6 Chile Peppers You Should Be Cooking With

6 Chile Peppers You Should Be Cooking With

Sheela Fiorenzo
Aug 31, 2016

There is so much more than jalapeños and serranos out there, and while cooking with them is a great introduction to chile peppers, they're just a gateway. It's time to dive deeper. Whether fresh or dry, here are six chiles to try out.

3 Fresh Chile Peppers to Try

1. Poblano

Extra-large poblanos are mild and approachable. They are best roasted, which helps bring out their smoky flavor. Try using them in a salsa or stuffing them like you would bell peppers.

Get a Recipe: Burrito Bowl with Roasted Corn and Poblano Peppers

2. Cherry Bells

Bright-red cherry bells look a bit like cherry tomatoes with a thicker green stem. They can range from sweet to hot and are most traditionally pickled, although they also can be used fresh in salads, salsas, and sandwiches.

Get a Recipe: Quick-Pickled Cherry Peppers

3. Hatch

Hatch chiles have quite a bit of a following. Named after Hatch, New Mexico, where they were originally grown, they are a Southwestern favorite with a short season from August to October. The green peppers have a mild to medium level of heat and a meaty texture. Try them roasted or sautéed.

Get a Recipe: Hatch Chile Breakfast Casserole

3 Dry Chile Peppers to Try

1. Ancho

Here's where things get a little confusing: Ancho chiles are actually just dried poblanos. As poblanos mature, they become dark red-brown, at which point they can be dried and called anchos. If they're smoked and dried, they're then called chipotles. Anchos are the most mild dried chile and have a nice richness to them.

Get a Recipe: How To Make Harissa Paste at Home

2. Guajillo

Long, skinny guajillo chiles have a sweet, berry-like flavor to them, but have more kick than anchos. Try adding one to soups or stews for mild spice, or use them in a traditional Mexican mole sauce.

Get a Recipe: Enchiladas de Pipián Rojo

3. Arbol

They may be the tiniest dried chile of the bunch, but arbols aren't messing around — they're hot! Use them to add searing, slightly acidic heat to salsas and sautés.

Get a Recipe: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chipotle and Árbol Chiles

What did we forget? What are some of your favorite chile peppers?

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