As the weather cools down, the kitchen starts to heat up…
Here we are in transition mode! Fall is here, and suddenly everyone is hyped up on pumpkin lattes and the blogs are filled with fall recipes. But outside…it’s not exactly chilly yet. As a matter of fact, here in Los Angeles, it’s still downright warm. With one foot in summer and the other one in fall, I like to ease into fall cooking gently.
I straddle the line with recipes that require a little more kitchen time than summer salads and cold dishes, but are still bright enough to recall picnics and outdoor dinners. This recipe for Stuffed Anaheim Chiles is hearty enough to stave off the urges for cozy comfort fare for a few more weeks. These babies are a go-to meal for me when I want leftovers for later in the week or a fun side for a dinner party.
Anaheim chiles are mild, falling quite low on the Scoville Scale at 500-2,000 units out of 15,000,000. I balance this mild chile with spicy filling so the dish isn’t overwhelmingly hot, but you could certainly substitute a spicier chile for the Anaheim.
Stuffed Anaheim Chiles
• 1 cup rice
• 6 large Anaheim chiles
• 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 4 oz goat cheese
• 4 oz calabrese or other spicy salami, chopped into small pieces
• Half a lemon
• ¼ tsp cayenne
• 4 oz white cheddar or pepperjack cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Prepare the rice as directed on the package.
3. While the rice is cooking, wash the chiles and take off the stems. Make a slit the long way down the chiles and cut out the ribs and seeds using a paring knife. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Tip: Wear gloves when dealing with chiles. Even though Anaheims aren’t very hot, they’re certainly hot enough to make your eyeballs burn, and you can’t just wash the capsaicin off your hands; it has to wear off with time. As a contacts-wearer, I totally learned that lesson the hard way. Ouch!
4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet. Cook the garlic until fragrant and golden, about 1 minute.
5. When the rice has finished cooking, immediately stir in the garlic, goat cheese, and salami. The goat cheese may take a second to soften enough to mix thoroughly.
6. Stir in the juice from the half of lemon and cayenne. Salt and pepper to taste.
7. Gently pull open the chiles and stuff with the rice mixture, making sure to push some down into the tapered end. (I used some toothpicks to help the chiles keep their shape in the process.)
8. Cover the exposed rice mixture with the extra cheese for melting. It is not necessary to shred it, since it will be in the oven long enough to melt slices.
9. Brush the exposed edges of the chiles with the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil.
10. Bake for 30 minutes. If the walls of your chiles are relatively thin they should be done. If the chiles are not soft yet, give them another 10 minutes, then serve immediately.
Variations: You could easily substitute chorizo or bacon for the salami, or soyrizo for a vegetarian version. The rice can be switched out for quinoa or another grain.
Readers – What are your favorite transitional summer-to-fall meals?
photos: heather for we heart this
Heather is a midwesterner living in Los Angeles and enjoys concocting weird flavor combinations and exploring delicious ethnic foods. She blogs at foodforfunandpleasure and knows her way around the spice cabinet like nobody’s business.