Tag Archives: green chilis

Roasted Green Chilis & Bittman

Bittman Salad No. 25

I’ve been so busy lately, I barely have time to procrastinate which confirms what I’ve always suspected:  planning is but a series of decisions about what not to do so that I can do what I’d like.  Sometimes this is simply not doing anything — or anything significant, that is.  In the case of my food life, that means I’ve come to a complete standstill baking my way through Peter Rhinehart’s The Breadbaker’s Apprentice.  Although I’m not a foreigner to bread baking, it isn’t something I’ve ever done routinely, and so any excuse not to keep the original pace I set along with others in the BBA Challenge group keeps me from taking on the next recipe.

I suppose I could blame my delay on Bittman and his salads.  After all, the hottest time of the year is finally drawing to a close here and so the ease of throwing a salad together after a very long day would keep most people from baking anything.  Or perhaps it was that last gas & electric bill reflecting three completely decadent days of central air-conditioning.  Honestly, I’ve slowed down on my salad production as well.  Although I still cook most evenings, we don’t get around to eating until nearly 8pm, so the idea of photographing any of what I prepare doesn’t compete with flopping on the sofa, visiting with the resident menfolk, and staring at the television.  No, the serious cooking usually happens on the weekend now, and last weekend seemed to feature roasted green chilis, or what are known as Anaheim chilis.

I love them.  I love their glossy bright green color, the fresh crunch of a bite right from the raw chili, and the smoky aroma that fills our house whenever I roast them on the stove.  Also known as California Chilis, Anaheims are featured in  chili rellenos.  They’re especially good added to anything with cheese or eggs.  I usually keep a can or two in my pantry, but they’re so easy to make I usually also have a few fresh chilis around.  Occasionally they sit on the counter longer than I’d planned and turn red.

Planned…yes, there’s that word again.  I won’t tell you what I planned not to do last Sunday as I wallowed in my favorite room in the house, but I did make Bittman Salad No. 25, a Fresh Creamed Corn & Green Chili Casserole, some Pan Roasted Red Potatoes with Green Chilis and Onions and a Roast Chicken that sadly did not benefit from green chilis.

Let me know if anyone has made ice cream with green chilis and I’ll be first in line.

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NON-Cowboy Caviar: Beat the Heat

When the weather is warmer or more humid than I like, or when I don’t want something packed with calories disguised as butter, or cream, or bacon, I crave food that has a bite, some salt, and involves work.

No, the work isn’t about the preparation — it’s about chewing.  Chewing, crunching, and savoring the most amazing combination of flavors, that is.

Oh, and little or no heat.  That would be heat from a stove or a grill, because I can’t imagine life without the heat that comes from a nice jalapeno.  And since Grace of A Southern Grace is having a little “Beat the Heat” shindig over at her place, I thought this just might be perfect.

The first time I made this salsa it was the early ’90s and I was desperate for food packed with nutrients, and absolutely no fat.  I’d had my youngest son a year earlier, thought I was looking just fine, and then saw a photo of myself at a wedding that rudely informed me otherwise. Where, oh where did that second chin come from?   So, I was hell bent for leather to lose weight and get fit.  No-fat diets were all the rage back then, and I went a bit crazy eating things like fresh strawberries dipped in Cool Whip, and smearing apple butter on my dry toast.  Eating lots and lots of pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil.  And, wonder of all wondrous things, learning how to stomach non-fat milk.  Unbelievable.  For exercise, I took a swimming test, then promptly learned how to row.  You know.  Those long skinny boats that lots of people sit in with the slidey seats?  They all stroke at the same time when that person at the end yells at them?  Yes, those.  I know.  I was 36 years old.  What in hell was I doing?  Well, the other women were my age and older, so that made it easy (such a liar…)  But they were buff, and I was, um…pudgy.

Where was I?

Salsa. About that time, I started making this salsa. Wait.  Salad.  So, maybe it’s a salsa salad.  I think that’s the closest name for it, although in years since, I have seen it called Cowboy Caviar, which some people think morphed from Texas Caviar.  Now, I learned what I know about cowboys from old movies, and I’m not, nor ever will be from Texas. And most importantly, I have lived in San Diego for most of my life, so there’s no way I’d call my chunky bowl of low carb, low fat flavor either of those names.

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