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The Art of Dining & Living Well: Poblano Chile... Big Green Goodness
email this pageprint this pageemail usLiana Turner - PVNN
August 20, 2010

The Poblano is the fleshy dark green fresh chile that is used for stuffing in dishes like Chile en Nogada. When it is dried it turns a deep reddish brownish color and is then called chile ancho.
The Poblano chile is a beautiful thing. It still gives good chile flavor, but without the lip-burning, throat-scorching heat of many other chiles. It is a subtle flavor that can't be found in any other chile.

The Poblano is the fleshy dark green fresh chile that is used for stuffing in dishes like Chile Relleno and the famous and delicious Chile en Nogada. When it is dried it turns a deep reddish brownish color and is then called chile ancho. This is the main ingredient for most chile powder as we know it. Almost every one of the chiles has one name when it is fresh and another when it is dried. That sounds like another column in the making.

Chile en Nogada is one of the most delightful of all Mexican dishes, with its sweet and savory meat/fruit/spice filling, creamy walnut or pecan sauce and crunchy bright red topping of fresh pomegranate seeds. This dish represents the red, white and green of the Mexican flag, and is traditionally served on and around Mexico's Independence Day, September 16.

This luscious plate will be served in many restaurants this time of year, with many variations, most all of them very good. If you are just a little bit adventurous, you can also make it yourself and save some pesos. The recipes can be intimidating, but it is really not that complicated. Like most traditional Mexican recipes it just takes a lot of preparing and gathering of ingredients.

The chiles must be roasted over an open flame, but no need to build a backyard fire. A gas stove burner will do just fine. If you order a Chile Relleno in a restaurant and the chiles haven't been roasted and peeled then you have just run into a lazy cook who really doesn't care about you.

Roast them until they are looking burned all over, but just to that point. You don't want them black and crispy, but black and still soft. Then place them in a bag or covered bowl and when they are cool enough to handle you can easily peel off the thin layer of waxy skin.

Then make a small vertical slit in each chile, just big enough that you can get your fingers in to remove the seeds and veins. Leave the stem intact for a more interesting visual presentation. Now the chiles are ready for any recipe. There are plenty of good ones on the Internet.

There are many other good uses for the roasted Poblano. I love it for breakfast with fried potatoes and eggs, sliced in thin strips. It also turns scalloped potatoes into something really special. For a chip or vegetable dip with a special twist, blend roasted chile together with sour cream, a little mayonnaise, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Yummmmm!

Whenever you are looking for some good chile flavor without the heat, Poblano is your chile!

Liana Turner is the chef and owner of Paradise Bakery and Catering and Liana’s SazOn! Restaurant and Meeting Place. The bakery is known for the "Best Cinnamon Rolls in Vallarta." The restaurant is open by reservation only for lunches, dinners, meetings, private parties, etc… They also specialize in all styles of catering services, from pre-prepared meals to-go for informal gatherings to full service elegance for dinners, cocktail parties, wedding receptions and special events, Paradise Bakery & Catering and Liana’s SazOn! are both located at Del Santuario 149, corner of Paseo de Las Palmas, Colonia Barrio Santa Maria, Puerto Vallarta. For more information, call (322) 222-5133 or visit

Click HERE for more articles by Liana Turner.

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