Sunday, March 18, 2012

Roasting Peppers, Chicken Chili Stuff, and Cleaning Up Our Acts

I spent the morning roasting a crapload of peppers.  When I first started playing with peppers, I was scared.  Like everything else I do, I had googled how to prepare them and immediately discovered, "Oh my God, this is too hard and I'm probably going to die from pepper poisoning."  There are a lot of websites that I think are trying to maintain their corner on the market by convincing you that peppers are too dangerous to handle, so you should just buy their exorbitantly priced ones.  Eff. That.  Like anything else, it just isn't that hard.  Not at all.  However, let me say this.  People get REAL uptight about peppers and they have specific ways they do it and rituals they follow and they will be oh so glad to tell you all about how you are doing it wrong.  I'm not an expert and I don't pretend to be, but this is how I've done it and it's turned out really good so if you want to send me a bitchy email about how dumb I am, save your energy.  #endofrant.

Okay, moving on.  Get a bunch of peppers.

Something for everyone.
Turn your grill on and get it really hot.  Throw as many of the peppers on as you can cram in.  Put the lid down and chill for a minute.  In about 4 minutes, let curiosity get the best of you and go take a peek.  Using a tong-y thing, start flipping them around.  You want them to be black, blistered, and looking like total shit on ALL SIDES.  ((Yup, I am in fact telling you to make your lovely peppers look like hell.  Aren't you glad you are reading this?!))  Flip them around to get the virgin side on the fire and walk away for a couple of minutes again.  Keep doing this until they are black and bubbly everywhere.  You might have to do some pepper gymnastics to get some of the sides, but you can do it.  I have faith in you.

Once all sides are blistered and blackened, pull them off and put them into a glass pan.  The smaller, skinnier ones will be done first...  That should be obvious, but whatever.  Don't be concerned about the cracking and popping you are hearing.  That's all going to make whatever to put on the grill next extra awesome with no added effort.  Win!

I actually could have burnt the hell out of these some more.

Once all the peppers are done, cover the pan with a clean dishtowel and walk away.  After about 20 minutes, pull the towel and carefully touch one to see if it is still scalding hot.  They should be pretty well cooled off at this point but better safe than sorry.

((Speaking of better safe than sorry, right now, theoretically, I should tell you to wear gloves for this next part, but gloves are for wimps.  But, you should really wear gloves even though I refuse to because I'm not a wimp.))

Working over a plastic grocery bag or a garbage pan, start peeling off the outer burnt part.  Some of it will come off easily and in sheets and you will feel like a superhero.  Some of them are a little more stubborn and you might get pretty frustrated.  That's okay.  The vast majority will be pretty easy if you burnt the shit out of them enough.  ((Yes, I do have a way with words, don't I?))

Once you have them peeled, you can cut them up however you want.  They will keep in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for at least two weeks.  I hear you can freeze them in ziplock bags but I haven't personally tried that.

A poorly lit picture of the green chiles, peeled and diced.

Sweet peppers

So.  Since we have all these peppers, we should make something with some of them, right?

Let's make a black bean chicken chili sort of thing in the slow cooker.

What you need:

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 chicken breasts
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
6 tomatoes, diced
4 tablespoons roasted green chiles, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
*Some* salt and pepper
Mexican cheese, shredded
Sour cream
Avocados, diced

What to do:

Chop up everything.  Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Throw everything in above the line in the ingredient in.  Set it to high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours and go live your life, make a living, watch a lot of Breaking Bad.  When time is up, you can either take a spoon and bang on the chicken to get it to fall into chunks or use two forks to shred it.

((If you don't feel like doing the tomatoes and green chiles, you can use Rotel.  If you must.))

Serve topped with fresh cilantro ((my favorite)), a squeeze of lime juice, some shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and/or some diced avocados.  ((Because I am on a mission, there is not going to be any cheese, sour cream, or avocado on mine.  Sad face.))  Makes four servings.

Anti-gravity chicken chili!  ((It looks like it is hanging at an angle because I'm probably too dumb to have the camera right side up.  Oopsie-doodle!))
That's a little better.
Nutritional Info:  Excellent!  Right around 300 calories and 3 grams of fat per serving without cheese, sour cream, or avocado.


Okay, after a couple of weeks of boozy desserts, Mexican feasts, and other random calorie bombs, it is time to get healthy and not starve to death in the process.  We will be doing healthy, whole food type meals this week that you will never realize are healthy because they are still super delicious.  It's the middle of March and in Arizona, that means pool time is rapidly approaching. Time to clean up our acts.

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