Start-to-finish: 1 hour, 35 minutes. Makes 8 chiles rellenos
2 medium white onions, diced
3 tablespoons lard, bacon grease or butter
2 28-ounce cans tomatoes with juice, undrained and pureed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
8 poblano peppers, peeled and seeds removed *
1 pound Monterey jack cheese, shredded
Vegetable oil (for pan frying)
6 large cold eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour, plus extra for dredging
cilantro to garnish
For the broth, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, brown onions in lard, bacon grease or butter.
Add tomatoes, cinnamon and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook briskly until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Add stock and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, stuff chiles with cheese and set aside.
For the batter, beat egg whites to stiff peaks with salt, and beat in yolks 2 at a time until well incorporated. Beat in 2 tablespoons flour just until combined.
To fry the chiles, pour about an inch of oil into a large frying pan and heat oil to 350 F.
Dust chiles with flour and dip quickly into batter. Lay 3-4 chiles at a time in hot oil. While one side is cooking, baste the other side with hot oil. When chiles are golden on bottom, about 2 minutes, turn over and cook other side.
Remove with a spatula and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Once all chiles have cooled at least 5 minutes (they can sit up to 1 hour), place on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake at 400 F for 15 minutes.
To serve, place a pool of sauce in a bowl and top with a chile and cilantro.
*To peel poblano peppers, spray each pepper with cooking spray. Place on foil lined baking sheet and broil on HI for 3-5 minutes on each side, until skin is dark and bubbly. Remove from oven and place in a bowl. Cover bowl with towel and let rest for 15 minutes. The skins will be easy to peel off. Cut around the cap using a small knife and remove cap and seeds. This can be done 1-2 days in advance.