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Chiles Rellenos With Rock Shrimp Salsa Fresca

  • Yield: 4 or 6 servings


  • 12 large, fresh poblano or New Mexico chiles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon chopped yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 cups grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Essence
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 cups grated queso blanco or mozzarella
  • Rock Shrimp Salsa Fresca
  • Sprigs fresh cilantro, garnish


  • Roast the peppers by placing them on an open gas flame, turning frequently with tongs until all sides are charred black, 7 to 10 minutes. (Alternately, the peppers can be roasted under a broiler, or on top of a gas or charcoal grill.) Place the blackened peppers in a plastic or paper bag, and let rest until cool enough to handle, 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully peel and seed the chiles, leaving the stem ends intact and without splitting the sides. Set aside.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is deep golden brown and begins to pop, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the onions, jalapenos, garlic, chili powder, and salt and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the cilantro and stir well.
  • In a bowl, mash together the jack cheese with the cream cheese. Stir in the cooled corn mixture and mix well. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions, forming each into a log to fit inside the chiles. Stuff the chiles with the cheese-corn mixture, and if necessary, secure with toothpicks.
  • In a large, deep saute pan, heat enough oil to come about 1 inch up the sides of the pan to 360 degrees F.
  • Preheat the broiler.
  • In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with 1 tablespoon of the Essence. In a second bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining teaspoon of Essence and the cayenne. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Fold the whites into the yolks, being careful not to deflate.
  • One at a time, dredge the peppers into the seasoned flour, then into the egg mixture, turning to coat and shaking to remove any excess. In batches, add the chiles to the oil and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  • Arrange the chiles on a baking sheet or in a large baking dish. Sprinkle with the queso blanco or mozzarella cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and creamy and the chiles are completely heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  • Arrange 2 chiles on each of 4 or 6 plates and top with the shrimp salsa. Garnish with the cilantro sprigs, and serve immediately.