Make these stuffed peppers for Halloween dinner and add some color and spice to your celebration!
While in America Halloween is all about candy, trick or treating and costumes, in Mexico, the day of the dead celebration has a totally different meaning.
For Mexicans, October 31st (and also November 1st and 2nd) is about honoring those cherished souls who are no longer with us. Each day has a different meaning in the catholic tradition: All Saints’ Eve (October 31st), All Saints’ Day (November 1st), and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd). The celebrations have a very colorful and cheerful spirit, contrary to the common dark and sad idea of death.
On these days it’s a tradition to make beautiful altars for the loved ones. Also, to bring offerings for the dead, such as pan de muerto, the popular sugar skulls, flowers, and fruits. It’s a tradition to cherish life, so what better way to celebrate than with a food feast? The typical Mexican delights for this special occasions include tamales, different kinds of mole, enchiladas, chiles rellenos, hot chocolate, and the favorite dishes of those we want to remember.
We bring you a recipe for stuffed peppers (chiles rellenos). This is such a delicious dish! And it’s simple enough to make many times at home, not just on special occasions. The peppers can be stuffed with any kind of cheese, or even shredded chicken, meat or pork. Just serve them with a Mexican tomato sauce (seasoned with cumin and oregano) and enjoy profusely!
Ingredients for the stuffed peppers
- Poblano peppers (you could try using bell peppers) two or three per person
- Fresh cheese (queso fresco, cotija cheese or mozzarella cheese)
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (plus, a little extra for dusting the peppers)
- 2 or 3 whole eggs
- A pinch of salt
- Mild salsa
Preparation of the stuffed peppers
For the peppers:
1. Burn the skin of the peppers over a hot cast iron pan. This step is important for removing the skin and also for adding flavor.
2. When the skin is almost black remove from heat and place inside of a plastic bag.
3. Close the plastic bag and wait for 5 minutes. You must encapsulate the steam that comes out of the peppers so that the skin will easily peel off. This will also complete the cooking process.
4. Peel the peppers with your hands (to protect yourself from the spicy heat of the peppers, you can wear latex gloves or slightly coat your hands with vegetable oil).
5. With a small sharp knife, open a slit on one side of the pepper and cut the gland next to the stem. This is where all the heat comes from.
6. Delicately remove all the seeds with a spoon.
7. Insert the filling. In this case, it will be two or three pieces of the cheese you chose. Don’t try to stuff too much filling so it won’t open during the frying process.
To make the batter:
1. Separate the eggs, set aside the egg yolks.
2. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites to a soft peak.
3. Add the egg yolks and continue beating until they blend together.
4. Gently fold in two tablespoons of flour. Be careful not to spoil the airing from the egg mixture, this will keep the batter light and fluffy.
5. Grab a deep frying pan and heat the oil up to 180°C.
6. Grab the peppers on the side of the stem and dip them in the batter
7. Gently place then in the hot oil. Don’t be scared, if you throw or plop them in the oil, it will splash and you will definitely burn.
8. When they turn golden, take them out of the oil. Place the fried peppers over some absorbent paper to remove the excess oil.
9. Heat up your tomato salsa.
10. Serve the peppers over a mirror of salsa.