Here is another delicious Mexican recipe that I can compare to the food I would eat as a child in Spain. I remember my grandmother stuffing beautiful vegetables with a ground meat and rice mixture, topping them with a tomato sauce and baking them to perfection! This was a Greek recipe that she had learned from a neighbor across the street and made it a staple in our house.
Chiles rellenos remind me of this cherished dish. To make it healthier, I bake the chiles in the oven instead of deep frying them – the way many of us see this dish in restaurants. The traditional chile relleno, or “stuffed pepper,” is made with the poblano chile, although others have been used and stuffed with everything imaginable. Did you know that the poblano chile is named after a small town near Mexico City called Puebla? It is there that the chile relleno was invented. In this recipe I use frozen corn soufflé with an easy chicken broth and Cotija cheese – a delicious dry Mexican cheese – to stuff the peppers with.
The most challenging aspect of chiles rellenos is peeling the skin of the poblano chiles, however with a few simple steps it is actually quite easy.
Tips on peeling poblano chiles:
- Broil the chiles directly on the center rack in the oven for 10-15 minutes at high temperature.
- Make sure to turn the chiles frequently so they don’t burn and overcook (the chiles need to be firm enough to continue cooking in the oven).
- Place the hot chiles in a bowl of cold water and let them cool for a few minutes and then I peel them in the water (this keeps the mess in the bowl).
To fill them, keep the stem intact and slit the chiles lengthwise, remove seeds, and rinse out any remaining seeds.
I love to serve it with a colorful salsa. It is a spicy, sweet and salty marriage of flavors!
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