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. 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. Served along side a light arugula salad and this made for a perfect meal.
Dave had a lunch at a local Mexican restaurant and the seafood appetizer was this beautiful calamari chili relleno. So we decided to reconstruct and instead of a batter or Masa flour we used the calamari to wrap the large green chilies stuffed with pepper jack cheese. Then this was rolled in flour, egg and Panko bread crumbs for a more crunchy texture.
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 we flour and dip them in the beaten egg.
In a Stove-Top Deep Fryer pour your oil and get the temperature up to 375° to seal and crisp the rellenos after they drop 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° and 400° 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 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 Panko, coating the breadcrumbs evenly on both sides. Set this on a plate and repeat with the other calamari steak.
When the oil is at 375° careful drop 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 this quick and easy method. This Easy Blender Hollandaise Sauce is a quick way and the results may not be as thick, it is delicious. To add a little kick we added about 8-10 jalapeño 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.
It took no time at all to make these and is a great alternative to the traditional battered and fried chile rellenos. Spicing it up to another level of flavor was the jalapeño hollandaise and was just as quick to make and nap over the tops of the slice Calamari Chile Rellenos. I hope you try these and enjoy.
- Calamari Chile Rellenos
- 2 calamari steaks
- 2 large green chilies
- pepper jack cheese
- 1 cup flour
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
- kosher salt
- Peanut oil
- Jalapeño Hollandaise
- 3 egg yolks
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 10 jalapeños rings
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup melted butter
- Calamari Chile Rellenos
- Preheat oil to 375°.
- Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
- Prep you breading station by whisking the egg in a bowl. In a separate bowl add the flour and another for the Panko 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 Panko breadcrumbs. Repeat for two calamari rellenos and set on a plate.
- Make sure the oil is at 375°, 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 if making more then two, 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.
- 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 of rebalance. Pour this over the sliced calamari chile rellenos and serve warm.