Cheese-stuffed chillies with spicy salsa
- July 2013
For the stuffed chillies:
- 4 poblano chilli peppers (available from coolchile.co.uk)
- 300g cheese, grated (we used a mixture of monterey jack and strong cheddar)
- Sunflower oil for frying
- 4 large free-range eggs, separated
For the salsa:
- Large handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Handful of fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 150ml light olive oil
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp sugar
- To make the salsa, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and season to taste. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge until needed.
- Put a pepper on a chopping board, then use a paring knife to cut a slit in one side from the stem to the tip. Now make a horizontal incision at the stem end of the slit – you should have a T-shaped cut. Carefully open out the pepper, taking care not to split it, then use a teaspoon to remove the seeds and membrane. Repeat with the remaining peppers.
- Light a gas burner to medium-high, then use tongs to hold the peppers, one at a time, in the flame, turning until the skin chars all over. (If you don’t have a gas burner, you can cook the peppers under a hot grill for 4-5 minutes.) Put the charred peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film, then set aside for 15 minutes to steam.
- When the peppers are cool enough to handle, carefully peel away the skin, making sure you don’t tear the flesh. Stuff the peeled peppers with the grated cheese, pushing it down inside – they should be full but the flaps should still close easily.
- Heat 2cm oil in a large frying pan until shimmering. Whisk the egg whites in a large clean bowl with a generous pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Using the whisk, stir through the egg yolks. Spoon a layer of this foamy batter over the cut side of 2 peppers, then put them battered- side down in the hot oil – the batter will spread out slightly. Spoon more batter over the other side of the peppers. Fry for 2-3 minutes until dark golden, then turn and cook on the other side, carefully spooning hot oil over the peppers as they cook. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and pat with kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining peppers, then serve with the salsa.
Poblanos are large mild Mexican chilli peppers. If you can’t get hold of them, use small green bell peppers, though they won’t taste quite the same.
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