Chille Rellenos with Potato and Anchovies

by autumn on August 9, 2010

Since I began cooking for the boyfriend, I have tried to be GGG in the kitchen and make the spicy things that his Arizona-born heart desires. This has gone really badly in the past. I have little to no experience with the relative heat of different peppers, which resulted in a chipotle celeriac puree that was scorchingly inedible. I’ve had poblanos before and feel comfortable taming them, so when I spied some at the farmer’s market this week, I knew the time was right for chile rellenos.

This recipe on the Rancho Gordo blog really intrigued me. I love the versatility of pairing potatoes and with a salty fish like sardines. My mashed potatoes this past Thanksgiving included anchovies and heavy cream and were a huge hit. Maybe you are skeezed out by anchovies. I get it. With the little tin can and all, they kind of remind me of cat food, but they add a complex, salty, and not overly fishy flavor when mixed into a blank canvas like potatoes.

As the Rancho Gordo blog mentions, the credit goes to Diane Kennedy for this flavor combination. I departed from her preparation and fried the rellenos. I took a shortcut and just dipped them in frothed egg whites, although next time I would go with a more traditional egg batter. I also skipped the pickling step because I only had harsher vinegars on hand. I found this to be a really good, unique dish that I will definitely make again and continue to play with.

Chile Rellenos with Potato and Anchovies

Adapted from My Mexico via the Rancho Gordo blog

4 poblano peppers
1 potato, peeled diced and boiled
2 canned anchovy fillets (are they even called fillets?)
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
2T (or more) fresh goat cheese
1 egg white, beaten until frothy
oil for frying

1. If it isn’t hot as hell where you are, I think the easiest way to roast peppers is in the oven. I talk about how to do it here. The oven-less option for roasting the peppers (the one I chose this time around) involves holding them over the open flame of your gas burner. Use tongs! Roast each pepper until the skin is black and blistery, then place it in a sealed ziploc bag while you roast the remaining ones. Let them cool in the sealed bag.

2. While the peppers are cooling, mash the minced garlic and anchovies into the cooked potatoes with a fork.

3. Once the poblanos are cool, scrape the blackened skin off. Cut about a 3 inch slit (depending on the size of your peppers) down the side of each one and gently remove the seeds from inside. There’s no exact science to this. I found that putting the pepper under running water and scraping/rinsing the seeds out simultaneously was pretty successful. Once cleaned, remove the excess water and set aside.

4. Evenly distribute the goat cheese into the four peppers and do the same with the potato/anchovy mixture. I found that filling one side of the pepper then the other worked well, but do whatever lets you not rip the little poblano to shreds.

5. Once filled, dip the poblano in the frothed egg white until it is covered and fry in 1/8-1/4 in of oil on each side until brown and crispy. I don’t have a deep fry thermometer, but would suggest using one if you have one–especially if you decide to use more oil and actually deep fry them. I used a cast iron skillet and having the burner on low kept the oil plenty hot. Remove the rellenos to a paper towel to soak up excess grease and serve.


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