Chili Relleno Con Queso


12 Pablano or Anaheim chilies, roasted* (directions see below)
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup flaked Queso Fresca or Ricotta
1 cup Mozzarella or other stringy melting cheese, grated
6 cloves garlic, roasted** (directions see below)
2 green onions, minced
1 med. red ripe pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
salt and fresh coarse ground back pepper to taste
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Masa Harina
salt and chili powder to taste and black pepper to taste


Roast the peppers, remove stems and seeds, clean, pat dry and set aside. Mix the next eight ingredients together in a bowl. Then gently stuff the chilies as full of the cheese mixture as possible without tearing them. Set aside. Beat the eggs and set aside in a shallow dish large enough to accommodate a chili. Mix the flour and Masa Harina and seasonings together and put on a plate. In a heavy skillet, heat about 1/4 inch of oil to frying temperature. Gently dip a chili in the egg and then roll it in the flour mixture. Then gently transfer to the hot lard. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Repeat until all the chilies are fried. serves 4 to 6

*Roasting Chiles: Oven roasting: Simply put the chilies on a baking sheet in the oven at about 400 and leave until the skins are blistered. Then remove the blistered skins under cold running water. Although this is the easiest way it is not the best way. First, it doesn't develop quite as much flavor as flame roasting does. Second, you are not just blistering the skins, the chilies are also being cooked. Now this is fine for any dish where you don't mind if the chilies are soft textured.

Flame or direct heat roasting: For this method you may use a BBQ or your stove top burner, and yes, you can do it on an electric burner as well as a gas one. For whatever heat source you use you simply lay the chilies directly over the heat and with a pair of kitchen tongues, turn them frequently to ensure that the skins blister evenly. As soon as you remove the chili from the heat wrap it in a cloth or put it in a brown paper bag and let it steam for about 3 to 4 minutes before removing the skin under cold running water.

Be sure however, not to roast more chilies at any one time than you can peel before they become completely cold. Once they are cold the skin is very hard to remove. Also, do not worry about getting every smidgen of the charred skin off. A bit of the char is what gives the characteristic roasted chili flavor. Chilies that are roasted in this manner still have a good texture.

When choosing chilies or peppers for roasting, choose ones that have the fewest convolutions to their surface. If they are too twisted and bumpy it is difficult to get the skins to blister evenly.

**Roasted Garlic: Peel as much garlic as you wish. Lightly wipe a heavy skillet with olive oil. Add as many peeled garlic cloves as you wish, making sure however that they are no more than one layer deep. Over a moderate heat, begin to slowly roast your cloves. Flip them frequently to insure even roasting. They are done when they are a pale golden brown and are soft when pressure is applied. This will take about 30 minutes. Roasted garlic is a wonderful addition to many dishes. When roasted it has a totally different flavor from raw garlic. The harshness goes away and you are left with an almost sweet, nut like flavor that is wonderful in many things or just very lightly salted and munched on.

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