I caused a bit of a stir the other day when I decided to roast poblano chile peppers in the camp kitchen. I spied my beloved peppers at the Albany farmers market this past Saturday and it was my first time seeing them since arriving in Australia. I had to get them!
The thing about poblano peppers is that the skin is bitter, and they are best when they’re roasted with the skin removed. At home I usually do this directly on the flame of the stove, charring the skin to a crisp. But in effort to be a better camp kitchen visitor, I opted for a dry skillet.
I threw them in the pan and went about my evening cooking. I am used to getting some looks in the kitchen, but the smoke rising from my pan – rising from the fact that I’m obviously burning chiles attracted more notice than usual!
“Hmmm,” one fellow camper observed. “Did you know you’re burning those?”
Sometimes I draw raised eyebrows because my accent instantly identifies me as an outsider, and sometimes because my meals tend to look a bit complicated. When asked about my cooking, I try to explain that since we are doing this long term, we need to be feeding the kids and ourselves in the way we want them to be eating. I am not sure it makes sense to my fellow campers, but it’s the way we do things. Lately, in an effort to to introduce more variety to our usual routine we made bi bim bap, a Korean rice dish and okinomiyaki, a savory Japanese, and a few different Indian and Thai inspired dishes, but I digress.
So I’m cooking the peppers in the pan, which need to be charred. People are looking over, giving me looks with a mixture of curiosity and sympathy. They think I’ve ruined my dinner because the outside is turning charcoal. People are moving through the kitchen frequently.
Eventually I removed the peppers and placed them in a covered bowl to cool so I could peel off the skin. Delicious! Worth the awkward moments… And looking forward to grabbing more for the road this weekend before we leave Albany!