If I’d only known, back in the 1960s that I had invented the jalapeño popper! I had no understanding back then of any difference between jalapeños and New Mexican green chiles. Here’s what I really intended to make on the fateful evening described above.

(Excerpted from Cheryl Alters Jamison’s article for TABLE Magazine, My Life in Five Dishes. Read her wonderful story…and, of course, try the recipes!)

Chiles Rellenos Recipe

Serves 6


8 oz grated Monterey Jack cheese
4 oz grated mild cheddar or Colby cheese
2 tsp dried Mexican oregano, marjoram, or epazote, optional
12 whole medium-large New Mexican chiles, roasted, peeled, and slit from end to end
4 large eggs
Approximately ¾ cup beer or club soda
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons yellow or white cornmeal
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Vegetable oil or canola oil for deep-frying
Green Chile Sauce (see below), warmed


  1. Make the filling. Combine the cheeses with the optional oregano. With your fingers, stuff each chile with cheese, filling them full but not too overflowing.
  2. Make the batter. Separate 2 of the eggs, placing egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until soft peaks form. In a large bowl, combine the 2 egg yolks, 2 eggs, ¾ cup beer, flour, cornmeal, and salt. The batter should seem pourable but thick enough to coat the chiles. If too thick, add more beer.
  3. To assemble: Heat 4 inches of oil in a large heavy pan to 350 degrees. Place a baking rack over a few thicknesses of paper towels within easy reach of the stovetop.
  4. Lay the first chile in the batter, seam-side up while spooning more batter over it. When evenly coated, pull it from the batter by its stem and let any excess batter drip back into the bowl. No cheese should show—the batter should be thick enough to seal the chile’s seam. Gently slip the chile into the oil and repeat with the remaining chiles, as you have room in the pan.
  5. Fry the chiles for 4-5 minutes, turning as needed to cook them evenly until golden and crispy. Drain the chiles on the baking rack.
  6. Transfer the chiles to a platter or individual plates and then top with green chile sauce. Alternatively, spoon the sauce onto the plates and arrange the chiles over it. Serve immediately.

Green Chile Sauce Recipe

Makes 4 cups


2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups mild to medium-hot fresh or frozen New Mexican green chiles, roasted and chopped
2 cups chicken stock
Salt to taste


  1. Warm 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or canola oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  
  2. Add ½-1 medium onion, chopped, and a clove or 2 of minced garlic, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.  
  3. Stir in 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour and cook for another couple of minutes. Mix in 2 cups of chopped roasted mild to medium-hot New Mexican green chile, fresh or thawed frozen. Immediately begin pouring in 2 cups of chicken stock and then bring to a boil.  
  4. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, adding salt to taste, until thickened but very pourable. Use warm or refrigerate for later use. 

Adapted from Tasting New Mexico, © 2012 Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

Recipe and Story by Cheryl Alters Jamison / Styling by Merrie O’Donnell and Keith Recker / Photography by Dave Bryce


Make all five recipes from Cheryl Alters Jamison’s Life in 5 Dishes at Home

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Wilted Lettuce Salad

Chile Rellenos

Morning Migas

Apple Pie


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