It’s Feeling Chile in Here! In New Mexico, autumn isn’t gauged by changing leaves, but by the moment when farm trucks start rolling into town piled high with gunnysacks bursting full of fresh green chile. By now, the air has been punctuated for over a month with the robust scent of roasting chile, the process the fruit must go through in order for its skin to be shuckable so as to access the tender meat within.
With roots steeped in the culinary traditions of southern Spain, influenced by the recipes of the Sephardic people escaping the Spanish inquisition, and finally blended with the indigenous fruits and vegetables of Pueblo gardens – there’s nothing like it in the world!
Chile – a fruit that came to this region of the New World circa 1580 and not to be confused with the Texas soup known as “chili” or the current “chilly” weather – is the New Mexico state fruit and a pinnacle of local culture around which many things revolve, such as fun gatherings.
Fiesta! Plan the Perfect Chile Peeling Party
Step one: Drag home the requisite sack of chile to stock the garage freezer solely dedicated to chile storage.
Step two: Plan what kinds of spicy finger foods might entice our friends and family to partake in the annual ritual of peeling the chile, a tedious chore best preformed over margaritas and friendly conversation.
Step three: Reward yourself and your friends for a job well done with a gourmet green chile feast whipped up out of a recipe so old it may have originated on an Andalusian shore.
New Mexico Martini
Prepare two days in advance by soaking 2 roasted & peeled chiles in 1 ½ cups silver tequila.
- 2 oz chile-infused tequila
- 1 oz Grand Marnier
- 1 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1 oz light agave nectar
Mix the agave nectar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker with 1 oz of warm water and stir to dissolve. Add the tequila, Grand Marnier, and lemon and lime juices, along with plenty of ice. Shake well and serve in salt-rimmed martini glasses garnished with an olive or a curl of the Hatch chile.
New Mexico Sushi
- Green Chile
- 8oz container of cream cheese
Blend finely chopped green chile with one 8oz container of cream cheese. Add in a pinch of garlic to taste. Spread the mixture on your tortillas. Roll the tortillas up like a log and cut up into delicious, bite size morsels.
Green Chile Stew – a wintertime staple
- 1½ to 1¾ pounds beef chuck or pork butt (shoulder), cut in ½-inch cubes
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 to 1¼ pounds red waxy potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, and diced
- 5 cups beef or chicken stock
- 1½ tablespoons salt or more to taste
- 3 cups 505 Southwestern brand Hatch Valley Roasted Green Chile sauce
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen, 1 cup carrot chunks, or 1 diced red bell pepper, optional
Sear the meat in a Dutch oven or large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until it browns and liquid accumulated from the meat mostly evaporates.
Stir in the onions and garlic and cook for several minutes, until the onions become translucent. Pour in stock and scrape the mixture up from the bottom to loosen browned bits.
Sprinkle in the salt, reduce the heat to a low simmer, and cook uncovered for 1¼ hours.
Stir in the chile and any of the optional ingredients and continue cooking for another 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the meat is quite tender, the vegetables are soft, and the flavors have blended together.
Ladle into bowls and serve hot, it’s Feeling Chile!
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