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Chiles Relleños with Cheese and Smoked Chicken

Chiles Relleños with Cheese and Smoked ChickenThese are not your run-of-the-mill chile relleños! Some work is required for this gourmet version of a classic Mexican dish, but the end results is well worth the effort. Recipe by Chef Jan Birnbaum.

Recipe Ingredients:

Peppers:
12 medium Anaheim peppers
1/4 cup olive oil

Filling:
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
12 ounces (3 cups) Wisconsin Ricotta cheese
10 ounces (about 2 7/8 cups) Wisconsin Brie cheese, in 1/4-inch dice
4 ounces (1 cup) Wisconsin Mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, grated
4 ounces (1 cup) Wisconsin Asiago cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 cups smoked chicken, julienned
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Tabasco™ sauce to taste

Batter:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 egg yolks
12 ounces beer
2 egg whites

Tomatillo Sauce:
4 raw tomatillos, skin husks removed and roughly chopped
1/2 raw poblano chile pepper, roughly chopped
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
5 spinach leaves
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Final Preparation:
Oil for deep frying
6 sprigs cilantro
2 ounces (1/2 cup) Wisconsin Asiago cheese, grated

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Peppers: Toss Anaheim peppers in oil. Broil, turning occasionally, until blistered. Place in stainless steel bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and cool until cool enough to handle.
    Peel the peppers. Cut a slit down the length of the peppers. Carefully remove the seeds and vein. Set aside.
  2. For Filling: Whisk whole egg and egg yolk until foamy. Add ricotta cheese and mix thoroughly. With a rubber spatula, fold in the Brie cheese. Fold in the remaining filling ingredients, mixing thoroughly. Chill until very cold.
  3. For Batter: Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, combine egg yolks and beer. Add to dry ingredients and stir gently to combine.
  4. Whip egg whites to medium peak. Fold in to batter mixture. Let rest one hour.
  5. For Sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  6. For Final Preparation: Fill each pepper with cheese filling. Pour batter into flat container.
  7. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350ºF (175ºC).
  8. Dip each pepper in the batter, turning to coat completely. Drop peppers a few at a time into hot oil and deep fry for 4 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  9. Pour 2 ounces sauce on each of 6 serving plates. Place two peppers on sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and Asiago cheese.
  10. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 (2 pepper) servings.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.