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Saucy, Spicy Pepper Tacos

August 2, 2009

Saucy Pepper Tacos

Dinner was originally supposed to be Roasted Pepper Tacos, from a recipe I’ve had tagged to try for months. But it has been 172 degrees here in Walla Walla all week, and the last thing I wanted to do was turn on my oven to roast peppers. And I know that grilling is supposed to be great for hot weather, but grilling the peppers would have required I stand outside for more than 30 seconds, not to mention in front of a fire, not to mention building said fire would have taken For. Ever. All that to say that my Roasted Pepper Tacos turned into Sauteed Pepper Tacos. But you know what? I think they were even better than Roasted.

I made these with the now infamous (at least in my world) Walla Walla Sweet Onions. If you can’t find sweet onions, I’m sure they’d be extra delicious with red onions, or Vidalias, which I hear are also slightly sweet. This recipe made three tacos, which was about enough for one person, so just multiple ingredients by the number of people you want to feed, and if you end up with a lot of peppers, use a large skillet.

Spicy Pepper Tacos
Adapted from The New York Times

  • 1/2 T. olive oil
  • 2 Anaheim chiles
  • 1/4 of a medium onion
  • 1/2 tsp. chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/8 c. vegetable broth (I actually used chicken, which makes this non-vegetarian, because I always forget I’m trying to eat a vegetarian meal and throw in something like chicken stock or anchovies)
  • 3 corn tortillas
  • limes
  • cilantro
  • a sprinkling of queso fresco or cotija (or feta, if you can’t find good Mexican cheese)

This really couldn’t be simpler. But I would advise: Watch out for those chiles! WEAR GLOVES. I did not. I regretted it. Enough said.

Anaheim Chiles

This is the kind of hot house environment I live in: The red chile in the above picture was that same uniform green as the chile behind it, but after one day, one day! in my house it began to redden. I wonder if that made it more spicy?

Chop the chile into thin, 2-inch long slices, and dice the onion. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the onion and saute for about a minute, until it’s beginning to turn golden and translucent. Then add the chile slices and stir so they’re coated in oil. Let them sit in the pan, without stirring, so they char just a bit before giving them another stir. Stir in the seasonings, and let sit again for another few minutes. When the pan starts to look dry, add the broth. Stir well and let the stock and pepper mixture boil away for a few minutes while you warm the tortillas.

When the stock has cooked down a bit to create a spicy sauce, ladle the pepper mixture into tortillas. Top with cilantro and cheese, and give a nice spritzing of lime juice to each taco.

Saucy Pepper Tacos

These are messy and juicy, just the way tacos are meant to be. They are also quite spicy, so be sure you have a nice cold beer at hand (or a glass of milk, if that’s your thing). You could also probably leave out the chile powder if you don’t want these to be quite as spicy, but you are eating hot chiles, so, y’know, some spiciness if inevitable.

I have to be honest: This was yet another meal that I was sure was going to be a disaster as I was cooking it. But it really turned out quite nicely. Everything has been like that in this kitchen so far: I am sure that dinner is doomed, but in the end it all comes together.

Today I started the canning: I anticipate spending every Sunday from here through September canning tomatoes, and maybe even some pickles, if I start feeling ambitious. I think it went ok. I only got four pints out of my tomatoes this weekend, because I just didn’t want to carry that many more home from the Farmers’ Market in 107 degree heat. But I think I’ll end up with a nice stock on hand before the tomatoes disappear this year.

My new co-worker was kind enough last night, when she came over for dinner, to bring me three tomato plants, and to help me plant them in my backyard! They are lovely little cherry tomatoes, so I’m not sure that they’re the right kind for canning, but maybe I’ll try drying them? That is, if I can keep them alive. We shall see how this green thumb business goes. I had to mow the lawn for the first time today and let’s just say that was about as hilarious as the mental picture you might be forming in your mind right now. If you don’t personally know me, picture a 5’1″ girl without much in the way of the muscles, attempting to push a 472 pound mower around. Alright, it probably doesn’t weight 472 pounds, but it felt like it! And I definitely missed some patches, which makes my lawn look like it was attacked. I’m hoping it will be a little easier next time I have to do this. I’m beginning to suspect I’m not really a lawn person.

I’m hoping this heat wave breaks soon. It is hard to feel like cooking when your house is already an oven, and I brought home another excellent haul from the Farmers’ Market, and have some great ideas for dinner. But I will end up eating nothing but cold cucumbers if it doesn’t dip below 100 soon. I just keep reminding myself: At least it’s not humid. And at least there is no tomato blight here in the PNW.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dad permalink
    August 3, 2009 11:28 pm

    So, you did start the mower, right… cause it doesn’t work as well when it’s not running : )

    Just keep saying… I am a lawn person, I am a lawn person… and before you know it you will be. It is very catchy.

    btw… reading a book that includes several references to French summer (cold) meals… maybe that’s the thing for Walla Walla in August.

    Enjoy and wish we were much closer.


  2. August 4, 2009 8:53 am

    What a coincidence. I made Bell Pepper Tacos last night, I should have added at least one spicy pepper, darn!

    I also mowed the lawn yesterday. I am definitely not a lawn person either. Thankfully it has stopped raining, finally. What strange summer weather we’re having this year. Stay cool…Thanks for sharing…

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