Chile Rellenos

Our traditional Christmas Eve dinner is Mexican food.  Usually we have tamales, rice, beans and a salad.  This year we chose Chile Rellenos because my tamale source-no I have never attempted tamales, and my friend makes them as a fundraiser for summer programs for her kids–was not available. I also opted for guacamole salad (like in a Mexican restaurant) instead of my usual tossed salad, because my daughter was home from college and she makes the BEST guacamole–maybe she will share in a future post!

whole long green chilies (Anaheim)
all-purpose flour
Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces
Eggs, separated
Vegetable oil

DO AHEAD TIP:  Since the chilies need to be roasted, I do this ahead of time and put them in the freezer in zippered plastic bags so that they will sweat and the skins will separate more easily from the meat of the chiles. When I need to use them, I just take them out of the freezer and let them thaw.  It is super easy to peel the skins from the chilies and I always have some on hand.  I also do this with jalapenos for making salsa.
1.  Roast the chilies on a hot grill, or in a broiler on high heat, turning so that the skins are blistered and charred on both sides.  Let them cool to room temperature and then peel the skins off.  Be careful to not tear the chilies while peeling (you can also use canned whole chilies).
2.  Make a small slit (about 2-4 inches) in the side of each chile and carefully remove the seeds.  
3.  Place a slice of cheese into each chile, trimming the cheese if necessary.  You want to be able to bring the sides of the chile together over the cheese.
4.  Lightly dredge the stuffed chile in flour–this helps the batter adhere better.
5.  For the batter you will need about 2 large eggs per pound of chilies.  Separate into whites and yolks.  Beat the egg whites until stiff.  In a separate bowl, beat the yolks.  Fold the yolks and a dash of salt into the whites, incorporating carefully.  
6.  Dip each chile into the egg batter, then fry in about an inch or so of hot oil or grease.  I use an electric skillet because I can do about 8 or 10 chilies at a time.  Fry until golden brown, flipping to get both sides (you can also bake these, but my crew wants FRIED).
7.  Place cooked chilies on paper towels to drain off excess oil.
8.  Serve with salsa.
Source:  I got the basic recipe from the Internet several years back but found better directions HERE while preparing this post.

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