Inspired by the Mexican chili relleno, pimientoes are roasted, skinned, stuffed with spicy cheese, coated in bread crumbs and fried. Cheese-stuffed pimiento goes well with cocktail drinks.
- 6 pimientoes
- 2 bird’s eye chilies
- 12 stalks scallions
- 1 red onion
- 100 grams cheese I used Colby but you can use any variety that melts well
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- ¼ to ⅓ cup panko
- 2 cups cooking oil for frying
- chunky tomato sauce for dipping
Prepare the pimientoes
- Roast the pimientoes directly over fire until the skins are black.
- Turn them over every half minute or so so that the skins char as evenly as possible.
- Place the hot roasted peppers in a container with an airtight lid (a resealable plastic bag will do as well).
- Cover and allow to steam for anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. This process makes the peppers blister so that the skins separate from the flesh.
Prepare the stuffing
- Finely slice the onion leaves.
- Finely chop the bird’s eye chilies and red onion.
- Grate the cheese.
- Place the cheese, onion leaves, onion and chilies in a bowl. Season with some salt and pepper. Toss to distribute the ingredients evenly.
Stuff the pimientoes
- Take the pimientoes out of the container and peel off the skins.
- Using a sharp pointed knife, slit one side of the pimiento.
- Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds and membranes. Do it delicately as the flesh of the pimientoes are already soft and they tear easily.
- Stuff the peppers with the cheese filling. I did this by hand, pushing small amount of stuffing into each pepper little by little.
Fry the cheese-stuffed pimientoes
- Start heating the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Create your assembly line. Place the flour on a plate. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Pour the panko on another plate. Place all three — flour, egg and panko — side by side.
- Holding the stuffed pepper by the stem, dredge in flour, shaking off the excess.
- Dip the floured pepper in the beaten egg, making sure that every inch of the surface is coated.
- Roll the pepper in panko, again making sure that every inch of the surface is coated.
- Fry the stuffed and breaded pimientoes in hot oil (see notes after the recipe), no more than three or four at a time to prevent the temperature of the oil from dropping too much.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the fried pimientoes and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels or napkins.
- Serve the very hot cheese-stuffed pimientoes a la chili relleno with chunky tomato sauce on the side.
Test the temperature of the oil by dropping in a small piece of bread. If the bread turns dark brown in less than five seconds, the oil is too hot. The temperature you want is where the bread turns a golden brown in about 10 seconds (no, I don’t use a thermometer). During frying, roll the pimientoes carefully in the hot oil for even browning. This entire process should take about 30 seconds. If the frying takes too long, the cheese will melt too much and ooze out of the pimientoes. That’s why it is important to fry the pimientoes at the correct temperature.
If you cooked this dish (or made this drink) and you want to share your masterpiece, please use your own photos and write the cooking steps in your own words.