Stuffed Anaheim Peppers with Tomato Sauce
Anaheim’s are very popular in Southwestern US Cuisine.Also called “New Mexican Chile”. These were developed by Dr. Fabian Garcia in New Mexico about 100 yrs ago who was seeking a chile pepper that was bigger, fleshier, and milder.
They got the name “Anaheim” when a farmer named Emilio Ortega brought these seeds to the Anaheim area in the early 1900’s. This chile can be roasted and peeled and used in recipes or stuffed to make chile rellenos just as the Poblano Chile.
6 banana peppers
200 grams/7 oz. fresh paneer (cottage cheese)
50 grams/1.7 oz cheese, grated (any melting cheese will do)
4 large tomatoes / ½ can of chopped tomatoes
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil (plus 1 tbsp for roasting the peppers)
Freshly ground black pepper
First make the tomato sauce : If you’re using fresh tomatoes – bring a pot of water to the boil and drop the tomatoes into it. After a few minutes you’ll start to notice their skins coming off. Drain, peel back their skins completely and purée them in a blender.
Heat olive oil in a pot and add the chopped onions and garlic. Once lightly browned, tip in the tomatoes, chilli flakes, oregano, sugar, pepper, and salt. Bring it up to the boil, then simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally until it has thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Take off the heat and set aside.
To prepare the peppers : Remove the stalks and slit lengthwise on one side (essentially opening it up flat, NOT halving into two pieces). Remove and discard the seeds and white membrane from the inside using your fingers (please wear gloves for this step, I learnt it the hard way).
Lay them out on a baking tray, drizzle over 1 tbsp olive oil and roast in a preheated 180 C (360 F) oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until they just start to soften. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
Crumble the paneer into fine pieces in a blender and season with salt and pepper. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, stuff them with the paneer and lay them on a single layer in your baking dish. Pour the tomato sauce on top of the peppers and sprinkle over the grated cheese.
Bake in a preheated 160 C (320 F) oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until the tomato sauce is bubbling, and the cheese is fully melted. Serve with warm tortillas to be eaten like a wrap, or just as is.