New Mexico green chiles are beginning to gain red streaks--signaling fall, when they will turn completely red. Did you know that as the outside color of the chile changes, so does the nutrition. The primary vitamin in green chiles is vitamin C, and the primary vitamin in red chiles is vitamin A--the oil born "sight vitamin" critical to better vision especially in dim light. Red chiles still have some vitamin C--but not as much as when they are green. All chiles any time--whether green or red are very good for you!
Chiles aid digestion, contrary to lots of public opinion. They have been known to even cauterize ulcers! They help to keep a clear complexion, They help to keep the waist line of your dreams or to loose and maintain weight. They help to keep an elevated mood or happiness quotient. And--to stay healthy, eating at least one-half teaspoon of the hottest chile you can endure will assist in keeping cancer and heart disease at bay.
In order to keep pure chiles fresh, always store them in glass containers and refrigerate or freeze for best keeping quality. Also, keep your Cumin and Mexican Oregano in jars in the refrigerator also.
And, to make it more affordable, I am reducing our hot and mild pure red chiles 25% all week.
We had almost a whirlwind of cooking classes the past few days. Our Green Chile Fiesta was a real hoot--we had 12 enthusiastic green chile cooks creating a whole range of delights from 2 award winning green chile stews to a Green Chile Crusted Quiche, Blue Corn Crusted Chiles Rellenos,Calabacitas and topped off with a yummmy Green Chile Apple Pie! Our next class is a Red Chile Fiesta, set during Balloon Fiesta at 11 AM on Monday, October 7 and on October 10, we have a Tamale Rolling class. There are a few openings in each and each is great fun! To register, just click on the class.
And then, the next day we had a delightful class of only 3 creating Traditional New Mexican and innovative Southwestern specialties for our weekend class. The next weekend class is set for November 8-10 and we still have some openings for that class as well.
And.....we still have a few openings in our week long class starting next Monday, September 23 at Half Price.
Here's a couple of recipes using our red chiles for you to try--
TEXAS STYLE TAMALE PIE
This typically Texas style casserole dish is a favorite for entertaining because it can be made well ahead of time—two to three days—and then just baked before serving time. The ingredients can be varied to suit your taste and what you have on hand. A salad and perhaps bread make this a tasty meal.
Yield: 4 servings
6 cups water
1 cup white, yellow or blue corn meal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups chili, any kind
½ cup whole kernel corn
1 tomato, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup stuffed Spanish green olives, sliced thinly
½ cup grated Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese or to suit taste
1. Place 3 cups water and salt in a saucepan. Mix the remaining water with the cornmeal. When water boils, gradually stir in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thick, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile butter a three quart casserole.
2. While still warm, line the bottom and sides of the casserole with the corn meal mush or mixture--smoothing it out to about ½ inch thickness. If baking immediately, preheat the oven to 350 F or if delaying the baking, preheat before baking.
CHILI UPSIDE DOWN PIE
The spicy flavors of chili have always paired well with cornbread. This Pie is actually rather similar in taste to the Tamale Pie, page . It is lighter and differently flavored in that the cornbread is not as dense as the mush. You can use any leftover chili for this one.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 teaspoon butter
3 cups leftover chili
½ cup onion, chopped
¼ cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
1 recipe Bacon Crumble Cornbread, recipe, follows
½ cup Monterey Jack-Cheddar cheese grated mix
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Meanwhile, butter a three quart casserole or baking pan. Place the chili, onion and jalapenos in layers. Prepare the cornbread, recipe following, omitting the bacon.
2. Place the cornbread on top of the chili. Then smooth out to the corners of the casserole. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
BACON CRUMBLE CORNBREAD
There’s something about cornbread that really complements chili, and there’s something about bacon that really complements cornbread. This cornbread combines the smoky, rich flavor of bacon with the gritty satisfying texture and pleasing earthiness of cornmeal—and it’s delicious alongside any number of chilies. You may use either finely ground corn meal or corn flour or coarsely ground corn meal.
Yield: Serves 4 to 8
4 strips thick-cut (or 8 strips thin-cut) good-quality bacon
1 cup blue, yellow or white cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut the bacon crosswise into ¼ inch wide strips.using a kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, then place them in a 9-inch cast-iron or heavy oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the skillet and pour off the rest.
- Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and milk. Add egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine.
- Pour the bacon drippings into the batter and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the unwashed skillet, top with the bacon, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out clean, 20 minutes.