Roasted Corn and Sausage Stuffed Anaheim Peppers

The weather is definitely changing around here. The nights are getting chilly and the days are starting to emanate that watery winter light. I know for a lot of people it's sad to say goodbye to summer, but for me it's kind of a sigh of relief. As much as I enjoy summer and the beach BBQ's it brings, I'm also a big fan of seasons. Most of all I love the transition of summer into fall when the crispness hits the air and it's time to put on another layer. Growing up this meant fall harvests from the garden, apple picking followed by warm apple pie, and the annual Harvest Market Fair with apple cider donuts and hay rides. While the seasons aren't nearly as extreme here in the Pacific Northwest as they are in Vermont, I still like to take a moment to enjoy the change in weather and celebrate with heartier meals made from late season harvests. A few weeks ago we got a couple ears of corn and a brown bag filled with Anaheim peppers from our Full Circle delivery and I immediately knew what I wanted to make. Anaheim peppers are mild chilis that are great for roasting and their firm flesh holds up well when trying to stuff them with a filling. (If you can't find Anaheims, green bell peppers will work just fine). This recipe transitions fresh summer flavors of corn and peppers to rich fall flavors of pork and spices. It's perfect for a chilly September evening or even a late summer BBQ on the beach.

  //  Roasted Corn and Sausage Stuffed Anaheim Peppers // Serves 6-8
As I mentioned above, these can be made with green bell peppers instead of Anaheims. I'd say you'd only be able to stuff about 4 bell peppers though. If you don't eat pork, you can substitute ground beef or even some crumbled tempeh to make it vegetarian. Finally, I like bold flavors and lots of spice. If you're the opposite you may want to cut down on the amount of seasoning. 

2 ears of corn, shucked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeds discarded and finely diced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 lb ground pork
1 medium red pepper, diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3-4 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
6-8 green Anaheim peppers

Cilantro sauce:
1 clove garlic
1 large bunch of cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar

Queso cortijo

1. Preheat over to 400° F

2. Place corn on a baking sheet and rub with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt

3. Roast corn for 25-30 minutes, rotating several times until kernels are deep golden-brown. Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce oven to 375° F.

4. In a medium sauté pan, gently heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, until onions are translucent. Add jalapeño and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in coriander, cumin, chili powder, and paprika and mix well. Add pork, red bell pepper, lime juice, and sugar. Cook for 7-8 minutes or until pork in completely done. Turn heat off and stir in 3 tablespoons bread crumbs, egg, cheddar cheese, and salt. If needed, add another tablespoon of bread crumbs so the mixture holds together.

5. Slice open the peppers from stem to tip and remove the seeds. You may need to make another perpendicular cut just below the stem so the cuts look like a capital T. (If you're using bell peppers, cut off the tops and remove seeds). Stuff the peppers with the pork filling, pressing firmly so they are well packed. Place stuffed peppers on a baking sheet. If they fall over, use tin foil in between to prop them up. Bake peppers at 375° F for 20-25 minutes. 

6. While peppers are cooking prepare the cilantro sauce. In a food processor combine the garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and sugar. Process for 2-3 minutes until well blended. Scrape sauce into a bowl and set aside.

7. When peppers are done, remove from oven. Top with cilantro sauce, queso cortijo, and avocado. Serve immediately.