Thursday, July 8, 2010
Cha Cha Chiles!! Stuffed Pablano Chilies with Goat Cheese and Sausage
When we were young, my dad always planted a whole bunch of different kinds of hot peppers, and he encouraged us to EAT THEM!!! until tears rolled down our faces. Since then, I am a lover of hot sauce and all things hot and spicy, although I save the scotch bonnets and Vindaloo for my brother, John. He carries on Dad’s pepper loving tradition, growing the hottest peppers he can, and canning delicious salsa every summer.
When Pablano Chilies are dried, they are called ancho chilies, which means wide pepper in Spanish. When they dry, they become wide and heart shaped <3 I like that. The heat of the pepper is in the membranes and seeds, so if you want them less hot, make sure to take all of them out. I advise you to use kitchen gloves when working with any chili, to avoid burning reactions with your eyes or other mucus membranes.
This recipe is really easy, and you can modify it to fit what you find in your local market, and to your personal eating style. It’s easy to veganize. You could use any type of pepper you prefer, but I like Pablanos, because they are spacious and easy to stuff. Any type of soft cheese, or non-dairy cheese works. I’ve made it with goat cheese, fromage blanc with sundried tomatoes, or herbs. My favorite was using the peach pepper spread we sell in the Farm to Family Market made by Mountain View Farms. (The sweetness of the peaches really complimented the peppers!).
I stuffed my peppers with Polyface hot Italian sausage, but any type of sausage you prefer will work, even links. To veganize, use your favorite vegan sausage.
You can cook these on the grill, or bake them, but grilling really brings out the flavor of the peppers.
6-8 Pablano Chiles (plan 1-2 per person, depending on size of peppers)
Soft cheese (see above suggestions) or non-dairy alternative
½ onion, chopped. I like a sweet onion, a candy, Vidalia or Texas, but suit your taste
1 lb sausage
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Heat oven at 400, or get grill going. Heat a swirl of olive oil in skillet over medium heat and cook onions then add sausage, (crumble loose sausage, and cut links into small bites), until sausage is brown and onions translucent, then simmer 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Drain sausage.
Wash peppers. Wearing gloves, make a “T” shaped slit in the pepper and remove membranes and seeds. You can also cut them in half.
Stuff peppers, alternating with cheese and sausage. Stuff the sausage in with clean hands, and use a knife or spoon to stuff the cheese.
Place in a pan, alternating top to end so they fit. Bake until soft, about 25 min, you can finish the last few minute under the broiler to “blacken” and bring out flavor.
If you grill the peppers, which we recommend for maximum flavor, grill 5 or 6 minutes at medium, then stuff. Mark says that if you have a gas range, you can skewer them and roast them over the flame, and then stuff them.
Pablanos and other peppers can be stored in airtight containers or bags, and frozen. You can also dry them.