Mojo’s Chili Rellenos
20 Roasted and peeled poblano peppers (reserve roasted pepper juice)
2# cream cheese
2# mild cheddar and jack cheese mix (shredded)
2 tbsp Mojo’s Smokin Hot Heirloom hot sauce
2 tbsp Mojos Going Green sauce
4 to 6 cups Masa Mix, fine grind
½ cup milk
1.Roast or grill the poblano peppers until skins are blistered and set in a covered bowl or baking dish to sweat
2.Clean skins and stems off of poblanos being careful to keep peppers from tearing
3.In a mixer, add 1.5# cream cheese and Mojo’s Smokin Hot Heirloom hot sauce and mix until smooth. Add 1.5# shredded cheese mix a cup at a time on the lowest speed setting.
4.In a saucepan mix Mojo’s Going Green sauce, milk, roasting juices and remainder of cream cheese and cook on low heat, when mixture is at a low simmer, add remainder of shredded cheese and whisk smooth
5.Set up a space for assembling the rellenos. Cleanedchilis, Mojo’s Smokin Hot Heirloom cheese mix, one small bowl of masa, a bowl with the eggs well beaten, and a baking dish with most of the masa
Take one chili, stuff with cheese mixture, roll in masa, egg batter, then roll in the second dish of masa and set aside on a clean plate or baking dish. Repeat until all of the chili’s have been stuffed and battered.
Preheat the oven to 400 or broil on low.
Lightly pan fry or use a deep fryer to cook rellenos until batter is golden brown.
Place on a baking sheet or dish and cover with Mojo’s Going Green cheese sauce.
Cook until the cheese sauce starts bubbling and lightly browning.
Serve with black bean soup, rice or as a side dish.
If Chili Rellenos isn’t one of your favorite Mexican dishes, you probably have never had them, or you are lactose intolerant. Roasted chilis, stuffed with cheese and coated in a crispy corn batter is how you spell heaven in our books, and using Mojo’s sauces in the recipe makes this dish a divine experience.
Making chili Relleno is time consuming and demands either lots of counter space, or excellent organization/cleaning skills. For these reasons we suggest starting the process a day or two before you plan to serve the dish. Additionally, because the process takes time to prepare and clean up, we suggest making a good size batch and saving any extra in the freezer for later use. Also, wear gloves, poblano are not the hottest peppers, but are still hot enough to give a good burn that will last for hours.
Start by roasting or grilling the poblano peppers. The skins need to blister, and the flesh of the chili needs time to cook. We grill our chilis, but no matter how you cook them, make sure not to overcook and pay close attention to ensure that each chili stays intact through the cooking process. When the chilis have cooked, place them in a bowl or baking dish and cover with a towel to cool. This is called “sweating” the chili, during this process the skins separate and the juices and oils in the chilis start to run. When the chilis have cooled, peel all of the skins and remove the stems and seeds as much as possible. Be very careful when handling the chilis when peeling, you will want each chili to remain intact for easy rolling later. It is ok if the chili splits open, in fact this makes them far easier to stuff. Set aside the cleaned chilis and strain out the liquid from roasting and sweating, being careful to remove bits of charred skin and seeds.
While the chilis sweat make your cheese stuffing. In a mixing bowl, combine 1.5# cream cheese with the Smokin Hot Heirloom sauce and mix until smooth. Add 1.5# of grated cheese to the mix. For stuffing the chilis use two spoons to shape the cheese mix into a football, place on chili and roll the chili closed, tucking in the ends to make a clean parcel.
Set up your egg and masa battering station. This is a messy process, so try to be well organized, and near to the sink. We keep this recipe gluten free, so we only use masa, and no flour in the battering process. For this, fine ground masa is critical. One tip is to take a cup of the masa and grind it in a spice grinder or vitamix to get it very fine, closer to flour grind. Have one bowl of the very fine masa, a bowl of beaten eggs, and a second bowl of masa. Take a stuffed chili and carefully roll it in the first masa until fully coated, then into the egg and finally into the second bowl of masa.
During this process your hands will get very messy, and the second bowl of masa will get clumpy. It is important to sift or change out the second bowl of masa with fresh, dry masa whenever it starts to look like it isn’t getting a good batter. Be sure to get a good coating of masa around all of the stuffed chili, and set the finished chilis on a sheet pan while you finish the remainder of the chilis.
If you are going to reserve some chilis for a later day, this is the best time to package them for freezing.
Cooking the chilis is a two step process. First the chili must be cooked to brown the batter, then the chili is covered with a cheese sauce and baked for service. The chili can be pan or deep fried, or baked to cook. Pay close attention to the chili as the cheese stuffing will start to melt and run out of the chili if it is cooked too long or if the batter didn’t cover all of the chili.
For the topping, combine the remainder of the cream cheese with Going Green in a saucepan on low heat. Add the juice from the roasted chilis to help make the sauce smoother, but don’t add too much, or the sauce will be too thin to cover the chilis.
Put the chilis on a baking sheet and cover with the sauce and top with the remainder of the grated cheese and bake until the cheese starts to brown.
Chili Relleno goes great in soups, with rice and beans, in a burrito or even as a stand alone side.