My Chili Rellenos with a Spanish Twist is a real international dish. We’ll start with the chili rellenos part, which is dish with Mexican origins. It is a dish where mild chili peppers (usually poblanos) roasted, stuffed and fried. That’s a triple play of flavor there!
My “international” version however uses Cornito Pepper, which is an American hybrid of an Italian frying pepper. I stuff them with mahon cheese and place them on a Spanish Romesco sauce bed. Finally, I top with a “salsa” with inspiration in Spanish flavors.
My first introduction to chili rellenos when living in Texas for nearly six years. I came to really enjoy the Tex Mex food, and anything stuffed with cheese was sure to be a hit. The technique is a bit tricky because first you roast the peppers, then stuff, then dip in an egg batter. Finally you deep fry them. But they are so worth it.
Here, I adapt the technique using different peppers, and a cheese from Spain. The topping salsa is a combination of pequillio peppers, green olives, tomatoes, and smoked paprika. I used yellow tomatoes to play with the red of the peppers, and to mirror the colors in Spain’s flag.
The thing that this dish really shows is that with a little bit of inventiveness, and you can adapt a recipe to mirror the flavors you want, even if different from the original. Always respect the original, but don’t be afraid to break a tradition or two once and a while. Enjoy!
Chili Rellenos with a Spanish Twist
- 4 cornito sweet peppers or cubanelle or poblano
- 2 oz mahon cheese cut into 4 small ‘batons’
- 3 eggs separated
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup yellow grape tomatoes chopped
- 2 pequillo peppers or other roasted red pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup green olives chopped
- ¼ cup red onion chopped
- ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 TBL olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp sherry vinegar
- ½ cup Romesco sauce https://mezzeandtapas.com/romesco-sauce-shortcut-to-great-flavor/
- Set your oven broiler to high, & move a rack to the 2nd from top slot in the oven
- Prepare a wired rack on top of a baking sheet for the peppers
- Give each pepper a single slice the long way down one side of the pepper & place on rack slice side up
- Put under the broiler, & heat for 7 minutes. Turn pepper over & heat 7 more.
- They will be well charred & that is ok. Allow to cool, sliced side down, so excess liquid drains away.
- While peppers are cooling, make topping salsa
- Prepare topping salsa placing all ingredients in a bowl & mixing together. Set aside
- Turn peppers over & add a piece of cheese to each. Pinch together to ‘close’ the seam
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven to 350F/180C
- For batter, whip egg whites with a mixer until they have stiff peaks
- Gently fold in the egg yolks & flour
- Dip each pepper into batter to coat
- Fry each pepper in oil, 2 minutes per side.
- Put on paper towel to rest
- Serve on top of a smear of Romesco, & top with salsa