Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Entrees: Maria Eugenia Cavazos's Chile Rellenos with Pecans and Pork

My dear friend Edna Fallstead and her brother Eduardo Cavazos loved their mother’s chili rellenos.  Like his mother, Eduardo makes this delicious dish for special occasions.  When he made them for us, I took good notes.  

Serves 4

  • 4 large poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
  • 2 bone-in pork chops 
  • 1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup pecans
  • 2 cups cheese, shredded (Eduardo uses Kraft's Mexican Four Cheese.  I use Cabot's Vermont Cheddar. Both were excellent.)
  • 8 eggs
  • canola oil for frying

Roast the chiles on a hot grill or in a broiler on high heat.  The skins will become blackened and blistered. Remove from heat.  Wrap carefully in a towel. Put wrapped chiles in a plastic bag to cool. Peel the skin and remove stem and seeds from the cooled chiles, being careful not to tear the chile. Rinse in water.  Set aside.

Put pork chops, onion, and garlic in sauce pan.  Cover with water by about 2 inches.  Add bay leaf, cumin and salt.  Cook until tender, about 1 hour, depending on thickness. Remove from heat.  Let sit in cooking liquid. When cool enough to handle, break apart with fork or your fingers.  Discard bones and fat.

Separate egg yolks and whites.  Whip egg whites until stiff.   Stir in yolks.

Combine shredded pork, cheese and pecans. Put a handful of the pork mixture inside each chili.  

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Pour enough oil in 12-inch skillet or sauté pan to reach 1 inch in depth.  Heat over high heat.  When the oil is hot, turn heat down to medium high. Ladle one-fourth of the egg mixture into hot oil to make an egg bed the same length and thrice the width of a stuffed chile. Let the egg bed get slightly firm before adding the stuffed chile. Lift the edge of the egg bed to check for golden brown color.  Gently place the chile across the egg bed, then fold the ends over the chile.  Turn the chile rellenos over a couple of times until it is evenly browned. 

Put paper towels on an oven proof plate.  Keep finished chile rellenos warm in oven while the others are cooking one at a time. 

Serve with Chipotle Salsa or your favorite salsa if desired.