I don't know about you! But for me, most any dish featuring green chile is a winner in my book. Locally grown fresh green chiles are at least three months off. So, there are only three choices, buy super expensive fresh ones that are not so fresh, use some frozen green chiles from your freezer (that is if you are lucky enough to have some) or use our pure green chile powder, now at 25% off until Friday, May 1. Our powder is pretty hot, but delivers a very good green chile flavor. I have some customers that carry our powdered green chile in a small vial in their purse...ready for pepping up too mild flavors when eating out.
Green chiles, as you probably know are unripe red chiles and have a different nutrition than red chiles. Amazingly, when the chiles turn red, the predominant vitamin is A. In green chiles, the major vitamin is C. Very interesting when you think about it, as vitamin A is what you need for the shorter days in winter which is just around the corner, when the chiles turn red in the fall. What signals their turning is the shorter days and cooler temperatures.
Green chiles have a tough skin which is parched over or under high heat, then chilled and peeled. With the powder, the best is to add the powdered chile one Tablespoon at a time until you get the desired heat.
We are looking at rescheduling our Oaxaca tour to the week of the 14th of September. We do have openings if you can join us. I plan to get all the classes scheduled by the end of the week, however you can register now if you wish. It is a great tour. And--Oaxaca has not been very affected by the COVID-19. We should be going at a great time.
Our Finger Lickin' Barbecue class is still set for June 4. The Chile and Chocolate class will be set for June 18. ( It was originally set for April 23.) We do have openings in both!
Following are 2 classic New Mexican recipes using green chile. As I mentioned, for substituting for fresh green chiles. add 1 Tablespoon of the powder to begin with and continue until you get the heat you desire. In the Green Chile Stew, you may want to add 2 to 3 large green bell peppers coarsely chopped to have for substance in the recipe, since green chiles are one of the major ingredients.
GREEN CHILE CHICKEN OPEN FACED OR ROLLED ENCHILADAS
This recipe is a favorite of visitors to New Mexico—in fact it is often voted the number 1 choice by tourists of our traditional dishes. This is the best sauce recipe—many are not very flavorful as they do not use a roux to develop the flavor.
Yield: 4 servings
8 white, yellow or blue corn tortillas
Oil for frying or chile water, optional
1 recipe Green Chile Sauce (follows)
3/4 cup 50/50 mixture of grated Cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese, or to taste
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
Garni: Caribe chile, coarsely chopped Romaine and red leaf lettuces, 4 tomato wedges for each enchilada
- For rolled enchiladas, lightly fry the tortillas in ½ inch of hot oil in a skillet (or dip in chile water or just warm the tortillas). (see instructions below.)
- For Flat Enchiladas: Place a spoonful of green chile sauce on the plate, then top with a tortilla followed by sauce, cheese and onion. Repeat once more. Top each enchilada with more sauce, cheese and onion. Heat in a moderate 350 F oven until the cheese melts. Top each with a dollop of sour cream and a few grains of caribe. Encircle each enchilada with lettuce and tomato wedges.
For Rolled Enchiladas: Dip the softened tortilla into the sauce and place a strip of each grated cheese and chopped onion down the center. Roll and top with more sauce and cheese. To serve a crowd, place the rolled enchiladas in a large, shallow baking dish, but do not cover with sauce. Just before serving, heat in a moderate 350 F oven. Warm the sauce separately and add just as you are ready to serve. Do not overcook or the enchiladas will be very mushy. Top with additional cheese and reheat until it melts. Add lettuce around edges before serving.
NEW MEXICO GREEN CHILE SAUCE
This basic, yet versatile sauce without the chicken can be used to create enchiladas, or pour over chimichangas or burritos. Seafood, beef or beans can be substituted for the chicken.
Yield: 2 cups
1 Tablespoon butter or lard
2/3 cup chopped onion
2 Tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup (or more) chopped green chiles (with green chile powder, add 1 Tablespoon at a time)
1 cup cooked chopped chicken
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of ground comino (cumin)
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion until soft. Stir in the flour.
- Add the broth. Then add chiles, garlic, salt and comino. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Just before plating the enchiladas, add the chicken and simmer for another 2 mintues, leaving the broth rather thin.
Reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen
GREEN CHILE STEW
Beware, chile novices—you may be too green for this green chili. It is a favorite of the Navajos and they like it hot. Go light on the chiles when starting out—you can always add more. Serve this with Bear Paw Bread (Pueblo Indian French style bread) or generously buttered hot flour tortillas.
Yield: 8 to 12 servings
3 pounds pork shoulder, fat and bone removed (reserve the fat), cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons salt
3 medium-size onions, coarsely chopped
4 medium-size cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans (14 ½ ounces each) whole tomatoes, chopped, liquid reserved
20 fresh green chiles, parched, peeled, and cut crosswise into 1 inch wide strips or green chile powder
(to equal about 4 cups; see Note)
½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- Melt the pork fat in a heavy straight-sided 5-quart pot over medium high heat.
- Combine the flour and salt in a paper bag. Add the pork cubes and shake bag to coat them with flour. Shake the excess flour off the pork cubes. Add the pork to the pot, a third at a time, and cook, stirring, until the cubes are evenly browned on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. As they are browned, transfer the pork cubes to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Return the pork to the pot, stir in the tomatoes, their liquid, and 3 cups water, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Uncover the pot, add the chiles and oregano, and cook for another 30 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Notes: If you can’t find fresh chiles, use 2 cans (16 ounces each) whole green chiles. Drain them seed them, and cut them crosswise into 1-inch slices.
Reprinted with permission from Chili Madness by Jane Butel