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A Simple, Very Addictive Manzano Chile Relish


In the garden

A visiting chef friend asked me to pick up three pounds of manzano chiles for a demo he was doing. These chiles are also known as peron and sometimes rocoto chiles. Many of the Mexican families here in Napa come from Michoacan and Jalisco and for them, and now for me, this is a manzano chile. Things happened and I ended up three pounds of chiles. I shared most of them with the staff here but I took a pound home for myself. I used a mandoline to cut the chiles and an onion razor thin. Then I added some salt, Oregano Indio and best of all, our Banana Vinegar. Traditionally, you'd probably use lime but our vinegar was what I had and our vinegar is what was used. It was great. Sunday supper was lazy. I got carnitas from the Mexican butcher, good tortillas and this relish. Later, it found its way on to a quesadilla. Sometimes manzanos can be painfully hot but they have a great, meaty fresh taste and they're just delicious. The seeds are nasty, but very easy to clean. If you spy these chiles, go for it.

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