The fruits of the Julyvalanche
You’re swimming. Your head is above water. But the current is strong and is sweeping you downstream faster than you want to admit to yourself. You’re fatigued, but know that until you reach calmer waters, you need to keep paddling just to keep your head above water. So you just keep paddling.
This is what the weeks feel like now. I heard a farmer friend call it the Julyvalanche. Everything is happening now. At the end of each day, I think the end of the week will be a break in action—a moment to relax and breath, but when Sunday arrives, there are always still things to do—house to clean, okra to pick, laundry to wash. And then Monday whirls around again like a riptide and we’re off again.
I know the shore will come. It always does. We never actually drown. By now, we are intimate with the cycles of farm life. And now, well, now is the Julyvalanche.
The fruits of Julyvalanche make the chaos worth it. For out of the chaos comes my favorite food: peppers. Peppers of all kinds. Sweet, hot, tangy, not. The chiles tend to be less hot at the beginning of their season (now), which means it's the perfect time for Poblanos Chiles Rellenos!
Poblano Chiles Rellenos
The filling can be improvised with whatever you have on hand. We always stuff them with cheese and whatever we find--often I put chopped sweet peppers in the cheese, whole corn kernels, but I've been told that they are excellent stuffed with mashed potatoes.
4 medium poblanos, roasted and peeled
2 oz sharp cheddar cheese or Mexican melting cheese (we also really enjoy Fontina cheese for this application)
2 oz soft, mild goat cheese, at room temperature (if I don't have this on hand, I just use the fontina cheese alone)
1/2 cup drained hominy, coarsely chopped (or fresh sweet corn kernels cut from the cob)
3 cups peanut oil or corn oil
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 TBS water
3 TBS unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
Cut a vertical slit in one side of each chile and, with a fingertip, scrape out as many seeds as possible without tearing the chile. In a small bowl, stir together the cheddar cheese, goat cheese, and hominy (or other ingredients you choose). Stuff one-quarter of the cheese mixture carefully into each chile. Gently press the slits closed.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, separate the eggs, transferring the whites to a medium mixing bowl and the yolks to a wide shallow bowl. Whisk the egg yolks and water together. Whisk in the flour and salt. With a clean whisk or beater, whip the egg white to soft peaks. Thoroughly stir one-third of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites; do not overmix.
Dip a chile into the batter, coating it thoroughly. With a pancake turner, carefully lower the chile, slit side up, into the hot oil. Immediately baste the upper side of the chile with hot oil (this seals the slit and prevents melted cheese from oozing out). Repeat with the remaining chiles.
Recipe from Chiles by W. Park. Kerr