The chile is the feature of this dish. If at all possible have them, at least once in your life, made with fresh roasted and peeled Poblano chiles. Canned chiles are, typically, ready-peeled. It’s one less step but requires a more delicate touch. Other chiles to use include: New Mexico, Banana or Pimiento. Dried (re-constituted, not peeled) Ancho or Mulato chiles also work well.
Serves - 6
Difficulty - competent cooks
6 Poblano chiles
vegetable oil, for frying
for the stuffing:
200 g grated cheese**
1 small boiled potato
2 tsp chili powder***
for the batter:
1 Tbsp flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp chili powder***
125ml sour cream
200gm salsa verde
Roast and peel chiles, if using fresh. We use a chef's torch to char the skin but a gas stove flame or high heat grill will also work.
Cut a slice down one side and remove seeds, leaving the stem intact. Mash stuffing ingredients to a pliable form. Gently fill chiles, aiming for a 2cm flat shape.
Blend sour cream and salsa verde until smooth and set aside.
Warm oil, 2cm deep in a heavy skillet, to Medium.
Separate eggs leaving whites in a large mixing bowl. Whip whites until stiff peaks form. Fold-in the yolks, salt, flour and chili powder (this batter cannot be made ahead of time.)
Lay stuffed chiles onto a heavily floured plate, coat with flour and shake off excess. Dip in batter, then straight to the heated oil. Fry only 2 at a time until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
SERVE hot with salsa cream sauce drizzled over.
**The traditional cheese used is queso fresco, a mild, simple cheese similar in texture to feta. In the US you’ll often get them with that funny orange cheddar. Use any mild low-moisture cheese such as Monterey Jack or Colby. Picadillo is a meat option for this dish. It is any meat stewed, seasoned and shredded and can be added to the stuffing.
***chili powder, with this distinct spelling, is a mix of Mexican chiles, cumin, Mexican oregano, coriander seed and garlic. Blend your own or find a mix made by a passionate and reputable local merchant.
skin charred poblanos
skinned poblanos with skin and seeds to the left and one with stuffing
poblano on flour plate, in egg batter and first side frying
second side frying