Venison Chile Rellenos

Chile relleno is a Puebla Mexican dish: charred peppers stuffed with gooey cheese, dipped in fluffy egg meringue and then deep fried. Call it a giant popper, if you will– except this isn’t an appetizer. It’s a meal, one that my husband, Rick, who has Mexican heritage thinks on fondly. His mother made chile relleno when he was a boy. Although it was a process, this dish was inexpensive to make yet satisfying to eat; she had a family of six to feed, not including herself.

The fresh poblano peppers and melty Oaxaca cheese are more traditional, but interchangeable. You may use Anaheim peppers instead, and if Oaxaca is difficult to find, try a combination of mozzarella and cheddar cheese for the filling. Rick’s mother stuffed her chile rellenos with whatever meat she had on hand, and the same applies with wild game. Serve chile relleno with Mexican refried beans and rice on the side.

I’m not sure what Rick enjoys more– freshly-made chile relleno, or as leftovers inside a warm bean burrito the next day. Simply reheat peppers until bubbling in the oven. This recipe makes nearly a quart of salsa roja, so keep tortilla chips nearby.

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