Rocotos Rellenos

This chile pepper originated in the mountains of South America and Mexico. Because of their appearance they are often called “Manzano” which means apple chile. This pepper can only be grown in these regions at elevations above 5000′ therefore making these very rare in the US.These chiles are unique in that they are the only ones that have black seeds. They are very hot and meaty. Rocotos are chopped and used in salsas or sometimes stuffed with cheese and meat and then baked.

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20 red or yellow rocoto (or manzano) chiles
Water to cover
1 lb pork, cubed
3 cups water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup peanuts, toasted and ground
1 lb cooked green peas
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 hardboiled eggs, diced
4 eggs, separated
Vegetable oil for frying


Wash the chiles, leave the stems intact, open the pods half way and carefully remove the seeds. Place the peppers in a large pot, cover with water, and simmer the chiles slowly for 3 minutes. Drain the chiles carefully, keeping them intact, and set aside.

Place the pork in a medium saucepan, add the 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for one hour, or until the pork is tender. Drain the mixture and reserve the cooking liquid. Grind the pork using a coarse setting on a meat grinder, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet and saute the onions and the garlic. Add the ground pork, peanuts, peas, salt and pepper and enough of the reserved pork stock to keep the mixture moist. Mix in the chopped eggs and remove from the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

Stuff the chiles with the mixture and close as tightly as possible.

In a bowl, beat the egg whites until they are quite stiff and then fold the well beaten egg yolks into the whites.

Heat the oil, and when it is bubbling, dip each pepper into the egg mixture and depp fry for 30 to 60 seconds, until the outside is golden brown. Serve immediately.

Makes 20 stuffed chiles.Heat scale: Hot

From “Fiery Foods and BBQ”, Nov/Dec 2008