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Darienne

Poblanos & Chiles Rellenos

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Darienne   

There are instructions and videos on how to char, blister,roast the chiles; how to peel the skin off...but nothing explains how to get all those blankety-blank seeds off that top knobby thing through a simple slit without ripping the entire chile open.

The only demonstration which I could find on actually getting out the seeds ripped the chile to shreds almost and the lady chef ended up by saying...and now you can stuff the chile with anything you like. I looked at the remnants of what was a beautiful green Poblano and wondered how on earth you could 'stuff' it with anything.

How do YOU get the seeds out of the slit open chile? :wacko:

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Pierogi   

I just use a very small (3&1/2"), very sharp paring knife. I just cut very gently right under the "shoulder" part of the chile on the inside, through the core. Once it's mostly cut, I can usually pull it out with my fingers, and then pull out any stragglers after the bulk has been removed. While I'm cutting & pulling, the chile is laying flat on the board, and I'm trying, with my left hand, to hold the top of it as stable as possible, to keep it mostly attached to the stem.

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At this point the chiles are cooked and still warm: I put my thumb, index, and middle finger through the slit and sort of massage the core to work the seeds loose, very gently. (Good lord, even in context that sounds like something else entirely...)

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As I ran through it in my head I realized I omitted a detail: I'm using my right hand to do the above, while with my left thumb and forefinger I grasp the poblano on either side just above the slit and gently push together to reduce the chances of it tearing there.

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Darienne   

In other words, it's not easy to do. I cannot imagine doing this hundreds of time in a restaurant setting. I'm doing pretty much a variant what you two are talking about, depending upon the individual chile to some extent. I just don't like it much.

I would take it that you both agree that massacring the chile as was demonstrated in the one video which addressed the seed disposal problem is definitely not an answer at all.


Edited by Darienne (log)

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There's no doubt it takes practice: and I definitely don't even attempt to actually fill the ones I tear, I set them aside and just turn them into rajas. It's less critical if you're not going to be battering and deep-frying them, of course, but if you are I can't imagine using the massacred ones.

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Darienne   

I have filled one or two less than perfect ones and it worked out fine in the end. But they were not massacred.

And Rajas en Crema are one of the new house favorites, not to mention the various salads and hot dishes that the strips can go in. And they also go in Enchiladas very nicely.

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Pierogi   

I found, that with the technique I used, which was *not* to dip in batter and deep fry the stuffed chile, if you had a couple of little rips around where the slit was, or even on the other side, it didn't make much difference. I pooled batter in about 1/4" of grease, set the stuffed chile on top, let it set, and then poured/"molded" more batter on top. It gave me a thicker coating of batter than I would've gotten by deep frying, and also was less critical to having an entirely intact chile. Since the batter was sort of firm around the chile when I flipped it over, any defects in the chile were covered by the set batter.

But. As we all know, there's more than one way to fry a relleno. Some dip. Some deep fry. For me, since I pretty much assiduously avoid deep frying anything, the above technique works, and is more forgiving of minorly ragged chiles. NOTE----minorly ragged only. Strips, yeah, still not gonna work.

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Why would you pull it out? There is really no need in a poblano or anaheim to pull the seed pod out there is plenty of space and they aren't hot..

You wouldn't in a restaurant, except clean up the veins a bit.

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Darienne   

Thank you, kind sir.  And here was I just about to work with Poblanos this very morning.  Shall try this way.

 

ps.  Just realized that I took for granted that haresfur was a male name... :blush:


Edited by Darienne (log)

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JAZ   

I'm probably the only one who doesn't care about leaving the stem in my chiles, so I just cut out the stem and seed core underneath it and move on. Not authentic, but easy and reliable. I've also switched to Rick Bayless' method of frying the poblanos in really hot oil to remove the skin, rather than charring over a flame or under the broiler, which leaves the flesh much more resilient.

