Author Adapted by Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original recipe by Isabel Eats
6roma tomatoes, quartered
½smallyellow onion, quartered
3cloves of garlic
1jalapeno, stem & seeds removed
5sprigs of cilantro
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
6ozOaxaca cheese, cut into long strips or sticks***Monterey Jack will also work
Vegetable oil, for frying
Sea salt, to taste
Cotija cheese, crumbled
Sour cream, if desired
Hot sauce, if desired
Make the salsa roja by placing the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomato puree and bring to a boil. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the chile rellenos.
Make the chile rellenos by preheating the oven to broil and setting the rack directly under the broiler. Line a baking sheet with tin foil then place the whole peppers on top.
Broil the peppers for 3-4 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered. Carefully flip them over and broil them for another 3-4 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered.
Remove from the oven and place the charred chiles in a large zip lock bag then seal. Allow them to steam for 5-7 minutes.
Peel as much of the charred skin off of the peppers as you can and discard.
Cut a small slit down the middle of the peppers with a knife. Carefully remove the seeds.
Gently stuff the peppers with Oaxaca cheese and seal them with toothpicks. Side Note: The peppers are very fragile and may tear--that's okay. Just do the best you can.
Prepare the oil for frying by heating it in a large saucepan or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set it aside. Prepare the batter while the oil is heating.
Make the batter by separating the egg whites from the yolks in two separate bowls making sure the whites are in a large bowl.
Beat the egg whites with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.
While continuing to beat the egg whites on low, add in the yolks, one at a time, until they are fully mixed in. The batter should be light, fluffy, and smooth.
Place the flour on a plate and season with sea salt; mix to combine.
Coat the peppers with batter by first dredging the pepper in the flour, then tap off excess flour. Dip the dredged pepper into the egg batter until completely covered.
Fry the chile rellenos by carefully dipping the coated chiles into the hot oil and fry for about 3-5 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and crispy. Side Note: Don't overcrowd the pan--I used a small skillet so I fried them one at a time.
Remove from the oil and place on the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain off excess oil. Quickly season with a bit of sea salt, if desired.
Immediately serve the chile rellenos on a plate with the warm roja sauce, freshly chopped cilantro, and some cotija cheese crumbles. Side Note: Remind your family or dinner guests about the toothpicks when they dig in to eat them!