It’s Green Chile Week at the Periodical!

Photo courtesy USDA

I’m devoting this week to my New Mexican roots by posting a new recipe each day that incorporates the unmistakable flavor of my home state—green chile. Yes, with only an “e” on the end.

If you’ve ever been to New Mexico and innocently ordered a plate of enchiladas, only to be asked, “Red or green?”, then you know what I’m talking about. New Mexicans treat their chile like a vegetable and they take it very seriously.  Some restaurants even post a sign at the front door forecasting how hot the chile is that day. I’ve never seen a “mild” sign, this stuff is almost always spicy. Red chiles are just mature green chiles; and red sauce, traditionally found on enchiladas, is made with dried red chiles ground to a powder. If you’ve never had green chile sauce, it’s a treat and goes on almost anything. I’ll have a recipe for that later in the week. If you ever want a bit of both sauces, which is also mighty good, just ask for “Christmas”.

Right now is the midst of the chile harvest. Despite how much I miss it, I’ve never had it shipped to me though there are ways to do that (see biadchile.com for one outlet). Instead, I tend to settle for what I find in my grocery store’s freezer section, as seen in the photo. It works in a pinch, and it’s better than the limp, flavorless stuff that comes in cans from the Mexican foods aisle. But lately (don’t tell anyone in New Mexico I said this) I’ve also taken to roasting some fresh Anaheim chiles on the grill next to whatever they’re destined to adorn. Anaheims are more readily available and are genetically similar to New Mexican chiles, seeing as how someone took New Mexican chiles and hoped to grow them in California. Their flavor is similar and their heat is milder, which is an obvious bonus for some.

Just char them over flames (over gas stovetop flame, grill, or under broiler) until black and blistered, place them in a paper bag or other heatproof container to “sweat”, peel them, and remove the seeds. It’s that simple, and the boost in flavor and quality is worth the extra effort. You can make a huge batch and freeze it. If you’re dealing with lots and lots of chiles to peel, take a tip from the New Mexicans and coat your hands in lard to protect all the microscopic cuts that you won’t even know are there until chile juice gets into them. Or wear gloves, because you’d think this wouldn’t need to be said but it always does, DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES! I’ve done that more times than I’d like to admit.

If you’ve never tried green chiles like this, I hope you will. I’ve got recipes for a stew, a soup, a sauce, some eggs, and a burger, so there’s something for everyone. Green chile really does go on just about anything.

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6 Responses to “It’s Green Chile Week at the Periodical!”

  1. It’s like christmas! I LOVE ME SOME GREEN CHILES. Probably because my mom’s best recipes include them, and she grew up in the Q.

  2. Don in Arkansas Reply 09/26/2011 at 9:35 am

    Love green chiles. I ran across this recipe last week and made it this morning. I had to adjust the spices a little (I like a more heavy hand with the coriander,cumin, & chili powder) but it turned out well. I am pretty low-carb and substituted some diced zucchini for the hominy but it still turned out quite tasty. Here’s the link http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/swamp-chili .Just finished a big bowl.

  3. I LOVE green chiles and I love to see it spelled correctly. I’m from Arizona but have spent many a time in New Mexico and I love NM. I always try to stop in Hatch and pick some up but these days I can get Hatch chiles here in Tucson quite often – and on weekends the local Hispanic market will roast them for free!

    Looking forward to your green chile recipes.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. It’s Green Chile Week at the Periodical! | Paleo Digest - 09/26/2011

    […] web!It’s Green Chile Week at the Periodical! The Paleo Periodical / Posted on: September 26, 2011The Paleo Periodical – I’m devoting this week to my New Mexican roots by posting a new recipe each day that […]

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