Chile Rellenos with ZUCCHINI & PANEER

This recipe for chiles rellenos comes from Andrea Serrato, who sells an exquisite version of the dish out of her home in East Los Angeles. Ms. Serrato learned to make it from her mother, Rose Serrato, who fills big chile poblanos simply with queso ranchero, fries them in a cloudlike batter and simmers them in a garlicky salsa roja.” NY times Cooking

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for ages waiting to stop by the farmer’s market for big poblano peppers. I finally made it to the market last week and found these beautiful peppers.

About the recipe

This recipe for chile relleno was published in NY Times Cooking section and is shared by Andrea Serrato, who sells them out of her home in East Los Angeles. The recipe was passed down by her Mom and they are truly the most delicious chile rellenos we’ve had!

Amazingly delicious salsa roja

Its the sauce that makes the dish outstanding. I never imagined a sauce this simple could taste this phenomenal. In fact the sauce is so good I’m making more to use in my zucchini enchilada.. I made it with giant heirloom tomatoes that I had picked up from the farmer’s market.

Simple ingredients for a stupendous sauce

The salsa roja sauce is made with fresh juicy tomatoes, chilies, garlic and onions. A little oil and salt and pepper. Who new such humble ingredients could make such a delicious sauce! And who new this sauce could be made so quick too. Just boil tomatoes, chili and garlic together, and blend into a sauce. Then saute the onions and add to the sauce. That’s it! Really delicious try this sauce on anything from eggs to fish to enchiladas.

Zucchini paneer stuffing

Okay,, so I followed the recipe for the sauce and for the frying, but the stuffing I came up on my own. I felt the stuffing recipe to be rather cheesy – haha – as in it only had cheese. Instead I stuffed my peppers with zucchini, greens and paneer. This combo makes the peppers extra tasty, filling and light as well. Stuff the peppers with any combination of veggies, rice, quinoa, and cheese you like.

Cooking zen zone recipe. Multistep process but worth the effort

I call this a cooking zen zone recipe. You know, its not quick but so worth the effort. Also something like this is like being in a cooking zen zone. The steps are easy, its just that there are multiple steps, However if you have all the ingredients ready it goes by in an orderly manner – char the poblanos, make the sauce, make the stuffing, stuff the poblanos, flour the peppers and fry. Serve with sauce. Delicious, delicious, delicious.

Zucchini Paneer Stuffed Chile Rellenos
recipe from  Andrea Serrato, for NY Times CooKing
with a few modifications

Ingredients for salsa roja

6 large tomatoes
3 serrano chilies
4 garlic cloves
1 onion finely cut

Ingredients for chille relleno

6 poblano peppers
2 zucchini cut into chunks
1 onion thinly sliced
2 cups of greens finely chopped
1/2 block of paneer shredded about 2 cups
1 cup sharp cheddar shredded
Salt and pepper

Ingredients For batter

5 large eggs
2 cups all purpose flour


Make the salsa roja: Boil tomatoes and chili together for 10 minutes. Scoop out the tomatoes and green chili and save the water and set aside. In a blender or food processor add the garlic and green chili and 1/2 cup tomato water and blend until smooth but a little chunky.. Add all the tomatoes and blend together to form a sauce.

In a pot warm 2 tbsp oil and shallow fry the onions. Add the tomato sauce and salt to taste. Combine and gently warm for just a minute. Salsa roja is ready.

Make the stuffed poblanos

Step 1: Char the pepper under a broiler about 3 minutes on each side until the entire pepper is charred. About 15 minutes in total. Cover the peppers and set aside to cool. Then gently remove the skin. Make a slit and remove the seeds.

Step 2: Make the stuffing. In a pan warm 1 tbsp oil. Shallow fry the onion. Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the greens and paneer, salt and pepper to taste and mix everything together. Stuffing is ready.

Step 3: Stuff the pepper. Gently stuff the peppers with the zucchini paneer mixture. Set aside.

Step 4: Make the batter. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Whip the egg whites until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and mix in. Spread the flour on a large plate.

Sep 5: Fry the poblanos. Get ready to fry the stuffed poblanos. Heat oil in a wok, enough to submerge the poblano. Take the stuffed pepper roll it in the flour and then roll it in the egg batter. Fry in oil until golden on one side and then flip to fry the other side. Take out of the oil and pat dry on paper towel.

Final step: Assemble the chile relleno. In a shallow serving bowl ladle the salsa roja. Place a pepper on top. Pour more sauce on the pepper. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Serve warm.

Serve with Mexican fried rice for a five-star meal!

2 thoughts on “Chile Rellenos with ZUCCHINI & PANEER”

    1. Hi Vinatha Mami. I researched what is a good substitute for egg batter and it looks like you can use buttermilk instead of egg white for the liquid part of the batter. Just dredge the pepper in buttermilk and then in the flour and fry. I hope it works out.

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