Restaurant News & Reviews

Recipe: Edward Espe Brown's Chili Rellenos Soufflé

This soufflé is good served with a fresh spicy salsa, or a red chili sauce.

The soufflé itself is elegantly simple. Of all our soufflé dishes, this one works time and time again. The soufflé is aromatic with a reddish-golden hue. And the cheese-stuffed chilies hidden on the bottom make a delightful surprise.

Makes: 4 servings


For the chilies:

  • 6 large fresh or canned poblano (green) chilies
  • 1-1/2 to 2 cups coarsely grated Monterey Jack, cheddar, or mozzarella cheese

For the soufflé:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup minced green onions, both green and white parts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk or light cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack, cheddar, or mozzarella cheese
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, oregano)
  • Red chili sauce (recipes for several are included in the cookbook, or try Dark Tomato Sauce with Chili Negro and Cocoa)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roast the fresh chilies directly over a flame until the skin is completely charred. (The canned chiles are ready to be stuffed.) Put them in a covered bowl (or jar with lid) to steam for 15 minutes, then remove the skin, rinse, and blot dry. (If you are using canned chilies, rinse them well in several changes of water, then dry.) Pull out the seeds by removing the stem with small knife and pulling the seed cluster free. Stuff the chilies loosely with the cheese, then lay them side by side in a buttered 2-quart casserole.

2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and cook the green onions over a low heat until they are soft. Add the salt, paprika, chili powder, and flour.

3. Continue to cook over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk in the milk gradually and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the cheese. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl, and gradually whisk in a cup or so of the sauce to warm them. Then return the egg mixture to the sauce and stir until blended. Taste and adjust with extra salt or chili powder if required.

4. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Then, fold them into the sauce along with the fresh herbs. Pour the mixture over the chilies and bake until the soufflé is puffed and nearly set, about 40 minutes. Serve immediately — accompanied with one of the red sauces.

— Edward Espe Brown, “The Complete Tassajara Cookbook: Recipes, Techniques, and Reflections from the Famed Zen Kitchen”