Tama's Crispy Panko Crusted Chile Relleno With Homemade Sauce

Delicious crispy roasted chiles with melted cheese and meltingly delicious red chile sauce.

Servings: 4

Pair With: A rich, fruit-forward red wine, like a Syrah.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor


Ingredients For the Red Chile Sauce:

12 dried red chile pods

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup minced onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon cumin

3 cups peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes


Ingredients For the Rellenos:

4 green chilis, preferably New Mexican Sandia or Poblanos

Monterey Jack cheese, cut in sticks 1/2"x1/2"x 1" (less than the length of the chiles)

1 egg

1/2 cup or more flour

1 cup or more panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

5 tablespoons olive oil


Directions For the Red Chile Sauce:

Using gloves, wash the chile pods and remove all the seeds and the "veins" or fibers that hold the seeds. Put into a saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 15 minutes.

While the chiles simmer, you can heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Sweat (cook without browning) the onion and garlic until onion is transparent, then add seasonings and cook another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and puree for a smooth sauce. Transfer back to the saucepan simmer over low to keep sauce warm while you prepare the rellenos.

Directions For the Chile Rellenos:

Roast the chiles on the grill or under the broiler, turning as they blacken so the whole skin is puffed up and charred. Cool, then peel off the skin. Carefully make a slit in the side of each chile and with a sharp knife, cut the top of the fibers that hold the seeds. Carefully remove all the seeds and the veins that hold the seeds. Dry the chiles on paper towels.

Stuff each chile with a stick of cheese. Whisk the eggs until blended in a wide, shallow bowl. Put the flour in another wide, shallow bowl. Put the panko in a third wide, shallow bowl. Roll each chile in the flour, then in the egg, then in the panko. Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide frying pan and carefully lay the rellenos inside. Fry until browned on one side, then flip to the other and cook until browned on the other. Serve with warm red chile sauce.


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