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Chile rellenos

noun | encyclopedia/cuisine
Pronounced: \chee-leh re-ye-noh\ | IPA: /tʃi lɛ rɛˈyɛ nɔ/

Definition of chile rellenos

literally “filled/stuffed chile” in Spanish. New Mexican and Mexican; a dish consisting of a fried egg-battered pepper stuffed with cheese. As with most comfort foods with regional variations, this usually gives an insight into local food traditions.


Examples of chile rellenos

New Mexico’s variation of this dish consists of a fried egg-battered New Mexican chile pepper, stuffed with asadero, cotija, and/or Tucumcari Cheese; green chile cheddar, green chile jack, feta, asadero, muenster, white cheddar, mild yellow cheddar, asiago, and/or monterey jack.

Origin of chile rellenos

Many myths and legends surround the origin of this dish. Nuns, from the Mexican state of Puebla, are credited with creating chile en nogada. Agustin de Iturbide, a leader that helped rid Mexico of the European grip of the Spanish army, rested in Puebla on the day of his patron saint, San Agustin. Since the celebration was being held at the local convent, he was able to partake of the chile rellenos the nuns had created. He had been heading home after the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba granting Mexico independence from Spain. Chile en nogada is a chile rellno topped with nogada (a white walnut-based cream sauce), dotted with chopped green parsley and red pomegranate seeds, the colors of the Mexican flag.


First Known Use: 17th century