THE ART AND SCIENCE of THE CHILE RELLENO
They have a spectacular chile harvest every aug/ sept in new mexico. Seasonal dish! They
sell them in bags of fifty pounds. Unless you can freeze 50 lbs, buy a few dozen raw,
ROAST, peel/gut them and freeze them yourself in bags of six.
JUDY GARLAND'S CHILE RELLENOS. Ingredients: Puebla or Anaheim chiles, large, fresh tomatoes, eggs, garlic, onions. NOTE: YOu will use 1 egg for each chile. (FILLING: any cheese, but best is jack, or an alternate meat filling is beef, almonds, raisins, onion.) (third possibility is to make some of that vegie meatloaf with nuts, grains, cheese, cilantro) (4th possibility is one of the many VEGETARIAN BURGER PATTIES avail in freezer section of store. Falafel burgers are extraordinary. They sell them in bags from freezer at Middle Eastern Grocery. MEAT EATERS can do almond/ beefburger mix for stuffing.
METHOD: Hold chiles over stove/flame til blackened slightly on all sides, then pop into paper bag and SHUT BAG, to steam. In 3 min, remove, l by one, peel, slit and pluck out seeds, pulp. Open bag and pluck out one at a time. With fingernail, rip hole in side, tear out seeds, strings. When all chiles are clean, fill with cheese, nut or meat mixture. Roll lightly in flour. Line up on plate. Beat all egg whites until peaky, for this you must have beaters as hand beating tires one. Add yolks, salt to taste. Dip the floured, stuffed chile in egg mixture, then place in large frying pan, preferably cast iron and thick, that has very hot oil in bottom. Turn deftly as they brown. You can watch 2-3 at the most, at l time. Remove and put into pan where tomato mixture sits hot, on low simmer.
TOMATO SAUCE TO TOP: Heat oil, add garlic, black pepper. Blend up l lb of tomatoes, drop into frying oil & onions, stir til cooked. To be refined, use coarse, large strainer to catch the seeds and skins of tomatoes, before they go into the hot oil.
SERVE: Hot tortillas are always served with this dish, ( I take special care to buy non-preservative, non cellulose tortillas by checking label. Many Mex supers have em ditto WHOLE PAYCHECK.) And these are served with a mound of rice. These rellenos can be adorned with sour cream, cilantro and dotted with pomegranate seeds, as if they were chiles en nogada, a green (unripe) walnut nougat sauce, (which was white) served in Puebla Mexico on top of a chile relleno decorated with cilantro and pomegranate seeds, made famous by the nuns of Puebla in summertime. (who have the patience to skin walnuts!) But mine are just plain chile rellenos, which you can NEVER get right in any Mexican restaurant. TRICK: The chile must be fresh not canned, firm, large, hot and not overcooked, nor can they sit around on a steam table after they're made. HATCH CHILE BURNING DATES IN SO CALIF:
Chiles should always be dipped/fried just before being eaten which caused me a problem once at my own huge dinner party. I was the only one who knew how to do all this so I had to make fresh chiles all night. The problem was, when Judy Garland live and in the flesh appeared at my front door, accompanied by her boyfriend, my pal Andre Philippe, who lived with her the last yr she was in LA before she moved to London. I was busy dipping and couldn't even shake her hand. She held forth in my bedroom all night, talking to the guests about show biz, I was in the kitchen sweating damn F'n chiles. I didn't even get to see her eat a stack of them so busy was I. Wilt Chamberlin was there too, but I didn't want to listen to him talk about anything.
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