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I agree about Bayless's frying technique, I've found it much more consistent and reliable than charring over a flame: you get a nice even cooking of the skin, which then comes right off. I do leave the stems on, though, since that's how I grab onto the chiles to manipulate them. Janet, how do you handle them if the stem is off?

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haresfur   

Thank you, kind sir.  And here was I just about to work with Poblanos this very morning.  Shall try this way.

 

ps.  Just realized that I took for granted that haresfur was a male name... :blush:

 

You guessed correctly.  Let us know how it works for you.

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JAZ   

I agree about Bayless's frying technique, I've found it much more consistent and reliable than charring over a flame: you get a nice even cooking of the skin, which then comes right off. I do leave the stems on, though, since that's how I grab onto the chiles to manipulate them. Janet, how do you handle them if the stem is off?

 

I use a slotted spatula to transfer them from the batter to the skillet and from the skillet to the rack. It's not ideal, but i prefer it to dealing with the stems.

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I wouldn't think it makes sense to deep fry unless you're doing a lot of chiles. It's so easy otherwise. 

If i have one or two, I roast over the burner. More and I pull out the steel comal. Esperanza (who used to post here a lot) taught me the thrills of doing it this way although she uses her cast iron skillet. You can push down and get most of the crevices. Memesuze's convinced me to buy a blow torch and really get into all the nooks and crannies. If you roast a lot of chiles, it's not a bad idea and you can use it for creme brulee as well. 

My inner hippie doesn't like the idea of hot chiles in plastic bags so I place them in a bowl and cover it with a plate. If I have lots, I place them in a paper shopping bag. 

I think if your chiles are too flimsy to pull out the placenta and all the seeds, you might be cooking them too much. There will be weak spots but it should be pretty sturdy on the whole. 

The problem with cutting the chiles before roasting is that much of the moisture is going to leak out and be lost! Watch the juices in the bottom of the bowl and you'll see a lot! It would be a shame to lose them. It's also why I don't rinse the chiles after peeling. A few black spots are fine and the potential to wash flavor down the sink is too great. 

I think JAZ' top cut chiles is a clever idea. 

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Shelby   

I roast mine over the flame on my burners because I like the char-y/smokey taste that it gives the peppers.

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haresfur   

 

The problem with cutting the chiles before roasting is that much of the moisture is going to leak out and be lost! Watch the juices in the bottom of the bowl and you'll see a lot! It would be a shame to lose them. It's also why I don't rinse the chiles after peeling. A few black spots are fine and the potential to wash flavor down the sink is too great. 

I think JAZ' top cut chiles is a clever idea. 

 

I suppose you might lose some moisture - I didn't notice any drying around the cuts, though.  On the other hand I would think you could get more smoke into the inside of the chiles.

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Greetings, it's been 50 years at least since I posted here.  Amazed that my password still lets me in.

One note: when I am at the tianguis (street market) in my Mexico City neighborhood, I choose poblano chiles very carefully.  It's easiest to roast them if they are flat (i.e., not deeply grooved) all around.  It's hard and too fiddly to get off the skin charred in those grooves.

When I make chiles rellenos, I roast the chiles (poblanos, in this context) on a cast iron comal--not in a skillet.  I do it that way because (a) you can do five or six at once; (b) you don't have to watch them like a hawk; © the black charred bits still have all the flavor of flame-roasting.  I do 'sweat' them for about 10 minutes in a tightly closed plastic bag, and then take off as much of the blackened skin as will come off.   As Rancho_Gordo says, leaving some of those blackened bits is not a problem; they give the finished product excellent flavor.  Be careful about leaving your chiles in the plastic bag till they are cool; take the skins off while they are still hot to the touch.  Once they're cool, it's too difficult; the skin sticks tight in spite of the roasting.

As to the placenta and the seeds: I use my hand to wipe out as many of the loose seeds as possible--the loose ones that are on the inside chile walls.  Then I hold the slit open with one hand and pull as many seeds as possible off the placenta with the other hand.  As another poster said, if your chile is too fragile to withstand this, you have roasted it too long.  It's never perfect, though, and sometimes there are seeds left.  You can also stick a small knife into the placenta, right where the seeds start, and slice the seed bunch off.

