Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chile Relleno and Sopes with Beef

I love Mexican food! In our home at least once a week, there is something Mexican served at the table for dinner.  Authentic Mexican food is delicious, satisfying and very healthy, not like Tex-Mex food or American versions of Mexican food that have a pound of cheddar cheese served on your rice, beans or inside of a burrito.  In my visits to Mexico, I rarely see cheddar cheese smothered on the food (except for in American tourist areas).  A couple of my favorite common cheeses used in Mexico is Queso Fresco or Cojita which are sparingly served over beans, meats or rice.  You can make queso fresco at home, as it is very easy to make.  I learned to make queso fresco years ago in Mexico and it truly is easy to make.  Here is a blog that shows you how to make your own queso fresco at home:

So, now that we have the cheese for chile, let's stuff them, fry the and eat them!  YUM! 

When choosing the chile for your recipe, you have a wide variety of choices:  Anaheim, Poblano, Habanero, Marconi, Hatch or even Jalapeno chiles.  You choose your favorite and I assure you they will turn out very tasty when made with queso fresco.  I do prefer queso fresco over cream cheese or cheddar cheese to stuff chile peppers.

Sadie's Easy Chile Relleno Recipe

Serves 6

6 Poblano or Hatch Chile (if in season), charred and peeled
1 pound of Queso Fresco, mashed with spoon

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 egg

Vegetable oil for frying

If you have a gas stove, you can char the chile pepper on the stove top by turning frequently, until all sides are charred.  If you do not have a gas stove, you can use the oven to roast the chile peppers.

Preheat oven to 450*F

1.  Place chiles on a sheet pan; roast in oven for 20 minutes; turning chile often, until all sides are done charring.  You can remove the skins while still warm; they peel off very easily.  I suggest that you do not run the chile under water to remove the skin as you will be washing away all the oils and sweetness of the chile down the drain. 

2.  While the chile is roasting, you can prepare the batter.  Combine flour, baking powder, milk, egg, salt; mix well.

3. Once the charring and peeling is complete, slice one side of the skin (top to bottom) of the chile (careful not to run the knife through both sides) and spoon out the seeds. 

4. Take the mashed queso fresco and stuff the chile (no measurements are given as the sizes of chile vary). You want to stuff them so that both flaps close together (do not over stuff).

5. If you own a deep fryer; heat your oil to 350*F.  If not, use a deep pan and add enough oil (about 1 inch in depth) and heat over medium high heat.

6.  Dip each stuffed chile in the batter and place in the hot oil to brown all sides.  Remove from oil and place on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the oil.

Serve warm with your favorite sauce or salsa.  

SOPES - What are Sopes?  They are a small version of corn tortilla (thicker) in the shape of a small frisbee or  a small soup bowl, to hold meats, beans, salads in the middle.  I had Sopes for the first time in a small Mexican Village named Santa Clara del Cobre in Michoacan, Mexico.  I forgot about these delicious little corn disks, until a friend in Mexico City mentioned them, and it brought back such delicious memories of the first bite I had of Sopes with Frijoles (beans).  I looked up several recipes on the Internet in Spanish, for an authentic recipe and found one from a Grandmother in Mexico.  I love this web site/blog and will be using it for several authentic recipes in the future.   If you speak and read Spanish, here is the link:


recipe altered by Sadie

Makes 24

2 cups Masa Harina Corn Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of hot water
more hot water as needed
Vegetable oil for frying

1.  Sift Masa Harina and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the middle. 

2.  Add hot water 1/4 cup at a time and start mixing until you have a perfect dough consistency: a little firm with some spring, not completely firm and not dry or sticky.

3.  Cover dough with a plastic cover and let sit for about 30 minutes.

4.  Heat a cast iron skillet (preferably) to medium high heat.

5.  Keeping the dough covered at all times with a damp cotton towel, take enough dough to form the size of a golf ball (2-3 ounces).

6.  If you own a tortilla wooden press, you can line the inside of the press with plastic or wax paper (I prefer wax paper), to keep the dough from sticking to the wood.   If you do not own a wooden press, you can roll out the dough to measure 1/4 inch thick and about 4 inches in diameter.  You can shape the dough with a large round cookie ring or by taking a large water glass with a big mouth (I used a cookie ring to cut the dough).

7.  On hot skillet, heat Sope on skillet until they turn brown on both sides (about one minute).  Remove from skillet.

8.  While still hot, shape the outside of the tortilla to create a lip on the outside of the tortilla.  I used the bottom of a small pyrex glass bowl (1 cup Pyrex bowl) to shape the tortilla into the Sope.  Press the glass in the middle of the tortilla and raise the sides to create a lip.  Set aside and let cool until all tortilla disks are complete.

9.  If you own a deep fryer; heat your oil to 350*F. If not, use a deep pan and add enough oil(about 1 inch in depth) and heat over medium high heat.

10.  Place sope in hot oil and cook until crispy and brown on both sides.  Place on a cookie sheet and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

11.  Sope can be filled with beans, meat, salad, seafood and served warm.

CHEF NOTES:  The Abuela recipe from Mexico has a recipe for chiles that are made into a sauce and each of the sopes after the first heating, is coated with the chile sauce and then fried.  This adds more spice to the sope (optional).

Chile Relleno with queso fresco and
Sopes with shredded beef, queso fresco and topped with Pico de Gallo

Buen Provecho

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