About Mastering and Enjoying Home Cooking. Drink, Cook, and Live Well!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Chiles Rellenos

For me, there is no better signature dish then great Chiles Rellenos to bring Mexican cuisine to its rightful place. When served with a tomatillo sauce it is a marriage made in heaven.

Make a tomatillo sauce that is needed to serve these.

4 Large poblano chilies
Small brick of Monterey Jack cheese
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 eggs, separated and beaten
Salt to season the flour
2 Tablespoons of lard and a cup of corn oil.
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat oven to 450F. Roast chilies on cookie sheet until skin is brown and blistered on all sides. Keep oven door closed to retain heat after removing toasted chilies. Cool until you are able to touch peppers, and then peel off skin. Make a slit down one side of the pepper in preparation of stuffing with cheese. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, cut a slice of cheese shaped to fit each chile cavity. Leave seeds and stems on.

Cover a plate with tin foil. Put flour on the plate. Separate the eggs beat the yolks until pale. Wash whisk and dry thoroughly. Do not whisk the whites until ready to cook the rellenos.

Warm the tomatillo sauce on low. In a large frying pan, add oil, lard, and begin to heat. Whisk the whites to stiff peaks; mix half the whites into the yolks. The gentle fold in rest of whites. It is not necessary to make a uniform mixture. The oil should be hot. Dip two chilies in the flour and then, into the egg batter. Fry each chile not touching each other. Spoon the hot oil over the tops and edges. The turn over with 2 forks. Cook remaining chiles retaining the cooked rellenos warm on a paper-towel-covered plate in the warm oven. Spoon tomatillo sauce over plated rellenos and garnish with chopped cilantro.

1. Adding a bit of flour to the egg yolks will stabilize the mixture of yolks and eggs whites if doing the rellenos in batches. The flour lessens the "airyness" of the resulting finished result. In many recipes, only egg whites are used making the result less "eggy".

Mexican Green Tomatillo Sauce

I  use this sauce for serving Chile Rellenos. It brings out the flavor of that dish in a beautiful way. The fresh tomatillos impart a citrus-like tartness.
3 tomatillos, husks removed
½ Ripe tomato, chopped
½ Spanish (yellow) onion
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon lard
¼ Cup best homemade chicken bone stock
Pinch Mexican oregano
1 Teaspoon sugar (to taste to partly offset tartness)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Optionally, add chopped cilantro when serving.

Chop tomatillos, onions and fry on low in lard. When the onions just clear ( do not brown), add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer 20 minutes. Puree to desired texture with a post blender. Reduce to thicken as sauce necessary. Correct the seasonings,

Monday, August 14, 2017

Yangzhou Fried Rice

Yangzhou (yang Jo) is city of east-central China east of Nanjing on the great Yangtze River. Yangzhou fried rice is a perhaps the most well known dish of the city of Yangzhou, in the Jiangsu province. The recipe was invented by Qing China's Yi Bingshou (1754–1815) and the dish was named Yangzhou fried rice since Yi was once magistrate of Yangzhou. This fried rice is one of the classic dishes served towards the end of the Chinese New Year banquet. It is lightly seasoned and devoid of soy sauce so that the rice stays white.

2 Tablespoons peanut oil

½ Cup bay shrimp

4 Cups cold leftover Jasmine white rice

½ Cup frozen peas

½ Cup diced Char Sui (Chinese-style grilled pork)

½ Cup thinly slices lap cheong Chinese sausage1

½ Cup chopped scallions plus more for garnish

½ Cup diced cremini mushrooms

3/4 Teaspoon salt

¼ Teaspoon white pepper

2 Beatened eggs cooked slowly in butter until just firm, chopped.

Place wok over high heat, add oil, stir fry sausage and Char Sui until aromatic. Add scallions and shrimp. When shrimp are orange add and stir fry rice and mushrooms. Toward the end, add frozen peas, and chopped pre-cooked egg to warm. Correct seasoning. Garnish with remaining scallions and serve.


1.       When buying lap cheong, look for those seasoned with sugar, rose water, rice wine and soy sauce.


Fake Food

Most Parmesan Cheese in America is fake as well as other “supposedly” Italian products especially most canned 'San Marzano' tomatoes. Chianti must be made in the Chianti region of Italy to be labeled as such, San Marzano tomatoes are special plum tomatoes that must be grown in Agro Sarnese-Nocerino. When they are canned, they come with a DOP emblem on the label, marking their authenticity. The real product is expensive as shipping cost is high, but the fakes are inferior and no bargain at all.

Your first clue should be price. If it is cheap then it is fake. The real products have a DOP marking to insure the real products are protected. Parmesan does not mean “parmigiano-reggiano”. The words Parmigiano-Reggiano embossed all over every square inch of the rind, as shown in the accompanying photos, must be evident.

San Marzano DOP Markings

 Great cooks require great ingredients but be wary, not all is as its seems. In my book and blog, I try to point out salient information for informed decisions.