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Chile relleno de picadillo

Chiles rellenos de picadillo from La Flor de Oaxaca in Mexico.

What: Chiles rellenos, or stuffed chile peppers (usually poblanos, since the dish originated in the state of Puebla), are popular all over Mexico, typically stuffed with cheese (and sometimes meat), coated with egg batter, fried, and served in a tomato-based sauce. In Oaxaca, you’ll find chiles rellenos de picadillo, with the latter word referring to the minced meat—spiced pork, chicken, or beef—that is more commonly the stuffing. Since Oaxaca’s home to so many types of chiles, you never know which one you’ll get.

Where: We loved this dish at La Flor de Oaxaca (951-516-5522; Armento y Lopez 311, map), where the spicy, light-green chile de agua was filled with minced pork, onion, garlic, and parsley before being fried with a light egg batter, topped with cooked onion, and served in a tomato sauce, with a side of refried black beans. Deeply satisfying, with a good kick and a lovely mix of textures.

When: Daily, 7:30am-10pm

Order: The chiles rellenos de picadillo (2 for 95p) make a great main course preceded by the queso en salsa and ensalada de nopales.

Alternatively: We saw this on the menu at many market stalls, including Fonda Florecita (no. 37) in Mercado de la Merced (Insurgentes betw. Murguía and Morelos, map) and Comedor Candita at Mercado 20 de Noviembre (20 de Noviembre at Rayón, map), where it cost 40p. The excellent La Olla (Reforma 402, map) cafe uses chiles de agua and shredded chicken (90p), while the Casa de la Abuela (951-516-3544; Hidalgo 616, map) offers it with red pasilla chiles and sides of rice, beans, and guacamole (110p). Note how wildly prices vary depending on where you’re eating!


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