The hotbed of chiles in Spain is the valley of La Vera, where the pimientos (chiles) are grown and smoked to make the famous spice pimentón de la Vera. The majority of the pimentón goes to the sausage factories, where it is used to spice up, flavor, and brighten up the famous Spanish chorizo. But it is also packed in tins for the consumer market. There are three varieties of pimentón--sweet (dulce), hot (picante), and bittersweet (agridulce). The hot type is used in winter soups, chorizo, and Galician pulpo, or octopus. The octopus is boiled and sliced, then sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and hot pimentón powder. Interestingly, there are recipes for chorizo and potato stews that utilize all three of the types of pimentón. Serve this sauce over grilled seafood and chicken.
When chile growers Joe and Martha Lujan of Las Cruces, New Mexico were kind enough to show Harald and his wife Renate around their chile fields and roasting facility, Martha fixed them this tasty snack. Joe had just roasted a batch of green chiles, and Martha took some to the kitchen, stuffed them with Longhorn cheese, wrapped them in a tortilla and heated them in the microwave.