I LOVE Chile Relleno! LOVE it! Any time I see it on a menu, I really want to try it! But, there is one fear that kicks in immediately after. There are a few variations of this dish and the reason for concern is just that. Some people coat the outside with a batter and fry it, some people don’t.
I’m really happy to say that El Paso doesn’t. There is a tortilla chip served with it, just one for decoration. But, the rest is just amazing! If you aren’t familiar with the dish (of course you can Google it), it is a Pablano pepper that is gutted and grilled on the outisde and peeled. Sometimes there is charring on the pepper, which is great! Sometimes there isn’t, which I think is a sign of someone who didn’t care about the food as much. The charring makes the pepper a bit more crisp on the outside. Peppers that aren’t charred tend to be a bit more tender and I don’t think they are as good. The charring creates a little firmness in the pepper. After the skin has been removed, the pepper is stuffed. Sometimes with cheese, sometimes ground beef and sometimes both and maybe a few other things. Some people even put rice in it, but that doesn’t happen often. Usually the variations I see are meats and veggies, I don’t see potatoes or grains. It’s definitely a good question to ask, if you aren’t sure, and something to look out for on the menu. After it’s stuffed, it’s fried. Hence the coating. Some people baked it, too. It should be worth noting that there are some places that will coat and fry the pepper, but the coating is a batter that can easily be peeled off. Usually I will order just one if I am curious, as they tend to be cheap and sometimes offered as a side. Then, I can see if it will peel of or if there is even a coating and I haven’t committed to a whole meal of them.
El Paso doesn’t coat their pepper. It’s just grilled and stuffed. I didn’t ask, but from the bubbling of the pepper, I would say it’s fried without the batter. It’s still supple, it’s stuffed perfectly and it tastes great! I can’t find a reason to complain about this Chile Relleno! Also, I’m to busy either stuffing my face or ordering more. 😉