Green chile harvest is at its peak right now even though the farmers are having trouble getting enough help in the fields for picking them. You can smell the wonderful aroma of green chiles roasting by nearly every grocery store and farm stand.
I still like to roast my own. I find that when I am going to grill whatever we are having for dinner--that just roasting a few dozen before grilling the steak or chops, and placing them in ice water to stop the cooking process works quite well. To prepare the chiles for roasting, I always wash them and place a small lengthwise cut at the top of the chile so it won't explode when being grilled.
After dinner--I just drain them well and place them on a few cookie sheets and quick freeze them for bagging the next day. Quick chilling the chiles in ice water preserves a thicker flesh in the chile when you thaw them. Also, peeling frozen chiles is a breeze--just run the frozen chile under water for a short time and the peel just slips off.
If you are buying a few chiles at a time--and want milder chiles--remember to look for broader shoulders and blunter tips. The reason this is important is that you can have up to 35 different piquancies on one plant at a time. I think what sets the heat in a chile is the amount of water on the roots and leaves at the time of fruiting. They are a fruit you know!
If you want the taste of green chiles and don't want to always have to grill or parch them--try our green chile powder. It makes a perfect condiment to really spice any dish--that is if you like spicy, rather hot flavors. For those of you who do--I am placing our Green Chile Powder on sale at 25% off this week. You can use it for flavoring soups, stews and sauces--adding a small amount at a time to get the spiciness you like.
I am sharing with you one of my favorite brunch dishes--a green chile crusted Quiche made with chorizo. And if you want a real treat, serve Silkies to your brunch guests--they are sure to please. Here's the recipes.
GREEN CHILE-CRUSTED QUICHE
Quiche is usually quite mild in flavor – but never say no to this sassy version. It’s good for brunch, lunch, or supper, and it’s easy to put together, especially if you already have parched green chiles on hand in the freezer. If you’d like to turn down the heat a bit, just substitute fried tortillas for the green-chile crust .
Yield: 6 servings
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 to 8 large fresh New Mexico hot green chiles, parched, peeled, seeded and de-ribbed
½ pound chorizo or hot Italian sausage, casings removed, meat crumbled, browned, and drained
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup light cream
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 Tablespoon Caribe (crushed Northern New Mexico red chile) or 1 teaspoon pequin quebrado, or to taste
½ cup hot salsa, if desired
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate, preferable ovenproof glass or pottery. Line the pie plate with chiles, opening each one out completely and arranging with points at the center of the plate. Arrange chorizo in an even layer across the bottom of the chile crust.
2. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, cilantro, and cream. Very carefully pour into pie plate, being sure not to disturb distribution of sausage. Evenly sprinkle cheese over egg mixture, and then place onion rings in a circle just inside edge of pie plate. Sprinkle Caribe or pequin evenly over all and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with salsa on the side, if desired.
Reprinted with permission from Hotter Than Hell by Jane Butel
This silky, smooth drink is so special that friends have called me from around the world just to get the recipe. This is a great brunch drink, so be prepared to supply a lot of refills!
Yield: 4 servings
10 ice cubes
½ cup frozen orange juice concentrated
1 ounce fresh lime juice
4 ounces gold tequila
6 ounces light cream
2 egg whites
3 Tablespoons sugar or to taste
1. Place ice cubes, orange juice, lime juice, and tequila in a blender. Process until slushy. Add cream, egg whites, and sugar and process on highest speed until very foamy. Serve in stemmed glasses.