This post has kindly been sponsored by The Hatch Chile Store. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you have ever been to a Mexican restaurant (who in the USA hasn’t?!) you have probably noticed ‘chile relleno’ on the menu. Chile relleno is my favorite Mexican dish, and I’ve been making them at home for years. A Chile Relleno is a large green chile pepper that has been roasted whole, then stuffed with cheese, followed by a dip in a thick coating of fluffy egg batter. The battered chile is then deep fried to a crispy golden brown, melting the cheese inside. The fried chile rellenos is then usually served on top of a generous serving of red chile sauce.
Chile rellenos is made with very large chile peppers because they are easy to handle, and you can stuff more food inside. Whatever chile pepper is used, it MUST first be roasted, then peeled to remove the chewy peel and soften the pepper a bit.
The classic filling for chile rellenos is Monterrey Jack cheese. Of course some people get creative and stuff other fillings and types of cheeses in- but unless that’s specified on the menu- expect a whole lot of melty delicious Monterrey Jack goodness spilling out with your first forkful!
What is the meaning of chile relleno?
The Spanish word “Relleno” simply means “filling” or “stuffing” in English. There are lots of other Hispanic foods that use the term, including: relleno blando (soft filling) and relleno duro (hard filling). You could also say “estoy relleno” or “estoy rellena” if you are extra full from a delicious meal!
What to serve with chile rellenos?
Chile rellenos is often served with rice, beans, shredded lettuce and some freshly diced tomato. Of course if you’re making them at home, you can get a little more creative with your Mexican side dishes, and serve it with some Posole, sopapillas, authentic red chile sauce, Mexican pinto beans, or Mexican Crema.
Is chile Relleno Bad?
Classic chile relleno is deep fried, which is not a very healthy way to cook food. However, many home cooks have discovered baked chile relleno casserole, which has all the great chile rellenos flavors, without the frying oil. Up the healthy factor even more by adding healthy Mexican sides like chile sauce, black beans (not refried beans), or salad; avoiding more cheese, sour cream and refried beans. Recipe for baked Chile Rellenos Casserole below!
Is Chile Relleno spicy?
Chile rellenos is usually on the spicy side, but it really depends on the type of chile pepper that was used. Most of the time, chile rellenos is made with poblano peppers, Anaheim peppers, or Hatch Chile peppers. These chiles can range quite a bit in their relative ‘hotness’ scale (called “Scoville units”) from mild to very hot. Always ask your server if the chile is hot, medium or mild.
I’ve found that it’s better to ask if the chile is hotter or milder than a jalapeno, since mostly everyone is familiar with how hot jalapenos are and can judge from there.
Despite the fact that I DON’T have a high tolerance for really spicy foods (I tap out at “medium”), I can usually power my way through a freshly fried chile rellenos from a restaurant as long as I have a dollop of sour cream and some milk to wash it all down. When I make them at home, I purchase a mild Hatch Chile variety from The Hatch Chile Store. I adore Chile Rellenos, it’s been my favorite Mexican dish for a very long time.
Why are Hatch Chiles so special?
Hatch Chile is world renown for it’s delicious flavor, due to the unique climate, soil composition, and cultivars that exist only in the Hatch valley of New Mexico. These factors combine to grow exceptional chile peppers with the perfect blend of smoky, sweet and hot flavor notes. More people discover Hatch Chiles each year, and their popularity continues to grow.
Growing up in New Mexico where chile peppers are an integral part of the culture, I know that Hatch chiles have earned a reputation for being the best of the best. I personally only use authentic Hatch in all my cooking because it simply tastes amazing. You should be able to find canned Hatch chile in any supermarket these days, or you can order it directly like I do. Frozen chile is much, much better tasting than canned!
The Hatch Chile Store is the premiere website for ordering your Hatch chile– they are incredibly good at shipping fresh authentic chile right to your door, whatever variety and hotness lever you prefer. It’s where I get all my Hatch Chile, and I must say the flavor really does stand out above any other chile pepper variety.
Head on over now to The Hatch Chile Store to stock up on the most delicious Hatch chile you can buy anywhere- they’ve always got great deals on your favorite products!
What’s the difference between a chile relleno and a chile poblano?
This chile question is comparing apples to oranges. The big difference between a chile relleno and a chile poblano is that chile relleno is a recipe for a Mexican entrée and chile poblano is not a recipe, but simply a fresh poblano chile pepper, a large, relatively mild chile pepper with a deep green color. Poblano chiles can be used to MAKE chile rellenos, and I think this is where the confusion comes from.
Keto Chile Relleno Recipes
Interestingly enough, when doing research for this article I noticed a lot of “Keto” chile rellenos recipes. Classic Chile Rellenos is a naturally Ketogenic food because the recipe has little carbohydrates, is high in protein, and is made with chile peppers, a “superfood” that is sometimes overlooked. Chile peppers are virtually calorie free, yet packed with healthy nutrients and vitamins.
Did you know I have a full-color cookbook with lots more easy and delicious New Mexican recipes? You can learn more about it here!Print