Editor’s note; Valley News is pleased to announce our new dining column, Rosie’s Kitchen, featuring award-winning Chef Rosie O’Connor of Provecho Grill in Menifee. Twice a month Chef Rosie will address cooking questions sent in by Valley News readers. To send a question to Chef Rosie to be answered in a future column, send an email to email@example.com.
What kind of cheese, Chile peppers and sauce do you recommend when making Chile rellenos?
Martha and Dayle
Dear Martha and Dayle,
When I was growing up I would visit my Aunt Trini in Tijuana and she would make the best Chile Rellenos. Tia Trini stuffed them with Queso Fresco cheese which is slightly salty, mild and light in flavor. It is healthier than aged cheeses. She also used Poblano Chiles which are bolder in flavor than an Anaheim, Ortega or Bell pepper.
On the other hand, my father owns Guadalajara Grill in Temecula and Lake Elsinore, he makes his Chile Rellenos with Anaheim Chiles and stuffs them with Monterey Jack cheese. My dad’s Chile Rellenos are gooey, cheesy and delicious.
At Provecho Grill, we use Queso Fresco, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. The truth is I LOVE cheese. I prefer to use Poblano peppers because of their little hint of spice. As for the sauce, it is up to your taste preference. We use Ranchero Sauce like my dad taught me. However, I’m including a roasted tomato salsa recipe which is my personal favorite at home. I have seen other aficionados use green salsa or go naked (no salsa). It is truly up to you. Provecho!
How do you cook the various fish at Provecho to make it so perfectly seasoned/marinated, crispy on the outside yet moist and fluffy on the inside? My attempts always result in bland, dry or rubbery fillets that I still eat because they are healthy. Please help, Chef Rosie!
I remember being so intimidated by fish when I first started cooking. Because of my stubborn nature I dove right into it. Failure was not an option! I used my cooks as Guinea pigs and fed them rubbery soles for a couple of days. It was the sacrifice that I had to make to finally get it right. You are well on your way.
If we are talking about a 6 ounce portion of a white, flaky fish one trick I learned is to make sure that your fish is well dried. Dry it out a with a paper towel thoroughly. I enjoy giving it a little kick with Cajun spice, Bay seasoning or Lawry’s Lemon Pepper. If salt and pepper is all you have then go for it girl! Whatever you choose, make sure you season your fish on both sides though. Trick #2 Your pan with oil, butter or butter substitute should be hot. Otherwise it will stick and not cook properly. Trick #3 Always cook your fish skin side first. Leave it alone while its cooking. The fish will tell you when its ready to be turned over. If it sticks to your pan it’s not ready. Patience grasshopper. Trick #4 Your fish will give out an opaque color on the side that is cooking, once you turn it, give it a minute or two to cook. Pull it off the pan before it cooks to the middle. Don’t underestimate the power of “carry over cooking.” That’s when your fish continues to cook as you let it rest. That got me every time. I hope these tips help. Thanks for writing in.
Chef Rosie’s Roasted Salsa for dipping and Rellenos
- 1-pound Tomatoes
- 2-Chile serranoes
- 4-Garlic cloves, peeled
- 1-yellow or white Onion
- 2-oz. of chopped Cilantro
- A pinch of Oregano
- A pinch of cumin
- 1-oz. of Garlic salt
- A pinch of Pepper
- Salt to taste
- 2-oz. Canola oil
Cut the tomatoes and onions in quarters. Place them along with peeled garlic, 2 serrano pepper on a sheet tray and smother them with canola oil. Broil them for 10 minutes until they have reached a slightly dark roasted color. Blend the cooked ingredients and cilantro in a blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic salt, cumin and oregano to the finished product. Salsa Brava! Yields 3 cups
After graduating from the Art Institute of San Diego, Chef Rosie O’Connor opened Provecho Grill in Menifee, Ca in 2012 focusing on Mexican dishes with her own Latin twist. She has received many awards including So Cal Chef’s Pinnacle Award and Best Restaurant four years in a row. Provecho Grill is located at 26862 Cherry Hills Blvd, Menifee (951) 246-3200. Visit them online at www.provechogrill.com