Short story short. A friend asked me to come up with a vegan hatch chile recipe. I asked if she had anything in mind. She said, “Chile rellenos.” I said, “You got it.” And that is how these outrageously good eggless & dairy free chili rellenos came to fruition.
To state that I wasn’t concerned about how these would turn out would be a lie. I was sweating bullets the minute I put the first breaded chile into the oil. Why? Because I was worried that the breading would fall off of the chili due to the lack of egg binding it together, and, I am a big fat chicken when it comes to cooking with spattering molten oil—I wear oven mitts that go up to my elbow and stand as far away from the cooktop as possible, all while trying to hold my head back, squinting my eyes (protective instinct), and making a ridiculous face. Thank God my mom doesn’t know how to take pictures with her iPad.
Speaking of my mom, she’s graced me with her presence for the past few days and has been my chief recipe taster and assistant photography stylist. If I made any money from this blog I’d hire her. Good job mom!
And, back to the eggless & dairy free chile rellenos. My mom LOVED them!
Long story short. It took some time to make these, but it was worth it. These hatch chile fritters, stuffed with melted cashew cheese and roasted corn are like little packages of fried gold, compliments of Mexico. Thank you Mexico!
To make them you’ll want to start with hatch chiles—you can use any large chile pepper but these are the traditional peppers used in rellenos. They are at their peak in mid-August, so now is the time to take advantage of them. They have a mild to medium heat so ask your grocer if they have both varieties so you can decide how spicy you want to go.
Once you’ve chosen your peppers it’s time to roast the chilis, tomatoes, and corn. The tomatoes are for the roasted tomato sauce that you’ll spoon over the top of your rellenos. The sauce is super easy to make. Roast the tomatoes (roast the corn for the stuffing at the same time) until their skins are blistered and blackened, peel off the skins, remove the seeds (while you’re at it, do the same to the chilis, but don’t toss them in your blender), and then toss them into your blender with the rest of the ingredients. Once it’s blended, pour it into a sauce pan and simmer until you’re ready to eat it. EASY!
After you make the sauce, it’s time to make the cashew cheese. You’re going to need your blender to do this so rinse out the leftover sauce, put the cashews and the rest of the ingredients in and blend it until it resembles milk. You shouldn’t see even a tiny piece of cashew in the mixture. The second step is to pour the cream into a sauce pan and continuously stir it over low heat until it thickens like gooey melted cheese. Cut the corn kernels off of the roasted corn and mix them in. Now you’re ready to stuff the hatch chilies.
Open the chiles and gently fill them with the cheese. Now close the chiles and get ready to smother them in the batter.
Mix up the batter in a shallow bowl that’s large enough to hold the chile and then gently place the chile in the bowl and use your hands to pat the batter all over the chile. Carefully place the chiles in the hot oil and fry for approximately three to four minutes or until the bottom is golden brown. Using a spatula and tongs (I used both to ensure that the chile didn’t slip and fall apart) to hold the chili on the spatula, flip it and fry until the other side is golden brown. When they’re fully cooked place them on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
Plate the rellenos, spoon on the sauce, and dig in.
Look at that cheesy filling and that crisp and crunchy breading. I’m not a big fan of fried food, but you guys, this stuff is sublime.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’m just going to shut up and leave you with this. Now go out and find some hatch chiles and get frying!
Have you ever had a chile relleno?
Do you love Mexican food as much as I do?
What’s your favorite Mexican dish?