Stovetop Diplomat

Chile Relleno Soufflé

Chile Relleno Soufflé

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A fusion of the absolute best of both worlds, this Chile Relleno Soufflé is light and airy; but rich, cheesy and oh-so-decadent!

We are in the throes of Hatch green chile season and it’s hard for me not to use them in everything I make. Not that I’m trying that hard to resist. Several of my most favorite recipes – Denver Green Chile, New Mexico Style Green Chile -are Hatch green chile based. But I’ve gotta say – I’m pretty proud of this unique creation. I am going to go ahead and declare it one of my best accomplishments here at Stovetop Diplomat!

This recipe was actually born from my mom’s recent idea to bake chile rellenos instead of frying them. This proved to be a fruitful and better-than-anticipated idea. And at its core, that’s really what this recipe is: baked chile rellenos. But in the course of experimenting with the recipe, I made some style changes that I believe elevate this dish to the best it can be. Let me make the disclaimer to the soufflé purists out there: between the two dishes that this recipe fuses together – chile rellenos and soufflé – my background is decidedly in chile rellenos.

First, I landed on layering the peppers as the base of this dish as opposed to battering them. This saves you from having to dip the chiles in the egg batter (the hardest part of making normal chile rellenos) and makes a nice base for the souffle to grow from.

Second, I added a small béchamel sauce, which also gives the egg whites a base to grow from. This is the major change that breaks away from simply baking chile rellenos and turns this recipe into more of a soufflé. Stirring the egg yolks into the cheesy béchamel sauce is what makes the soufflé  such a rich and rewarding dish while still remaining light and fluffy.

Preparing Hatch green chiles for chile rellenos is easy to do, but tough to describe. I made this little visual guide to help you out.

four-photo-visual-guide-how-to-slice-and-stuff-Hatch-green-chiles-for-chiles-rellenos

Properly handling the eggs is the key to success in both chile rellenos and soufflé. Before beating your eggs, make sure they are ROOM TEMPERATURE! Eggs that are too cold will never form the stiff peaks you’re looking for. I also advise making sure your bowl isn’t cold either- I’ve gotten screwed that way too. The other advice for getting the most height out of your eggs is to be super precise with your separations! Don’t let any (and I mean any!) yolk get into the whites. The fat from the yolks will do everything in its power to prevent the proteins in the whites from forming peaks.

You’re probably going to beat your egg whites for about five straight minutes (unless you have a stand mixer- that’ll take you closer to 2 or 3 at speed 10).  You want to add as much air and get as much height out of them as you possibly can. The rule of thumb I always use for chile rellenos is that you want your egg whites so stiff that you can turn the bowl upside down and they don’t fall out. Not sure if they’re there yet? Keep beating!

I experimented with a few different dishes in which to bake this Chile Relleno Soufflé with mixed results. Ultimately, while I don’t have a souffle dish per se, the winner was the round dish with the straight, perpendicular sides- essentially the same thing. The sides really help it retain its shape and texture. The second best option was a pie pan, which will give you just about the same texture, although not as much height. I would use either of these options before I used the other pan I tried, a square or rectangular baking dish. Square shapes are the enemy of souffle success!

side-view-chile-relleno-souffle-bake-in-round-dish-served-for-brunch

Looking for other great recipes to use up leftover Hatch green chiles? Try my Denver Green Chile, New Mexico Style Green Chile, Hatch Chile Horsey Sauce and Colorado Salsa recipes!

Chile Relleno Soufflé

A fusion of the absolute best of both worlds, this Chile Relleno Soufflé is light and airy; but rich, cheesy and oh-so-decadent!

Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American Southwest
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 4 oz block sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 roasted, peeled Hatch green chiles
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp (16 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (420 mL) whole milk
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup (25 g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Slice block of cheddar cheese into slices, about 1/8" thick

  2. Grease a soufflé dish or glass pie pan. Decide how many chiles you will need by arranging them in the bottom. Lay each of your roasted, peeled Hatch green chiles flat on a cutting board. Cut the stems off the top and remove the pith and seeds.

  3. Slice down the right side of each chile, leaving the left side intact, and open each one. See the visual reference above for help.

  4. Arrange sliced cheese on one side of each chile. Fold the other side of the chile over the cheese. Place them in the bottom of the baking dish in as uniform a layer as possible. Set aside.

  5. Preheat oven to 375.

  6. Separate your eggs; put the whites in a medium mixing bowl and the yellows in any small / shallow bowl. Give the yellows a quick whisk with a fork. If your eggs aren't room temperature now, make sure they are when you begin to beat the egg whites later - whites that are too cold will never form the big, airy peaks you're looking for.

  7. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter. Wait for it to stop foaming, and then sprinkle in all-purpose flour. Cook together, stirring often, for a minute or so or until raw flour smell dissipates.

  8. Pour milk into the pan in a slow, even stream, stirring constantly. Add salt, garlic powder and cumin. Let simmer until thickened, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese and egg yolks. Let cool.

  9. Add cream of tartar to room temperature egg whites. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat egg whites until very stiff peaks form - 3 to 5 minutes. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to turn your bowl upside down without the egg whites falling out!

  10. Using as few motions as possible, fold cheese sauce into the egg whites until fully incorporated. Spread evenly over the top of your stuffed chiles, again using as few motions as possible.

  11. Bake for 30-33 minutes or until no longer moving in the middle. Don't open the oven until at least 25 minutes have gone by!

  12. Remove from oven and cut into quarters. Serve immediately.

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