so the chile experience is more about their sunshiny flavor than about any kind of ferocious heat. Rellenos usually are served decorated with sauce or salsa cruda, and while cheese is the expected filling, some are stuffed also with brisket, picadillo, or shredded chicken. On a related note, in 1992, the term jalapeno popper was trademarked by a Wisconsin food company, recognizing the immense popularity of cheese-stuffed, deep-fried jalapeno peppers – a pint-sized, three-alarm variation of chile rellenos that makes a dandy appetizer or bar snack.

Restaurants With This Dish

Joann’s Fine Foods


Southwest Diner


Matt’s El Rancho


El Indio Mexican Restaurant


Chile-red chunks of marinated pork spill out of a folded-over tortilla
Border Taco


Los Dos Hermanos



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