Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger

Chiles Relleno de Picadillo

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  • Yield: 6 servings





  1. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and the chiles for 7 to 8 minutes, or until translucent. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes more, until the aroma of the garlic has been released. Add the diced tomatoes, tomatillos, bay leaves, thyme, epazote, and water. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
  2. To make the picadillo, in a blender, puree the tomatoes with their liquid. In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion with the salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the turkey and spread it into an even layer in the pan. Saute, stirring frequently, until light brown. Add the cinnamon, cloves, pureed tomatoes, raisins, and vinegar. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a thick mass, 30 to 45 minutes. Add the toasted almonds and stir to mix. Cool to room temperature and proceed.
  3. Make a slit in the side of each roasted chile and carefully scrape out the seeds with your fingers. Place the flour on a plate. In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt to soft peaks. Gently beat in the egg yolks, 1 at a time, and then beat in 1 1/2 tablespoons of the flour. Stop beating as soon as the flour is incorporated. Stuff the chiles with the picadillo, leaving room to re-close the opening, using toothpicks. Roll the chiles in the flour, gently patting off all the excess. In a large heavy skillet, heat about 3/4-inch of vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it registers 375 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Pick up a chile by its stem and dip into the egg mixture. Lay it into the hot oil and repeat with 3 more chiles. When the chiles are brown underneath, gently roll them over and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven. Reheat the sauce over low heat while you are frying the chiles. Dip and fry all the remaining chiles, keeping them warm with the others as they are cooked. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the sauce onto each of 6 warm plates, lay 2 chiles on each plate. Top each plate with a few sprigs of parsley and a dollop of crema and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

To toast almonds, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the almonds on a pan and toast for about 10 minutes, or until golden. Fresh chiles and bell peppers can be roasted over a gas flame or on a tray under the broiler. Keep turning so the skin is evenly charred, without burning and drying out the flesh. Transfer the charred peppers to a plastic bag, tie the top closed and let steam until cool to the touch, about 15 minutes. The best way to peel is just to pull off the charred skin by hand and then dip the peppers briefly in water to remove any blackened bits. Do not peel the pepper under running water since that will wash away flavorful juices.