Too Many Chilies!

When i was in middle school, my mother would come home every so often from her teaching job with a grocery bag full to the brim of various peppers: a gift from another teacher with a garden.  Every year, in early september, the process would repeat where a gardener starts handing out mass quantities of a bumper crop to any passing stranger lucky enough to make eye contact with them…our “gift” was eggplants this year.

I also have a mound of green chilies, or poblanos.  I was pretty happy with this pepper, but randomly, some of them were incredibly hot, as in melt your face kind of heat!  I tried to use them as best i could: stuffing some with cheese, roasting, smoking, and drying others.  Be sure to wear gloves when handling hot peppers, so you don’t get the oils in your eye.  Ouch indeed!

When poblanos are dried, they are called anchos, and hopefully, will loose a bit of their heat.  I dried some in the sun and also borrowed a friend’s plug in dehydrator (18 hours).  You can grind them to make chili powder, or you can make harissa.  For smoking, i cut them in half, smoked them with some pecan wood for a few hours at 200 degrees, and then dried them for storage.  Hopefully, they will taste a bit like chipotles, though those are cold smoked for 24 hours.

For making chili rellenos, i first roasted them on the stove, evenly charring the skin, then putting them in a bowl covered with plastic wrap so they steam int heir own heat.  Once cooled, the skin sides right off (WEAR GLOVES!), and you can split them open to scoop out the seeds.  From here, you alternate layers of cheese, roasted chilies, and egg batter, finishing with a layer of cheese.  Cheesy, spicy goodness!  These roasted and peeled chilies also freeze very well if you find yourself with grocery bag of extras…

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About Ryan

Urban gardening at it's best (sometimes it's worst)! Adventures and learnings from going 100% lawn free in a D.C. row house.
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