Stuffed Chilie Pasilla de Oaxaca with Cheese

Although deemed a regional dish, I can’t recall ever eating it in its stuffed form all the years I’ve been going to Oaxaca, Mexico. (See note below).
I first came across it in Diana Kennedy‘s book, The Art of Mexican Cooking, and it’s been a staple at my house so long as I have a stash of the chilies on hand. The chilies are stuffed with mild cheese like mozzarella or jack, dipped in an egg batter, deep fried and served in a light tomato sauce.

The chilies are first lightly toasted on a comal, and then left to soak in hot water until hydrated and perfectly pliable, but not falling apart.

The chilies are carefully slit open on one side to slide the seeds and inner membrane out. Try to keep the stems intact. Pat the chilies dry and stuff with cheese.
For the batter, whip up egg whites until you have firm but soft peaks. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, add a bit of salt.
Heat oil in a cast iron pan. Dip the chilies one at a time in the batter and plop in the hot oil. You can also roll the chilies in flour before battering which helps make it stick, but since a lot of my friends are gluten intolerant, I’m skipping the flour. You can always just add a bit of batter to any part of the chilie that’s showing through.
My oil was a little too hot – oops. You want an even brown colour, not hot spots.
Turn the chilies with the aid of slotted spoons until brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels.
Heat the tomato sauce, scoop onto a bowl or plate, and top with one or two chilies. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro.
A molten cheese filling luxuriating in chilie heat, batter and tomato sauce.
Like they say…… OMG!!
Unlike the salsa I made earlier where the tomatillos tone down the chilie heat, this dish can be extremely picante. But it feels so good.
The chilie heat changes from crop to crop, so it’s a bit of a loteria. So if you have guests of delicate palate, I would advise rinsing the chilie a few times in cold water after soaking and removing the seeds.
Buen Provecho!
Note: While the chilie relleno is a staple in the comedors and fondas of Mexico, in Oaxaca, it’s the chile de agua that is commonly used. It’s a fresh very piquante green chile and it’s awesome. I’ve enjoyed the chilie pasilla de Oaxaca, in Oaxaca, in salsas and pickled as a condiment. Also extremely enjoyable. I bring back bags of the chilies, in various sizes, to use mostly for stuffing and for salsas. They can be purchased by itinerant vendors all over Oaxaca, and the pueblos outside of the city, mostly notably the Sunday Tlacolula market.

2 Responses to “Stuffed Chilie Pasilla de Oaxaca with Cheese”

  1. judy walker says:

    Shelora, your blog continues to inspire me, educate me , and make me smile.. and laugh!!
    Thank you so, keep it coming!! Happy trails…judy

  2. Anonymous says:

    jummy! can’t wait to try these. What recipe do you use for your tomato sauce?
    Check out the mija chronicles, I think you will enjoy that blog.

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