Chile Rellenos with Guajillo Sauce

The best American name for this vegetable would probably be “Mexican green tomato”, but they actually taste nothing like regular tomatoes, In fact, the tomatillo is not a tomato at all. The tomatillo has a tart, lemony flavor that is enhance when cooked (especially roasted) and is an excellent base for salsas. While salsa (salsa verde) is the most popular way to enjoy tomatillo, they can be used in other ways. Tomatillos contain high amounts of vitamin A&C. Tomatillos are our #2 sales item!

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Guajillo sauce:

1 pound ripe Roma tomatoes
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
1 large white onion, peeled and cut into eighths
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 oz. guajillo chiles (approximately 4 chiles)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt

Poblano chiles:

12 large poblano chiles
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, grated
8 oz. Muenster cheese, grated
4 oz. pecans, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
8 oz. dried apricots, cut into very small cubes
6 Tbsp. sour cream or creme fraiche, thinned to a pourable consistency with milk or light cream
12 or more cilantro sprigs


For the guajillo sauce:

Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, and garlic in a single layer on an oven-proof pan. Broil the vegetables until they are lightly blistered and charred, turning occasionally (about 15-20 minutes). Allow the vegetables to cool.

Wearing a pair of rubber gloves, stem and seed the guajillo chiles, then lightly toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Transfer the chiles to a bowl and soak them in water until they become softened (about 15-20 minutes). Drain the chiles and discard the water. Place the broiled ingredients and softened chiles in a blender and add some water as necessary, and blend to make a coarse sauce (about 30 seconds). Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro, brown sugar and salt.

For the poblano chiles:

Lightly oil the chiles and char them over an open flame or under a broiler. Let the chiles cool and peel off their skins. With a small knife, carefully make a slit down one side of each chile and remove the seeds and pods but not the stems. Combine the cheese, pecans, and apricots and carefully stuff the chiles. Lightly grill the chiles over charcoal or place them in a 350F oven just until the cheese begins to melt.

To serve, spoon some of the guajillo sauce on each chile and drizzle with sour cream. Garnish the chiles with cilantro sprigs.

Yields 6 servings.

Recipe featured in the November 1999 issue of Texas Monthly.