Chiles Relleños with
Cheese, Dried Apricots, Pecans and Guajillo Chile Sauce
This outstanding recipe for chiles relleños—stuffed with two types of cheese, dried apricots, raisins, and toasted pecans—served with a spicy guajillo chile sauce, was developed by Chef Ben Berryhill.
Chiles and Filling:
Oil for coating chiles
24 each large poblano chiles
16 ounces (about 4 cups) Wisconsin Jack cheese, grated
16 ounces (about 4 cups) Wisconsin Queso Blanco, grated
8 ounces (about. 1 1/2 cups) dried apricots, cut into very small cubes
8 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) California raisins
8 ounces (about 1 cup) pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
Guajillo Chile Sauce:
2 pounds (about 16) ripe Roma tomatoes
2 pounds (about 32) tomatillos, husks removed
2 each large white onions, peeled and cut into eighths
12 garlic cloves, peeled
2 ounces (about 8) guajillo chiles or dried New Mexico red chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 cups water
1/2 cups cilantro, finely chopped
1 tablespoon and teaspoon brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons salt
As needed (about 3/4 cup) sour cream or crème fraîche
As needed (about 1/2 bunch) cilantro sprigs
- For Chiles: Lightly oil the poblano chiles. Roast the chiles over an open flame or under a hot broiler until the skins are blistered and charred. Allow to cool at room temperature. Remove the skins and discard.
- With a small knife, make a slit lengthwise down the side of each chile to create a pocket. Gently cut the interior seed pod free from the base of the stem and remove the seeds. Discard the seeds.
- For Filling: In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling and mix well. Stuff equal portions of the filling into each poblano and set aside.
- For Guajillo Sauce: Preheat oven broiler. Combine the tomatoes, tomatillos, onions and garlic cloves on a baking pan just large enough to hold the ingredients in a single layer. Place the pan under the hot broiler and broil until the ingredients are lightly blistered and charred (approximately 15 to 20 minutes), turning the ingredients occasionally. Remove from oven and cool.
- In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the chiles. Transfer to a bowl, cover with water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes or until softened. Drain and discard the water.
- In a blender, combine the broiled ingredients with the softened chiles. Add the water and puree to form a coarse sauce (approximately 30 seconds). Transfer the puree to a sauce pan. Heat the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep warm.
- Just before serving, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- For Final Preparation: Lightly charcoal grill or broil the stuffed poblano chiles just until the cheese begins to melt.
- Place a pool of guajillo sauce on each of 12 serving plates. Top with 2 chiles. If you wish, spoon additional guajillo sauce over each chile, drizzle with the sour cream or crème fraîche and garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Makes 12 servings.
Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.