Choice Ingredient: Anaheim Chile Peppers
Learn: Named for the California city where they first became popular in the early 1900s, Anaheim chiles are one of the most commonly available peppers in the United States. Anaheims are large, 6- to 10-inch-long cone-shaped pods that come in green and red varieties (red ones are also called chile colorado). Red Anaheim chiles are often dried for later use by stringing the pods together―the result is called a ristra, which is commonly used as decoration in the Southwest.
Buy: Anaheims are available fresh, canned, and dried year-round, but their peak season is late summer. Look for peppers with medium to dark green or greenish-red color and no soft spots, bruises, or shriveled skin. Stems should be attached and undamaged.
Store: Keep fresh chiles in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator for up to a week. Dried or canned chiles will last a year.
Use: Anaheim chiles have a sweet, bell pepper–like flavor with a bit of mild heat. They are often stuffed with vegetables, cheese, and spices to make chiles rellenos. Dice them for use in salsas―they’ll yield a milder flavor than jalapeños or serranos. Or add them to stir-fries for a little extra heat.