Green Chile Piperade
This American Southwest take on a traditional Basque dish uses green chiles, which come in a range of heat intensity. Most green chiles found in supermarkets outside the Southwest are mild.
Authentic piperade is seasoned with Bayonne ham, instead of bacon, and powdered Espelette pepper. Oh, and it’s also cooked twice as long as our version, making a pepper stew, rather than a sauté.
Makes about 4 cups
- 4 thick-cut strips bacon, cut in half
- 1 large sweet onion, trimmed and cut into strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cored and cut into strips
- 2 medium green bell peppers, cored and cut into strips
- 2 fresh New Mexico or Anaheim peppers, cored and chopped
- 6 plum tomatoes, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Salt to taste
In a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until just crisp. Remove the bacon strips to a plate and reserve, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet.
Add the onion strips and garlic to the skillet. Sauté for three minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add all the peppers to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
While the peppers cook, cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and spoon out the seeds. Cut the tomato halves into strips. Add tomato strips, thyme, paprika, and sugar to the skillet. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Coarsely chop the bacon and return to the skillet.
Cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Serve as a sauce for omelets, roasted meats, or grilled fish.