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Ancho (Poblano) Peppers

When it comes to lunchtime at work, I’m a brown bagger. So every morning, I sit in my kitchen and make a sandwich. If I had the time, I’d break out the panini grill and create a sandwich masterpiece to take with me to the nine to five, but most of the time I’ll slap a few slices of ham on some wheat bread and call it lunch.

Fridays are a different story though. Fridays I treat myself and buy lunch. I know, it’s not a very big treat but with two college funds to save for it’ll have to do. So for the last who knows how many Fridays in a row, I’ve chosen a place called Qdoba. It’s a Mexican fast food place that makes giant burritos with fresh ingredients of your choosing. The burritos are huge and they’re tasty too so I’ve been going back again and again. Who needs variety when you can order a five pound burrito. My favorite one called the Poblano Pesto Burito. It has a nice smoky pepper flavor that isn’t just the usual hot sauce taste that you find in other places.

So when I saw that the Burpee catalog had something called Ancho (Poblano) Peppers, the light bulb on top of my head light up. Why not grow my own peppers to make this pesto. I already make loads of basil pesto, why not Poblano Pesto too?

But I wondered what’s the story with the two names? Are they Ancho or Poblano Peppers? After some research, I found out that they’re both. It’s sort of like the chipotle, jalapeno relationship. Poblano Peppers are the peppers that come off the plant. But after they’re picked and dried they call them Ancho Peppers. Who said gardening wasn’t educational. I’m learning new things all the time.

Homemade Poblano Pesto is definitely in my future but I would think that the Ancho Peppers that are usually dried in a smoker would be more flavorful. I guess I’ll have to try making it with both to see which one I like better.

I don’t see my Friday burrito tradition going away anytime soon. But if I can make that delicious pesto at home, I may start brown bagging my own homemade five pound burritos. And by the way that five pound part is non-negotiable.

14 Comments:

  1. Colleen said...
    Mmmm....poblano pesto....

    Why is it that every time I visit your blog, I get hungry?
    Anthony said...
    Colleen, I'll add a disclaimer to my blog that it shouldn't be read on an empty stomach. :)
    Marc said...
    Sounds good to me! And since I am on my lunch break right now and havn't eaten yet, you are making me hungry too. Qdoba should pay you for such an endorsement!

    Since Qdoba isn't near me, I'm off to a place called Burrito Joe's. I wonder why I sudenly have a hankering for a giant burrito?
    Anthony said...
    Marc, this Burrito Joe sounds like a good man. Enjoy your lunch.
    Annie in Austin said...
    One of the advantages of Austin is the availabitity of fresh poblanos which can be roasted outside all year. My husband makes a batch every few days so we can get our poblano fix!

    I hope your plants do well and that you have a hot old summertime, Anthony!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose
    P~ said...
    Anthony, I'm the smart one, I read your blog, while eating lunch! I love Poblanos. After you pick the Ancho chiles, try taking a couple and putting them on the bar-b-que til they basically look like little black crispy things, (moniotor them though so you don't burn the flesh, just the skin) then plung into ice water. the charred skins will come off easier then, and you'll be left with really sweet and smoky Poblanos. MMM MMM good!
    P~
    P~ said...
    You know, I just realized I said that backwards, Roast the poblano's and you'll have tasty Ancho's... Whatever, They're great either way!
    Anthony said...
    Annie, that's awesome that you have poblanos all over the place in Austin. Sometimes I forget that the WWW is really world wide and that we're all coming from different climates.

    P~, I roast regular red peppers just like you described. I'm ready to try it on these poblanos now but as you can see in the picture of the pepper seedling, I have a way to go.
    steven said...
    I grew Poblanos with limited success last year. We had a great summer, but I should have started them in March down in the basement, the yield was so-so and they were kinda small, but tasty.
    Blackswamp_Girl said...
    Poblano pesto? Does it mean that they mash up the fresh pepper, then, since it's "poblano pesto" instead of "ancho pesto?" Either way... yum. I definitely think you should add that disclaimer. :)
    Anthony said...
    Steven, I usually do pretty well with my peppers. I have a spot that definitely gets full sun for the entire growing season. Once September comes I have plants that are full of peppers.

    Blackswamp_Girl, I agree that it's confusing because there's definitely a smokey flavor so it must be ancho pesto. But don't worry because I volunteer to do extensive eating... uh...testing on the subject. :)
    Anonymous said...
    I live in Denver, where Qdoba has their headquarters. Here they are testing an Ancho Chile BBQ Sauce! It's soooooo good. My friends who don't live in Denver had a chance to try it and were hooked. They asked when other Qdoba's would have it and the manager said September. Be sure to check it out!
    Gotta Garden said...
    You make your own sandwiches!!! And you cook!!!! And garden!!! Does your wife know how lucky she is!!!

    Well, today I got a break from the sandwich making as DH is off on a short bs trip.

    Good luck with the peppers! I had pretty good success with them...but I didn't roast them...drat, opportunity missed. Maybe I'll have to try them again.

    I did go to this Herb Fest thing last weekend and carefully searched through this pepper vender's offerings...finally chose THE one...and discovered yesterday that it is at HD...geez. So special, so rare...

    Anyway, happy eating, too...hope you'll post the pesto recipe and pics.
    Anthony said...
    Anonymous, thanks for the scoop. Who would have thought a blog called Compost Bin would be the place to get the the latest Mexican Fast Food news. :)

    Ancho Chile BBQ Sauce does sound great!

    Gotta Garden, I tell my wife how lucky she is all the time, just in case she forgets. :)

    Too funny about Herb Fest and Home Depot. I have to run to Lowes during my lunch break so I'll be on the lookout for "rare seeds". :)

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