Men, hot sauce, & the transcendent pepper

Anyone else notice the strange thing that happens with men and hot peppers? It starts out innocent enough. The gateway drug to both men and women is usually Buffalo wings, which leads to them picking up Texas Pete at the grocery store. Then, as you appreciate the different flavor profiles of hot sauces, you discover you need a Mexican version. Tapatio is great on eggs. Then you realize what you're really missing is an Asian hot sauce. Of course there's sriracha, a crowd-pleaser, and a nice chili crisp

This appreciation for peppers will result in a nice collection of hot sauces, and favorites you insist your friends sample. You may even grow some jalapenos out back. But that's where the line stops. For women anyway.

roasted and blistered poblano pepper

When hot sauce gets weird

Men go down some weird competitive hot sauce vortex, where they try to out-machismo one another in the heat department. This one-upmanship sees them blowing their noses throughout their meals, excessively sweating, or even crying while masticating. All the hot sauce bottles are tiny, $40, and can easily send a child to the hospital. They dangle toothpicks over their plates, so not to administer more than one drop of a liquid that's digestively nuclear. Their fridges feature hot sauces with names like "Rectum Ripper" and "Bubba's Butt Blaster." 

Boys are weird.

Poblano peppers for the win

Enter the humble poblano pepper. Not too mild, not too hot, and full of flavor. It doesn't taste of a bell pepper, like a mild jalapeno does. A poblano tastes like a hatch chile with a fresh tomatillo finish. I had it chopped up into a cheesy omelet in California, and fell in love. But it turns out, I wasn't just discovering it. I had been eating poblanos all my life in chile relleno dishes. A staple in Puebla, Mexico, cheese is stuffed into a roasted poblano pepper, then dipped in a fluffy egg batter and fried until golden brown. Topped with salsa verde, it's heaven on earth.

poblano omelet ingredients

My son and I do this thing where every time we go to the grocery store, we try a new pepper. There's an element of danger because you don't know what you are going to get. But I love his curiosity and adventurousness with food. After my recent trip to California, I grabbed a poblano off the shelf and tried to recreate the omelet I had. The end result? Not as photogenic, but certainly delicious. Poblano peppers are so flavorful, without the heat of habanero or the overpowering taste of bell peppers. Poblanos are in a class of their own. And while you can eat them without roasting them, roasting enriches the flavor so much more. Here's how.

How to roast a poblano pepper

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit
  • Wash your poblano peppers, and place on pan
  • Roast at 400 for 20-30 minutes, being sure to turn the peppers a couple of times for even cooking
  • Remove only when the outer skin becomes blistered and blackens a bit
  • Allow the peppers to cool
  • Gingerly peel of the burnt outer layer, which looks like plastic, peeling skin
poblano omelet in a skillet

Now your pobanos are ready to eat! You can stuff with cheese, batter, and fry in a chile relleno recipe. They'd be great chopped into a casserole, on top of a burger, or folded into a sour cream-based dip. Me? I kept it simple and chopped them up into a cheesy omelet. Was it as photogenic as that omelet I had in California? Sadly, no. But man, was it tasty. I used chopped cilantro, Monterrey Jack cheese, and cream cheese to compliment the poblanos. 

Have fun with it, and if you have a geat poblano pepper recipe, please share!

poblano scrambeled eggs

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