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Pepper Profile: Ancho/Poblano PDF Print E-mail

This chile is a pod type of the annuum species. The name ancho means 'wide,' an allusion to the broad, flat, heart-shaped pods in the dried form. The fresh pod is called poblano.

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Poblano (fresh)


Ancho (dried)

Poblano (fresh)


Ancho (dried)



The Plant

This chile is a pod type of the annuum species. The name ancho means 'wide,' an allusion to the broad, flat, heart-shaped pods in the dried form. The fresh pod is called poblano.

Anchos are multiple-stemmed and compact to semi-erect, semi-woody, and about 25 inches high. The leaves are dark green and shiny, approximately 4 inches long and 2 ½ inches wide, and the corollas are off-white and appear at every node. The flowering period begins 50 days after sowing and continues until the first frost. The pods are pendant, vary between 3 to 6 inches long, and 2 to 3 inches wide, are conical or truncated and have indented shoulders. Immature pods are dark green, maturing to either red or brown, and the dried pods are a very dark reddish-brown, nearly black. They are fairly mild, ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 Scoville Units.


Agriculture

This variety is one of the most popular peppers grown in Mexico, where about 37,000 acres of it are under cultivation. The ancho/poblano varieties grow well in the U.S. but only about 150 acres are planted. Growers in the eastern U.S. reported their plants grown in Wharton, New Jersey, topped four feet and needed to be staked to keep them from toppling over. These plants produced well, but the pods never matured to the red stage before the end of the growing season. The usual growing period is 100 to 120 days and the yield is about fifteen pods per plant, although there are reports of up to thirty pods per plant.


Culinary Usage

Fresh poblanos are roasted and peeled, then preserved by canning or freezing. They are often stuffed to make chiles rellenos. The dried pods can be stored in airtight containers for months, or they can be ground into a powder. Anchos are commonly used in sauces called moles.


Recipe: Roasted Poblano Chiles Stuffed with Spiced Goat Cheese

Poblano chiles impart a distinctive taste to these rellenos and are usually milder than the New Mexican varieties. The filling is a combination of traditional Mexican and New Southwestern ingredients.

  • 2 teaspoons ground red New Mexican chile
  • ½ cup goat cheese
  • ½ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped fine
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 large poblano chiles, roasted and peeled, stems left on
  • Flour for dredging
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Combine the ground red chile, cheeses, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, and cloves to make the filling. Make a slit in the side of each pepper and stuff with the filling. Roll each chile in the flour and shake off the excess.

Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. In a separate bowl, combine the egg yolks and the remaining ingredients (except the oil), then gently fold them into the egg whites to make a batter.

Carefully dip the chiles into the batter and coat well. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a pan to 350 degrees. Add the chiles and fry until they are lightly browned, turning them once. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Serves: 4

Heat Scale: Mild

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