A Little History of Chile Rellenos and How to Eat Them

It might seem silly to have a post about how to eat a dish. And we get that. However, you’d be surprised how many people aren’t familiar with Chile Rellenos. (We know, we know!) But there is no shame in learning something new. Translated, Chile Rellenos means stuffed chili peppers, which is precisely what it is, but also so much more. Their origins date back to the 16th century. That means when you eat one, that is a food with 500 years of history behind it! Read on to learn more about where they came from and how to eat them.

The History of Chile Rellenos

Just east of Mexico City, at the foot of a volcano (!!), is where this dish was born. In Puebla, Mexico, to be exact. When the Spanish arrived in Mexico in the 16th century, they brought new ingredients and cooking techniques. As a result, the Spanish adapted the Aztec dish, adding cheese and other ingredients to the filling. This fusion of Aztec and Spanish culinary traditions gave birth to the modern Chile Rellenos we know today.

Fun fact: The main ingredient, poblano peppers (or poblano chiles), is named after Puebla, Mexico. They grew wild in that region’s mountainous areas. 

The dish typically consists of a roasted or grilled poblano pepper stuffed with cheese, meat, or vegetables and then fried or baked. The pepper is then coated in egg batter and fried until golden brown. Chile Rellenos are often served with a tomato-based sauce, such as salsa roja, and garnished with cilantro.

Want to Try Cooking it At Home?

All you need is the following ingredients:

  • Poblano peppers
  • Shredded cheese (traditionally, a white cheese)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)

Once you have gathered all your ingredients and the right amounts, here are the basic instructions:

  1. Roast or broil the poblano peppers until the skins are charred and blistered. Then place the roasted peppers in a plastic bag or covered container to steam.
  2. Once the peppers are cool, peel off the skins and cut down the side of each pepper to remove the seeds and membranes.
  3. Stuff each pepper with cheese.
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, and egg yolks in a bowl to form a thick batter.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Then fold the egg whites into the batter.
  6. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep-frying pan or pot.
  7. Dip each stuffed pepper into the batter, and coat the pepper.
  8. Carefully place the coated peppers in the hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides.
  9. Remove the peppers from the oil and place them on paper towels to drain.
  10. Serve the Chile Rellenos hot with your favorite tomato-based sauce and sides.

And most importantly, enjoy the fruits of your labor! Although, if you want to skip straight to enjoying, you can always order some from Chevys! You, your families, friends, and coworkers just come in and enjoy the cuisine.

So How Do You Eat Chile Rellenos?

There is no particular way. Most use a fork and knife. But if you mean what does it go best with, you have options!

You can enjoy Chile Rellenos as a main dish all by itself. Some like to enjoy it with a side of rice and beans. It’s a versatile dish. Traditionally Chile Rellenos are served during festive occasions such as Cinco de Mayo (Mexico’s victory over the French) or Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

You can also add other fillings, like picadillo, carnitas, or shredded pollo. The best part is you can spice it up or down based on your preference. So whether you are a fan of spicy food or prefer a milder flavor, Chile Rellenos are a delicious and satisfying dish that will indeed please.

Order Your Chile Rellenos at Chevys Today!

Try our Chile Rellenos anytime, and include your other favorite dishes and appetizers. You will experience excellent service, fun, and a great menu as our guests. If you feel like picking up and taking Chile Rellenos and other dishes home, stop in or call us and, most importantly, enjoy the food!