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Dec 25, 2012

Cotija and Peanut Butter Jalapeno Rellenos

This is a go-to tv-snack (or superbowl party offering) that I have been making for years. It is so, so, easy to make, and all you really need are some fresh jalapenos and a jar of peanut butter (you don’t have to make the cheese ones, in fact the peanut ones are my favorite).

I have totally stolen this from El Parador Mexican restaurant in Murray Hill. I lived next door to this restaurant for almost two years before ever setting foot in it, which sounds silly, but it actually is a pretty non-descript place with no windows, no sign, just a red awning out front. From what I understand, El Parador is one of the city’s oldest and best Mexican restaurants, and they really do serve Mexican Mexican food, you know? I have never seen this type of jalapeno relleno anywhere else, and I assume that is because it’s SUPER authentic.

I know the photos may be confusing because my cheese is orange. About that. I looked up El Parador’s menu and they say they are stuffed with anejo cheese. My Mexican grocery store didn’t have anejo cheese, but they had something that was called enchilado cheese. I googled enchilado cheese and found out that another common name for anejo cheese in “anejo enchilado cheese”. Hmmm… so… I figured, this cotija-like looking wheel of cheese rolled in bright red paprika mush be the anejo cheese that the menu speaks of.

I decided after making the rellenos that…I clearly don’t know what anejo cheese or enchilado cheese are. But, I do know that cotija cheese has always been much, much better in the recipe, so, ignore the photos, and use crumbled cotija (or anejo, if you know what that is).


• 12 jalapenos
• ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese
• ¼ cup all natural chunky peanut butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit.

Slit jalapenos down middle on top side only and make small perpendicular cut at the base. Carefully cleaned out seeds from the cavity using the tip of a paring knife, taking care not to cut the jalapeno in half (the key is you want only one long slit down the top of the pepper so that filling can be stuffed in but not escape from the bottom.)

Blanch jalapenos in boiling water for two minutes. Remove peppers and dry thoroughly. Fill six of the jalapenos with cotija and the remaining six with peanut butter. Arrange on baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.