Chile Rellenos that went horribly wrong

It’s taken me almost a week to write this.

[Insert overly dramatic tone for the remainder of this post.]

There are nearly three hours of my life that I can’t get back. Wasted to the devastation that was Queen of Quirky’s attempt at Chile Rellenos.

Hindsight bias is 20/20.

I should have followed a good recipe for chile rellenos. I should not have read said recipe and others and thought, I can totally adapt from these and make my own spectacular chile rellenos.

Because despite Fry Fest, I am a horrible fryer.

Here’s what happened.


I started off strong…thrilled to use my new gas stove to char my fresh poblano peppers.

I placed all four of them in a paper bag to steam and cool.

I carefully peeled the charred skin off each delicate little pepper.

For some reason, it was that part that made me the most nervous.


Then, I threw shalots, corn and black beans in a frying pan with some olive oil, cumin and salt & pepper, warming all the ingredients.

I had already shredded Monterrey Jack cheese and crumbled some fresh Mexican queso into a big bowl.

I was ready for the stuffing part.

Things were going so well.

IMG_1056These were going to taste so good – filled with yummy cheese, beans and corn. How could anything go wrong?

QoQ meet batter. Batter is not your friend.

I’ll admit that I tried to use my own recipe using corn meal, flour, beer, salt and eggs. Batter fail.

Everything that could go wrong began to go wrong when I started frying.

They didn’t keep their shape when I tried to cover them with batter. The oil wasn’t the right temp in my cast iron skillet and they fell apart. The batter tasted bad. Do I have to go on? It’s really embarrassing.

IMG_1057_edited-1Here they are. Miserable little suckers.

Notice there are only three? Oh you did, did you?

Yeah, see one had a blow out in the oil and I had to scoop what was left of it out and toss it.

Want to further criticize them? Ok, I’ll play too…they didn’t brown up. They didn’t hold their shape. They look gross. Tasted pretty much how they look. Total and utter fail.

IMG_1059Luckily.  (And I think I’m a pretty special person for this)

I had this guy. This amazing guy. Who swept in after it was all over and I was sulking on the couch with a margarita wondering if I would ever cook again.

“Get outa here,” he said.

And he made it all. go. away.

(Well, most of it. I found batter spatters in my stove a few days later. )

Ok, and on the wall. I said it. Are you happy now?


After spending a few days pouting and retelling the story slightly more dramatically to any of my friends who cared to listen, I decided that I can’t  be the only one who has ever ruined a perfectly good dish. So I put a tweet out there asking “am I alone?”

Austin foodie @ATXfoodnews wrote: I once unknowingly used mildewed banana leaves 2 bake cochinita pibil. My apt smelled like wet dirty dog 4 weeks. Inedible mess.

She added: I’m surprised my landlord (lived below me) didn’t complain. Truly stinky.

@AmandaMichelleM wrote I once made soap minestrone soup! Didn’t wash all the soap off my pot before spending 2 hours cooking the soup! Tasted terrible!

Ahhhh….relief. I was feeling better already. Then, a running buddy of mine wrote a comment on this post saying:

Didn’t really ruin the recipe but I caught the tip of an oven mitt on fire while making BBQ tofu and carrot fries. I was so concerned when I was checking the tofu baking and all of a sudden noticed that the tip of my oven mitt was aflame! Oops! Probably one of the few times when the smoke alarm did not indicate a charred dinner.

Again, relief. Because lord knows, I have caught  items in my kitchen on fire too. 

The moral is: Everyone fails at cooking every once in a while.


I should never be left to my own devices when it comes to frying.

Please share your stories in the comments…




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11 responses to “Chile Rellenos that went horribly wrong

  1. Oh no!! Yea… I think maybe the corn meal was too much for the batter. You want something pretty light that browns nicely.

    That filling sounds great actually. I’m shocked that it didn’t turn out well!

    Well, you’re definitely right that we all have failures… happens to the best of them. 😉


  2. My one and only time making chile rellanos was so bad. The poblanos were freakishly hot, like a habanero, as I was peeling them (barehanded) my hands turned deep red. Totally burned my skin. I spent the rest of the night drinking tequila through a straw with my hands in a bowl of milk, bleach and water trying to reduce the burn. Couldn’t use the pc for 2 days, let alone take out my contacts!! If I want a chile rellano, I’ll order one at a restaurant.

  3. bill s.

    Once grabbed a pork cutlet I was panfrying with tongs to flip it over, lifted it high above the pan, drop it from a foot or two over said pan, luckily had it land back in the pan, unluckily had it splash hot oil up all over my cheek as I leaned in trying to catch it. Wiped said hot oil across cheek using a dish towel, which streaked, not absorded, oil spreading it across my face.

    Ruined dinner, mostly because I didn’t get to eat it since I had to make a trip to ER. Got the additional bonus of a week of wearing silverish-white burn cream spackled across my face to ease the pain, but not the embarrassment.

    I still have yet to settle the score, either with frying or pork cutlets!

  4. janer

    Okay, I don’t cook that much so I don’t have a story, but I have to confess a giggle forced its way through my lips when I saw the picture of the, er, finished dish.

    Sorry, can’t help it. Still giggling.

    I’d better start branching out with my cooking so I can share a story.

  5. Amy

    You know I do more baking than cooking. Once, I forgot to put baking soda in the banana nut bread I baked. The banana nut brick that came out of the oven was awful and discolored. I definitely have my share of kitchen screw-ups. (I also used to habitually set the smoke detector off in my old apt. by making grilled cheese sandwiches…) Anyway, you have excellent cooking skills. Don’t fret.

  6. Pingback: 2009: The year of discovering my inner culinary goddess « Queen of Quirky

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