12 anaheim chiles
1/2 lb monterey jack cheese, grated
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c flour (for dredging)
1/2 tsp Emeril’s Essence
3/4 to 1 c beer
2 c flour
pinch of baking powder
salt and pepper
oil for deep fat frying
Hold the chiles over a hot oven burner, turning, until the skins begin to blister. Remove the skins, leaving the stem intact. Combine the grated cheese and the cream cheese for the relleno filling. Slice down one side of each chile, leaving the stem and tip intact, and carefully stuff the chile with the cheese, closing the chile back up with the filling inside. Do not overstuff the chile. You should be able to press the chile closed without losing any of the filling. The chiles can be prepared in this way up to a day ahead of frying, just cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to cook.
When ready to fry: Heat the oil for frying. It should be seven or eight degrees above the deep frying temperature on the thermometer when ready, because when the food first goes in, the temperature of the oil will drop, and this way it will drop to the correct frying temperature. While the oil is heating, make the batter. Put one cup of the flour in a gallon- size ziploc bag, and season with 1/2 tsp Emeril’s Essence. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with 3/4 c of the beer, then add the 2 c of the flour, 1/2 c at a time, until the batter reaches pancake batter consistency. You might have to add the last 1/2 c a tablespoon or two at a time. Sir in the remaining 1/4 beer if needed to thin the batter. Stir in the baking powder and season with salt and pepper.
When the oil is heated to the proper temperature, put the prepared chiles in the ziploc bag and shake to coat evenly. Take one out at a time and dip in the batter, letting the excess drip off but coating the chile completely. Gently lay the chiles in the hot oil, 2 or 3 at a time, and fry until golden brown, turning to cook evenly. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper- lined plate or rack. Allow the oil to return to temperature before frying the next 2 or 3 chiles. Eat while hot!
Gluten restrictions: use gluten- free flour for dredging and for making the beer batter. Use Redbridge Sorghum Beer, a gluten- free beer, for making the beer batter. I made these with gluten- free flour and sorghum beer on 09/27/07, and they turned out great. Next time I will have the batter even a little thinner.