Eggplant and Manchego Filled Chile Relleno with Red Pepper-Balsamic Sauce

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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For the Eggplant Filling:
3 Japanese eggplants, skin on and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup grated Manchego cheese
1 cup grated Monterey Jack

Red Pepper Sauce:
3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 to 4 roasted garlic cloves
3 to 4 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo

Balsamic Reduction:
3 cups balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey

Dark Beer Batter:
1 bottle dark beer (1 1/2 cups)
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 medium-sized, poblano peppers, oven roasted, seeded and carefully peeled
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
4 cups peanut oil
Freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish


For the eggplant filling:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Toss the eggplant with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and place onto a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and toss with the garlic and oregano and place back into the oven for another 10 minutes, until the eggplant is lightly golden brown and soft. Remove from the oven, add the parsley and gently toss to combine. Let cool slightly.

Place the eggplant into a bowl and toss with the cheeses. Set aside.

For the red pepper sauce:
Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.

For the balsamic reduction:
Bring the vinegar to a boil in a small nonreactive saucepan and cook until thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup. Stir in the honey and set aside.

For the dark beer batter:
Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl. Set aside.

For the poblanos:
Divide the eggplant filling among the peppers, compressing it into the shape of the pepper (the roasted pepper is very delicate and may begin to tear, but it will be fine).

Place the flour onto a plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the pepper completely in the flour and tap off any excess. Dip the peppers into the beer batter and allow excess to drain off. Place the cornmeal on a plate and season with salt and pepper and dredge the pepper in the cornmeal.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil to 370 degrees F.

Fry the peppers in batches, turning until lightly brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Spoon some of the sauce in the middle of the plate. Place a relleno on top of the sauce and drizzle the relleno with some of the balsamic reduction. Garnish with parsley.

Recipe by Bobby Flay.