This is a favorite recipe that I decided to update and make a little more suited to friends we had over for dinner the other evening who are gluten intolerant. By using rice flour and gluten free breadcrumbs methinks this Calamari Chile Rellenos with Jalapeño Hollandaise is even better than the original.
Life doesn’t have to end when diagnosed with being gluten intolerant. There are so many replacements, you just need to think smart. So I’m here to assist! There are several ways to break free from using traditional wheat based breadcrumbs if you find yourself cooking for someone who has a dietary issue with gluten.
Whether it’s yourself, a loved one, or a guest coming over for dinner, I want to show you several replacements for “breadcrumbs” for any dish. Besides the obvious choice of using gluten free bread and toasting for breadcrumbs I have a few alternatives for you.
For breading purposes before dipping in an egg wash I also use rice flour. When using it as a filler say in meatballs or a meatloaf, my go to is to pulse oats in my food processor. Gluten free breadcrumbs, gluten free pretzels, Rice Chex, Corn Chex, Rice Krispies and Corn Flakes are the cereals I’ve experimented with and use often. I place them in the food processor and pulse until in crumb form.
The Chile Relleno, which literally means “stuffed chile” has it’s origins from Puebla, Mexico and is a dish that is traditionally made with the poblano chile. The stuffed chile is then battered in egg or masa flour, and fried. With this one we are using a calamari steak that has been pounded thin, using that as the “batter” so to speak, and wrapping the cheese stuffed green chile.
So let’s get busy. Wash and pat dry the large calamari steaks and on a cutting board pound them with a meat tenderizer to flatten and make a little thinner. Season with some kosher salt and lay the green chili on top flat. Now you can either roast your own green chilies or use canned, but we like the flavor of the green over the traditional poblano for this recipe. Cut the pepper jack cheese into square sticks and lay on top of the green chilies. Roll up and secure with toothpicks. Make sure to seal the edges so no oil gets inside, we want these completely closed before dusting with the rice flour and dipped in the beaten egg.
Get your oil temperature up to 375°F to seal and crisp the rellenos after they go in and not soak up the oil. When properly deep-fried, food should actually have very little oil on it. It’s all about maintaining the oil’s temperature between 375°F and 400°F so don’t over crowd the pot as the temp will drop. Frying at the correct temperature seals the food, keeps the moisture in and makes for a crunchy exterior, not a soaked and greasy one.
By keeping one hand for the dry and the other hand for the wet process it keeps your hands from becoming encrusted and looking like they doubled in size. Using one hand for the “dry” aspect, roll each of these in the rice flour that has been seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper.
Using your other hand, drop each in a bowl that has beaten egg and roll this over and over to coat. Shake off excess and drop this in the bowl with the breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs evenly on both sides. Set this on a plate and repeat with the other calamari steak.
When the oil is at 375°F careful lower each calamari chile rellenos in to fry until golden, which is about 2 to 3 minutes tops. When done, allow the excess oil to drip off. Place them on a plate with paper towels and season with kosher salt.
You can either make a traditional hollandaise using a double boiler or the quick and easy method I’ve provided below. My Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce is a quick way and the results may not be as thick, but it is delicious. To add a little kick we added about 8-10 jalapeño pickled rings.
Carefully remove the toothpicks you used to secure the calamari and slice on the bias and plate. Drizzle the jalapeño hollandaise over the top of the sliced calamari rellenos. I also made a quick side salad and was ready to go. Look at these beauties!
The pepper jack cheese just oozes from inside the beautiful green chilies. The crispy outside of each sliced calamari rellenos is perfect and with the delicious fresh calamari encasing it all makes for a wonderful meal. We were thinking of two each, but these were filling with having just one and the side salad. I hope you try these. Enjoy!
Calamari Chile Rellenos with Jalapeño Hollandaise
These Calamari Chile Rellenos start with a calamari steak that has been pounded thin, using that as the “batter” so to speak, and wrapping the cheese stuffed green chile before frying.
Calamari Chile Rellenos
- 4 calamari steaks pounded thin
- 4 large green chilies
- pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup flour (or rice flour for GF version)
- 2-3 cups plain bread crumbs (or GF bread crumbs)
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tsp black pepper
- kosher salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 10 pickled jalapeños rings
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- Calamari Chile Rellenos
- Preheat oil to 375°F. Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
- Prep you breading station by whisking the eggs in a bowl. In a separate bowl add the flour (or rice flour), salt and pepper and another for the plain breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs).
- Lay the calamari flat and pat dry and pound to tenderize and flatten.
- Lay a green chile out flat on top of the calamari, then add a index finger size rectangle wedge of pepper jack cheese on top of the green chile.
- Roll up and secure with a toothpick, making sure to do the same to the ends to seal.
- Dredge in the dry mixture of flour, salt and black pepper first, then the wet mixture of beaten egg and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat for remaining calamari rellenos and set on a plate.
- Make sure the oil is at 375°F, you want to fry the rellenos! Frying at the correct temperature seals the rellenos and makes for a crunchy exterior, not a soaked and greasy one.
- Deep-fry in batches two at a time, but do not overload the fryer, it will drop the temp of the oil. Fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes tops!
- Remove from oil and drain on the paper towel lined plate. Season with salt and serve with the jalapeño hollandaise on top.
- Blender Jalapeño Hollandaise
- This sauce only take 2-3 minutes to prep and make so wait until you have finished frying the calamari rellenos.
- In a blender add the egg yolks,salt, jalapeño rings and lemon juice.
- Melt some butter in a saucepan or in the microwave.
- Start the blender and with the top removed, carefully and slowly drizzle the butter in. This will emulsify and become thick. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking, adding more salt or lemon juice for rebalance.
- Pour this over the sliced calamari chile rellenos and serve warm.