Searching for fresh potato chip flavors in 2020, Lay’s chose Cocina Azul’s chiles rellenos as one of five iconic restaurant dishes across the country to inspire a limited-edition chip. But locals have long known about this delicious dish. While Cocina Azul famously serves three topping choices—brisket, carne adovada, and creamy chicken—feel free to smother yours with red or green chile, or any other favorite toppings.

  • About 1 ½ cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6 poblanos or fresh green chiles, roasted and peeled
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup soda water
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon flour, divided
  • A few tablespoons or more olive or vegetable oil, for frying

Serves 2–3 (Makes 6 rellenos)

  1. Mix cheese and onion together in a medium bowl.
  2. Cut a 2-inch slit from the upper to middle section of each chile pod. Try to remove as many seeds as you can while keeping the opening as small as possible. Carefully fill each chile with the cheese-and-onion mixture through the opening.
  3. Separate your eggs, putting the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and setting aside the yolks in a smaller bowl. Beat the egg whites using a mixer until peaks form. Then add salt and 1 tablespoon flour to the reserved egg yolks. Whisk the yolk mixture until it forms a thick yellow paste. Then stir the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Add soda water and mix well to make the batter.
  4. Now put ½ cup of flour in a shallow dish. Place the stuffed chiles, the flour, and the batter next to your stove, forming an assembly line.
  5. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add olive or vegetable oil to coat the bottom. Once the pan is hot, take a stuffed chile and dip it first in the flour, then into the batter, making sure it’s covered on all sides. Then carefully place it in the frying pan. Cook 3-4 minutes on one side until golden brown, then flip it over and cook 3-4 minutes more, until both sides are golden brown. You may need to add more oil to the pan as you cook all the chiles. Serve immediately.

This recipe originally appeared in Reinventing the Relleno by Lynn Cline.