Pasilla Chiles Stuffed with Potato (Chiles Pasillas Rellenos de Papa)

This Mexican chile pepper is called “Chilaca” when used fresh. In California the Poblano chile is often called Pasilla. Since most of these are bought and distributed from California this mislabeling often carries over into the supermarkets nationwide causing alot of confusion. This chile is very mild and is usually consumed in the dry form to make the famous Mexican ‘mole’ sauces.

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1 pound new potatoes
12 pasilla chiles
6 oz. queso fresco, feta cheese or cream cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup vegetaable oil

Tomatillo Sauce:

2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 heaping Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock or water


In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Peel and transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and mash roughly.

Heat the oil in a large nonreactive skillet and gently fry the chiles in batches, rolling them over from time to time, so that they cook evenly without browning too much, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chiles to paper towels and drain. Reserve the oil in the skillet.

Using a small sharp knife, slit the chiles lengthwise, leaving the stems intact. Carefully remove the seeds and veins. Place the chiles in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let the chiles soak until they just begin to soften, about 20 minutes (depending on how dry they were in the first place). Drain and set aside.

Add the cheese to the potatoes and season with salt. Mix well. Stuff the chiles full with the filling, but leave enough room so that the seams almost close.

Make the tomatillo sauce:

In a large nonreactive saucepan, cover the tomatillos with water and simmer until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to a blender. Add the onion and garlic and blend until almost smooth (but still textured).

Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat the reserved oil in the skillet. Add the brown sugar and fry for a few seconds. Add the tomatillo sauce and season with salt. Cook over high heat until the sauce reduces, about 5 minutes, and stir in the chicken stock.

In a baking dish large enough to hold the chiles in one layer, arrange the chiles side by side, and pour the tomatillo sauce over the chiles. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve as a side with your choice of roasted and grilled meats.

Yields 6 servings.

Recipe by Senora Maria Herrera Redondo de Williams.