Thursday, June 10, 2010

So Chili it's HOT!---Anaheim Chilis

When people talk about peppers, they are most often talking about sweet green Bell Peppers or Hungarian Wax Peppers, and I love all of them--but I have a particular liking for Anaheim Chili Peppers.

In the first place, they’re not as hot as many other peppers, but they have the most delicious flavor, and just enough warmth to be present without burning out your digestive system. Kind of like having a warm, funny conversationalist at your dinner, but not an arsonist.

Anaheim Chilis are grown the same way as any other pepper, but another nice thing about them is that you can make the b-e-s-t dishes using this handy pepper! Omigosh, you can practically feed an army with a handful of Anaheims, and everyone will love it!

Pick the peppers when they’re between six and eight inches long, and still green, and prepare them for cooking the same way, too. See Post #5 for growing and prep details.

In the meantime, here’s a recipe my family loves—and so do all our friends--even the kids!


6-8 fresh Anaheim Chilis OR
2-3 (4 oz) cans chopped green Chilis
1 (1#) block of cheddar cheese OR
1 (1#) block Monterey Jack cheese
6-8 large eggs
13 ½ ozs evaporated milk
4 Tbsps flour
¾ tap salt and ½ tsp black pepper


Wash the Chilis and pat dry. Lay the Chilis over an open flame, or if you have an electric over, place the chilis on a cookie sheet and broil for 1-3 minutes, keeping careful watch and turning them to blacken all sides. Remove from the fire (or oven) with tongs and place in a bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them steam. They will do this on their own. Let cool.

Remove the towel and the Chili skins, and underneath that awful black mess will be the prettiest green flesh you ever saw. Open the Chilis with a small paring knife, remove the seeds and membranes. Chop the chili flesh fine and reserve. Discard the burned skins, the seeds and membranes in your compost container, as they all go to make more fresh earth. (BTW, this recipe also works with the canned chopped green chilis. Just open and proceed. Then why, you may ask, did you bother me with all the mess?

Because, dear child, one day the world could go ‘bang’ and you’d be left not knowing what to do with those fresh chilis while your children were starving, that’s why? Would I let that happen to you?—Never! Anyway, as my mother told me, knowledge is power--and don’t you forget it. It’s true.)

Back to the recipe:

Separate the eggs, the yolks in a smaller bowl, the whites in a larger one. If you have an electric mixer, use your mixer bowl for the whites, making sure no tiniest drop of yolk gets into them. Yolk is mostly fat, and if there is just one faintest iota of fat/yolk in there. your whites will not beat up fluffy and white. They will just lie there looking at you accusingly. Use them for something else—an omelet, maybe—because they do not now and never will have the intention to become meringue for you. They have been betrayed by yolk. Terrible fate for an egg white with aspirations of becoming meringue.

Just don’t waste them. Use them for something.

Okay, back to work:

To the beaten yolks, add the flour and beat it in until it is incorporated. Add the milk, the pepper and all but a pinch of the salt, and reserve. Grease a 13” X 9” X 2” pan and reserve. Turn your oven to 375—400*F (oven heats vary.) Grate your cheeses right into the greased pan and cover them evenly with the reserved chopped chilis.

Beat the egg whites with that pinch of salt you didn’t add to the eggs, until they are stiff but not dry. Leave them in the mixer bowl and while running the machine slowly (or if you’re doing this by hand, folding constantly) add the milk/egg/salt-and-pepper mixture. Mix well but try not to deflate the whites. Keep it all as fluffy as possible.

Pour this whole mix over the cheese-and-chilis in the pan, making it as even as you can without making yourself crazy. It’s dinner, not pinochle. (More on this later.)

Place in the oven and just let it bake. It should be golden and luscious-looking when you take it out, and the filling should be set like custard, but the hot cheese will be gooey, so don’t try the knife-into-the-middle trick to see if it’s done. If it doesn’t wiggle when you shake it, it should be done. Just make sure the egg part is set, but don’t overcook. Overcooked eggs taste like something you scraped off a pan somewhere (well, actually, it is something you scraped…) Well, anyway--

This will keep on a very low oven for about an hour, if dinner is somehow delayed (and if you can fight your husband and kids off while you make the boxed Spanish rice, open and heat a can of refried beans, and whip up a quick salad and the iced tea to go with it all. Flour or corn (maize) tortillas, warmed and buttered, lend a nice touch, too. Oh. and Flan for dessert!



Remember to let me know what you think of the recipes, and of the blog in general! If there is something you’ve always wanted to cook, or grow, or both, let me know and I’ll do a post on it. This is a gift from me to you, and as with all gifts, I’d like it to be something you really want.

Thanks, and God love you!


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