|"Smoke 'em if ya got 'em"|
Fresh chiles are always a welcome site at the peak of the growing season. I always look forward to that first bite of heat in a simple salsa. My CSA had bins of poblanos and jalapenos that they were giving away by the truckload. I filled a reusable shopping bag and headed home with my treasure.
I couldn't help but roast a batch as soon as I got in the house. They were extra hot this year because of the favorable growing conditions. I partook in all that I could handle. The charred remains went into the refrigerator for use throughout the week. Not enough to justify freezing. I topped off two pint mason jars with a green hot sauce. I'll use some to spice up a pot of chili on a cold day, the bean kind of course. I have yet to venture the Texan route. However, I have made a delightful vegetarian version with roasted eggplant and barley. I forgot to pull about a dozen out of the bag and discovered them a week later. A coincidental break in the humidity shriveled them into red beauties with no signs of rot. I'm set for the winter and didn't have to spend a dime.
Inspired by the Hatch Chile Festival, I contacted my CSA and proposed to run a chile roast and smoking event next year. I suggested that members gather with their grills and smokers for a day of alchemy. Maybe I'll even make some chile rellenos and tortilla soup to share. It'll be a nice way to make use of some great product and get a community together to celebrate a successful harvest.
Who knew that a mere pepper could be transformed into a variety of forms and flavors? Most processes were born to preserve a perishable product without the luxury of refrigeration. It's a bonus that they're so tasty. On their own, they add a little spice and depth to our dishes. In a chef's hands, they're completely transformed to push the pallet in ways we never imagined.
OCQ was put together to investigate their inspirations, so we can attempt our own spins. Keep to The Plan...