A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 29, 2006
Chile Relleno

Chile relleno ("chiles rellenos” is the plural, but it’s sometimes incorrectly given as “chile rellenos;” there’s also “chili relleno” and “chili rellenos” and “chilis rellenos") is simply Mexican stuffed green peppers. The dish is cited in English in 1865 in the story “Tricked by a Texan Ranger.”


Cooks.com
CHILE RELLENOS
8 fresh green chilies
Jack cheese
4 eggs, separated
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Oil

Broil or roast until skins blister, wrap in tea towel for 10 minutes to sweat the skins loose. Remove skins and open pepper on one side. Remove seeds but do not remove stems. Fill center with strips of cheese. Mix flour, salt and roll peppers in the mixture; set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff, add 2 teaspoons of flour mixture to 3 unbeaten egg yolks and fold into whites gently. Hold by stem and dip into egg batter. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
relleno, n.
[Sp., lit. ‘stuffed’.]
A chile relleno or Mexican stuffed green pepper: see *CHILLI n. 2. Chiefly pl.
1906 M. SOUTHWORTH 101 Mexican Dishes 36 Rellenos. Grind fine a pound of well-cooked veal and add to it a Spanish sausage (chorizo), a half-cupful, each, of seedless raisins and blanched almonds… Broil sweet Mexican green peppers… Serve with tomato sauce.
(...)
chilli, n.
chiles rellenos n. pl. orig. U.S. [Mexican Sp.: relleno = filled, stuffed], Mexican stuffed green peppers, esp. fried in batter; also in sing.; cf. *RELLENO n.
1929 P. KLEEMANN Ramona’s Sp.-Mex. Cookery 96 Stuffed Peppers a la Mexicana (Chiles Rellenos) No. 1. 6 large long chile peppers. 1 lb. diced white cream cheese.

March 1865, Dollar Monthly Magazine, “Tricked by a Texan Ranger” by Godfrey Turner, pg.216:
There were ham and eggs and a ham omelette, a chicken fricase, a dish of chile rilleno, another of chile colorado, plenty of good claret to wash down the peppers, and after that a cup of the coffee that only Spaniards make.

Guatemala: The Land of the Quetzal
by William T. Brigham
New York:  Charles Scribner’s Sons
1887
Gainesville: University of Florida Press
1965 reprint
Pg. 366: 
Tomatoes grow everywhere, and are of great importance in the kitchen, next to the universal chile (Capsicum annuum).  Peppers of other kinds are used, especially a large green one which is stuffed with minced meat coated with egg and crumbs and served as Chile relleno

Practical Guide to the City and Valley of Mexico
by Emil Riedel
City of Mexico: I. Epstein
1892
Pg. 112:
Chalupas—sandwiches
Chille (relleno)—red pepper (filled)
Enchiladas or envueltos—Mexican peppered rolls of corn bread

July 1895, Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine, pg. 101:
“And, papa, there is my fruit cake, my beautiful fruit cake, and Dolores will make some tortillas, and if you give her time, chiles rellenos, and --”

November 1895, Land of Sunshine, “Some Mexican Recpies,” pages 275-277:
(Sopa de arroz seca, chiles rellenos de picadillo, tortillas, frijoles, buneuelos, merienda, tamales, guiso, sweet tamales, Mexican stuffing for turkey, chile sauce, candied peaches—ed.)

The El Paso Cook Book
Compiled by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Y.M.C.A.
El Paso, Texas
Herald News Co., El Paso, Printers
1898
Pg. 155:
CHILE CON CARNE…
CHILES RELLENOS DE QUESO--GREEN PEPPERS FILLED WITH CHEESE…
CHILES RELLENOS DE CARNE--GREEN PEPPERS FILLED WITH CHOPPED MEAT…

22 May 1902, Los Angeles Times, “Seventy Recipes for the Spanish Dishes,” pg. A5:
No. 3—CHILES RELLENOS.
(Recipe in Spanish—ed.)

13 August 1904, Chicago Daily Tribune, “Household Hints” by Ada M. Krecker, pg. 7:
CHILES RELLENOS CON QUESO (Stuffed peppers with cheese).—Toast large green peppers over the fire, then dash into cold water and remove outer skin, open carefully from the top, take out the seeds and veins and lay in cold water. Use one-third onion chopped fine and two-thirds mild cheese chopped fine; dress this with olive oil, vinegar, a pinch of marjoram, and a few olives. Fill the peppers with this mixture, lay in a baking pan, pour on a batter made of four eggs beaten lightly, half cup flour, one teaspoon baking powder. Make as many layers as you like; bake about thirty minutes.

Another kind of chiles rellenos is stuffed with minced meat of any variety, with raisins added if desired, and fried with a little butter till brown.

How We Cook in El Paso
tested recipes compiled by the
Ladies of the Robert E. Lee Chapter,
U. D. C.
El Paso, Texas
1909
Pg. 79:
CHILIS RELLENOS

12 December 1937, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Food and Drink in Mexico,” section 5, pg. 4:
The next course may consist of chiles rellenos, the big sweet peppers, stuffed and baked—a dish fit for a King or dictator.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Friday, December 29, 2006 • Permalink