Trinidad scorpion pepper. Devil’s tongue. Naga viper. 

Maybe one reason chile peppers have been collectively deemed by some as intimidating or simply too hot is that they have such scorching names. But chile peppers have been used to flavor food—and life—since 7500 BC. And there are hundreds of varieties of chile peppers, with hotness ranging from a warm lingering on the tongue to a bold scorch. One of the mildest chiles is the poblano (often mislabeled as pasilla peppers). 

Haley Frame



Italians use this classic condiment in a wide range of dishes, from topping crostini to flavoring vegetables served with pasta. 


2 bell peppers, chopped

1 poblano chile, cored, seeded,
and chopped

½ medium red onion, chopped

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

¼ teaspoon ground coriander


Drizzle a medium skillet with olive oil, and bring to medium-high heat.

Add chopped peppers, chile, and onion, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Sauté until tender, stirring as it begins to color (4 to 5 minutes). 

In a separate bowl, make the dressing by whisking olive oil, lime juice, mint, and coriander together; then season with salt and pepper.

Mix the dressing with the sautéed vegetables. Serve with desired dish.

Yield: 4–5 servings
Ready in 25 minutes

Chile Rellenos 


In Mexico, the poblano pepper is most commonly enjoyed roasted and stuffed. In this versatile recipe, stuffing for the peppers can vary from plain cheese to roasted vegetables and cooked meat.


4 fresh poblano chiles

12 ounces Mexican semisoft cheese, cut into small cubes

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1 cup canola oil


Char the chiles under a broiler, turning occasionally until blackened on all sides. Place chiles in a resealable bag, and let them steam for 10 minutes.

Peel off the charred skin, slit each chile lengthwise, and carefully remove the seeds. Stuff the chiles with cheese.

Place all but 1 tablespoon of the flour in a small, shallow bowl. Dip the stuffed chiles in the flour, coating them lightly and shaking off any excess flour.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the reserved 1 tablespoon of flour, and season with salt.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Dip each floured poblano in the egg batter, and then carefully lay them in the hot oil.

Using a wooden or metal spoon, baste the chiles with the hot oil. After the bottoms are golden brown, turn with a spatula and brown the other side. Drain on a wire rack or on a plate lined with a paper towel. Serve with brown rice.

Yield: 4–5 servings
Ready in 30 minutes

Roasted Poblano Soup 

United States

This soup is wonderful as a first course on a chilly night or as a main course by adding roasted vegetables or a meat of your choice. Leftovers, if there ever are any, can be used as a gourmet enchilada sauce.


3 poblano chiles

2 tablespoons butter

1½ cups white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups fresh or frozen sweet corn

5 cups chicken stock or broth

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

¼ cup heavy whipping cream


Char the chiles under a broiler, turning occasionally until blackened on all sides. Place chiles in resealable bag; let them steam for 10 minutes.

Peel off the charred skin, remove the seeds, and chop the chiles.

Melt butter in large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic; sauté until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes).

Add chiles and 1 cup of corn, reserving the other cup of corn. Sauté 1 minute, then add the chicken stock and bring to boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, simmering until the chiles are very tender (about 10 minutes).

Stir in cilantro and mint.

Puree soup.

Stir in cream, reserved corn, and add salt to taste. Add more cream if the soup is too spicy. Top with feta cheese or other cheese, toasted almond slices, diced avocado, or brown rice. 

Yield: 6–8 servings (as a side)
 or 4 servings (as a main dish)
Ready in 40 minutes



If you haven’t heard much about Israeli cuisine, this dish will prompt further investigation. Use fresh, high-quality eggs for the very best results.


1½ teaspoons coriander seeds, whole or ground

1 teaspoon cumin seeds,
whole or ground

1½ tablespoons paprika, ground

½ teaspoon salt

3 cloves fresh garlic

1 poblano chile, seeded,
and chopped

1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup water

1 (14.5 ounce) can of Muir Glen® organic, whole, peeled tomatoes

4 eggs


Place coriander, cumin, paprika, and salt in a mortar and pound with the pestle until crushed, or place in a resealable freezer bag and crush carefully with a rolling pin. Add garlic and crush into a paste.

In a medium frying pan, cook chopped chile in 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat, stirring often until well browned (10 to 12 minutes). Add crushed spice mixture and cook, stirring until fragrant (about 1 minute).

Stir in ¾ cup water, then the tomatoes. Cook, turning tomatoes occasionally, until softened (10 to 20 minutes).

With a wooden spoon, make four indentations in the tomato mixture and crack an egg into each one. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until egg whites are set, but the yolks remain runny (about 5 minutes).

Drizzle shakshuka with olive oil, and serve with fresh pita bread.

Yield: 2–3 servings
Ready in 30 minutes