One of the most popular recipes in Mexican food, the one for Chiles Rellenos, is not difficult to make, but it does take time. There are a lot of chiles rellenos variations, like the September variation called Chiles en Nogada. First, though, it’s good to know how to peel the Poblano chiles, because learning how makes it possible to prepare all kinds of classic Mexican dishes like Poblano chile and onion tostadas, Poblano style rice, or cold chiles rellenos, just to name a few.
Related post: Poblano Peppers with Soy Sauce Pastry Braid
You will need
- Chiles poblanos or Poblano chiles (Special note: please look at the picture carefully, in some parts of the United States, Poblano chiles are referred to as “pasilla,” which in Mexico is a different chile altogether.
- A stove
- A cotton towel big enough to hold the chiles
- A plastic bag big enough to put the chiles inside. Please be sure there are no holes in it.
Tip: I used to do the whole process without covering my hands, it is a lot easier for me; however, when the chiles are very spicy, they will burn your hands. To help protect your hands, you can cover them with oil beforehand or you can use thin plastic gloves. Be mindful of keeping your hands away from your eyes, eh?
- If you have a gas range, the easier thing is to put them directly to the flame, turn them as soon as they are “grilled” on one side.
- If you have an electric range, like me, put them on an oven safe cookie sheet, turn on the broiler and put them under it when it is very hot. Turn them as soon as they are “grilled” on one side. Or you can blacken them on a comal.
They will look like this:
Put them on the cotton towel, close it and put them in the plastic bag. Close the bag really well and let them rest for 10 minutes, so they can “sweat.”
Tip: Don’t let the chiles cool too much before peeling them, this will make the process more difficult.
Open the bag carefully, remembering the bag is full of chile infused water vapor. Take one chile from the bag and pull the skin off, it should come off easily. Close the plastic bag well after you take each one out. When you finish with one chile, continue with another.
Finally, cut the peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds.