The Hayes Zoo
- to know God and use our entire lives in service to Him.
- to stand in the gap through prayer, giving and service to viable ministries in Latin America.
- to be transparent helpers of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, using our resources and skills that through the Holy Spirit, we might encourage and equip those who have less.
- to share a living perspective from Latin America to our churches, friends and family in the states and beyond.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I. love. this. chili. Honestly we found them occasionally in the north of Mexico while we were in Madera and Chihuahua and I did the happy dance in the store whenever that happened. More common up there are the Chilacas. (Anaheims in English) While I love those chilies too - they tend to be more spicy with an edgy flavor. Great for Alan, Riley and I; hard on the girls.
So we come to the wonderful world of middle ground.
I found Poblanos first while we were in language school in Chihuahua. One of my teachers LOVED to cook so several of our classes took place in grocery stores - worked great for me because obviously, that's where I live some times too.
They have a really lovely mild flavor with all the chili taste but not as much of the heat. They are a rich dark evergreen color that just screams luxury. Except when they turn red. Then they beg to be eaten by people who want some heat along with their chili. I regularly have them in my fridge because they are a fabulous 'side' to anything we eat.
Chili Rellenos are a family favorite but they. are. so. much. work. I will admit that I have yet to make them since we got back to Mexico. BBBBBAAAAAADDDDDDDDDD wife. So I have a cheater recipe. Chili Rellenos for dummies if you will. I'll save that for another post after I actually *do* it so I can put up pictures. :)
Our other favorite 'side' is as follows - Rajas de Chili. Raja in Spanish, translates basically 'strips'....
First you roast your chilies. Any skillet will do but my comal makes them taste oh, so, fabulous. :) See that smoke? I always cook with smoke. It's a seasoning in our house....truly.
Now, when you're roasting REALLY spicy chilies, we've found at some point the air becomes quite thick with spice. We have been known to hang out outside during this process.
Can you see that RED chili there in the middle??? THAT one is gonna be Alan and mine. Spicy. Color isn't always an indicator but I could smell the spice on it before I started.
Now you can see them starting to turn. The outsides get all black and charred. This is a good thing.
Another 5 to 10 minutes rotating them to get all edges good and roasted. I've learned to pick chilies that are fairly symmetrical. I learned that the hard way as roasting a really funky shaped, folded over chili all the way usually involves finger burns.
When completely roasted; place in a plastic bag. You're going to steam those babies. Mmmm....
Now tuck in all the edges, flip the bag over and go do something else for a while. In my case this wound up being two days but I wouldn't recommend that.
Now the peeling process I didn't get a picture of. There wasn't a kiddo handy. Sorry. It's messy - vale la pena. (but it's worth it!) You basically just rub off the charred portion and are left with a lovely, albeit wilty looking chili. Then I just tear them into strips by hand. I am not a perfectionist in all things. You wind up with this...
From here you have a million and one options. Soups, salad toppings, straight; but I like to add grilled onions, garlic, and crema.
I served this particular epic event over lime soaked Tilapia. It was fabulous. The Tilapia was a bit too mild though so thank goodness we had that chili to add more flavor. Yum.
Everyone begged for more. Sweet success, thankyouverymuch Mr. Chili Poblano....
When you come to visit, know that your plate is all ready.