Chili Rellenos

6 poblano peppers

5 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese

1 tablespoon dried oregano

3 egg whites plus 1 egg yolk

olive oil, for frying

flour, for dredging
Prepare the peppers.
Char the peppers over the burner, turning with tongs, until blackened. Or char the peppers under the broiler.
Transfer peppers to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag and close.
Let stand 10 minutes. They will steam in the bag, making them soft and easy to peel.
Gently rub peppers with paper towels to remove as much skin as possible.
Using a knife, slit across the top of peppers below the stem, leaving the stem.
Slice lengthwise down to the tip of the peppers.
Open peppers and pull out seeds and inner membranes.
Repeat with the remaining peppers.
Prepare the sauce.
Puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender until smooth. Warm the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomato puree and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Make the filling.
Place the cheese in a bowl, then add the oregano, crumbling and rubbing it with your fingers to release its flavor. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
Stuff the peppers.
Fill each peppers with about 1/4 cup cheese mixture. Fold in the sides to cover the filling, then thread 2 toothpicks across the seam to form an X. You will probably need to make a second toothpick X to secure each peppers so the filling doesn't leak out when you fry.
Mix the batter.
Beat the egg whites with a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the egg yolk and beat 3 more minutes.
Batter and fry.
Heat about 1 inch vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 375 degrees F.
Dredge: Pour flour into dish and season with salt and pepper. One at a time, coat the stuffed peppers with the flour.
Batter: Holding each pepper by the stem, lower it into batter, cover completely. Let any excess drip off.
Fry: Add the peppers to the hot oil, 1 or 2 at a time; fry, flipping once with tongs, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
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