Miguelina’s Poblanos and Cheese
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.
4 fresh poblano chile peppers
2 cups oil for frying, or as needed
8 ounces queso asadero
1/2 cup all-purpose flour for coating
Rinse the poblano peppers, and remove the stem and core. Remove any remaining seeds. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Place peppers in the skillet, and cook until blistered and blackened. Turn frequently to blacken all of the skin. You want to make sure that no part of the pepper remains crispy. Place the peppers into a paper bag, fold the top closed, and let the peppers steam for a few minutes to loosen the skin. Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Rinse the peppers under cold running water to remove as much of the black skin as possible. Don’t get prissy about it you can eat the skins, even if they’re black – most people like some of the black skin. Next, WASH your hands well with soap and water, or you’ll be sorry later when you touch your eyes or mouth.
Insert a nice thick piece of cheese into each pepper, and secure the opening with a toothpick. Coat the peppers in flour. Gently place the peppers into the hot oil, and reduce the heat to medium. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Don’t try to turn them over until the bottom has a firm crust on it. Try to avoid letting the cheese run out. When both sides are slightly browned and the coating is firm, remove from the pan, and drain on paper towels.
In addition to the cheese, crisp bacon slices and/or 1/2 cup of well browned chopped onion. They’re delicious without either, though. Try them plain first. If you’re in a hurry, you don’t even have to flour and fry them. Just put in the cheese and return them to a pan with a bit of oil in it, and cook them till you know the cheese is melting. That’s good, too. The coated ones are simply better. If you wanted to get more elaborate you could dip the peppers in beaten egg and then the flour, for a puffier, more substantial crust. Not necessary, though.
Queso asadero is a type of Mexican cheese that melts well. You can substitute any mild, melty cheese. You can substitute Monterey Jack cheese.