As for 'battering'--the coating for chiles rellenos isn't really a batter.  It's just very stiffly beaten egg whites with the beaten yolks folded into them.  I dust the chiles with flour and dip them into the egg mixture.  The egg mixture should be thick enough to stick to the flour-coated chile without sliding off.  Normally I do this part at the counter next to the frying pan on the stove, so I can just lay the chile into the hot oil.  When it's golden brown on one side, I hold the stem and slide a spatula under the chile to turn it over.  If the stem end isn't getting brown, I spoon hot oil over it until it turns golden.

Slightly off topic: what are you using to fill your chiles?


Edited by esperanza (log)
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Slightly off topic: what are you using to fill your chiles?

I was inspired years ago by Ricardo's book on chile rellenos. Cheese or picadillo are great but what a wonderful vehicle for stuffing things! I often mix quinoa, zucchini and cooked dried beans and fill them without cheese or any further cooking. They're great. 

I've also stuffed them with a layer of refried beans and then all the cooked shrimp that could fit. 

I was given some insanely good dried mulatos and was told refried beans and cheese were appropriate. They were!

 

I see as of this writing the book is available at Amazon! It's bilingual and very good, despite the piss-elegant cover. 

Los chiles rellenos en Mexico. Antologia de recetas (English and Spanish Edition)

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I also use the T incision method linked by haresfur. I guess I picked it up from examining the the chilies rellenos at a Mexican restaurant we used to frequent. I also use their recipe which uses Anaheims, and is over-stuffed with seasoned meat, topped with cheese and roasted. I leave the seeds and membranes in mine, but remove them for my husband. The restaurant just leaves them all inside the pepper, the way I like them. I'm sure this cuts way down on their prep time. 

 

Anaheims can vary quite a bit in heat, and there's absolutely no way to tell from looking at them. I consider it a lagniappe when I run across a hotter one. They have a much better flavor for stuffing than Poblanos to me. Just don't mix them up with Cubanelles like I did one time. They look similar, but the Cubanelles are more blunt/rounded at the flower end. I found out I don't care at all for Cubanelles, but lots of people do.

 

I need to buy some Anaheim chilies, but think it might not be the right season. This is such a good dish, and this thread has given me a wicked craving for it. The very next time I run across these peppers, they are on the menu.

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For removing the seed pod I just use a pair of small scissors to snip it off. My Spanish teacher taught me to rub the chiles (poblanos) lightly with oil before roasting on the gas burner. The skin pops and blisters very quickly  and you don't overcook the chiles. I stuff them with queso fresco, but I've also made a salt cod picadillo, which is quite good also. In that case I don't batter and fry them--just heat them a bit in the oven, or serve them cold.

 

Dusting the peeled chile with flour helps the batter stay on rather than slide off. I use a little flour in the batter, with egg yolks and beaten egg whites, and finish cooking them in a thin tomato sauce (nothing more than white onion blenderized with Roma tomatoes and chicken broth, cooked until the raw onion flavor goes away). Muy rico! I almost like them better the second day.

 

And I agree with Esperanza about choosing flat poblanos. Makes it much easier to roast and peel if the chile doesn't have any crevices.

 

Nancy in Patzcuaro


Edited by Nancy in Pátzcuaro forgot something (log)
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About roasting poblanos: I spent my twenties living in New Mexico, and the plastic bag method was pretty common. But recently I've discovered that you don't need so much moisture to easily peel a chile. Now I just put the roasted blistered chiles on a cookie sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Within ten minutes they are a snap to peel and the final product has far more structure since there is far less "sweating" involved. And structure is the goal here, hence the wisdom of picking out chiles that are not twisted.

 

My preferred method of roasting is the broiler, so I can do a large number at a time. I've never tried using my comal, but I should see what that's like. I do agree that the faster the roast the better, since overcooking the chiles makes them limp and harder to work with.

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