Vegan Chili Relleno

I love Chili Rellenos but feel sad that vegans can’t enjoy the same thing I am. I came up with a delicious alternate that I teach in my cooking school. It’s made with aquafaba whipped into what resembles egg whites. Then I make a batter with a little flour (of your choice) and mix with turmeric for a eggy color. Serves 4

4 large Pasilla peppers

2 cups Shredded vegan jack cheese

All purpose flour, for dusting the peppers

1 can garbanzo beans drained, liquid reserved

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup flour, for batter

3 cups red sauce 

Oil for frying

Fire roast the peppers directly on a gas flame or in the oven on a high temperature, turning as needed until all the skin have blistered. Or, you can place the peppers under the broiler on high for 15-20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Once roasted, place in paper bag until cooled.

When cooled, remove the blistered skins from peppers. Using a small knife, slice a T shape below the base of the pepper and carefully remove as much of the seeds and membranes from inside. Try you best not to tear the peppers too much.

Take your shredded vegan cheese, about 5 to 6 tablespoons and using your hands, shape it into a cigar shape so it fits nicely into your roasted peppers. If there are any gaps, fill them in with more cheese. Close the peppers as well as you can so none of the cheese is showing. Use a toothpick to close them up so nothing leaks out with cooking.

Place the filled peppers on a plate lined with parchment paper and refrigerate 1 hour.

When ready, in a deep skillet, preheat 2 cups of oil at medium heat until temperature reaches 350-360 degrees F.

Remove chiles from the refrigerator and let sit for 5 minutes before dusting them with flour, making sure all the surface is cover. Shake off excess flour and set aside.

Add the garbanzo liquid to a stand mixing bowl or with a hand mixer, beat the garbanzo liquid until stiff peaks form, approximately 5 minutes. Slowly fold into the meringue the flour, salt, turmeric and mix until incorporated. Try not to over agitate the mixture. The mixture will deflate this is normal. However it will still give you a nice coating.

Coat each prepared pepper with a coating of the batter, making sure it’s even all around. Use a spoon to help you cover the with batter. Carefully transfer to pan with preheated oil. Dip the second peppers and carefully place next to the other one. After a 2 minutes, gently ladle some of the hot oil over the tops of peppers. After another minute, carefully turn the peppers over. Fry for another 3 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve by adding warm Mexican red chili sauce onto plate, top with more sauce and some of the remaining cheese. Serve with rice and beans.

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