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It's Chile Planting Time

By Jane Butel  March 10, 2021

Gardening is great fun.  You can even have small plantings  in pots on your porch, portal or patio.  Growing chiles and tomatillos  will give  you a bounty for your salsas, sauces and spicy dishes.  To get a jump start on  your growing season, plant seeds now in small paper cups, ice cube trays or even papier mache small pots you make yourself around a tomato paste size can.  (Just this past Sunday New York Times, in the Home section, they showed how to make your own papier mache using wet strips of newspaper and molding them around a can, removing the can when the paper has almost dried.

We have just received a  new supply of New Mexico's own fresh, certified seeds for Tomatillos, New Mexico 604, Big Jims, Jalapenos and Ancho  chiles that we are putting on sale now for the next 10 days  at 10% off, so  you can get your own  garden started.

Next week, we are conducting our first week- long class since 2019.  If you would like to participate in  the whole week or just a day, we would love to have you join us.  The menus for each day's cooking are listed on my website under week long--just click week long on the home page and then the menus link on the next page.  Just yesterday, we discovered that there was a glitch in the online registration.  It is NOW fixed so that you can register at the continued 20% off. 

People are registering for our  Oaxaca  Culinary tour,  which is such great fun Register now ,so you can be sure to join our June 15 to 21, tour where we have three cooking classes, tours, great dinners and much, much more.

Our next weekend class is April 23 - 25 and our next day class is Barbecue  on April 8.

Here's two chile laden recipes to enjoy--

CHILE-CORN CUSTARD CAZUELAS

The green chiles in this recipe form a lovely and unusual crust for the golden custard. For greatest flair, prepare in and serve in earthenware bowls (cazuelas).  These could be great with you Easter ham.

Yield: 12 servings

2 dozen while large, fresh New Mexican green chiles, parched, and sliced open
6 eggs, beaten
4 cans (15 ounces each) yellow cream-style corn
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal (if desired, crumbled tostado or taco shells may be substituted)
1 ½ teaspoons salt (reduce amount if using salted tostados)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 Tablespoons sweet butter melted

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese (not necessary to grate if using a food processor or blender; can use low or no-fat cheddar or Jack cheese to reduce fat)

1. Butter 12 ovenproof earthenware bowls or individual casseroles. Then peel the chiles, remove the stems, and rinse out the seeds, leaving the chiles whole. Place two whole, sliced open chiles in each casserole, big or stem end up, slightly above the rim of each bowl. As uniformly as possible, stretch the two chiles to cover the bottom and sides of each.

2. Place all the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until well blended.

3. Pour into the individual, green chile-lined casseroles, dividing the mixture evenly. Bake 30 minutes at 375F, then reduce the temperature to 325F for another 10 minues, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. These keep amazingly well. I’ve kept them in a 150Foven for 3 to 4 hours while waiting serving time, and they really do not suffer. Place the casserole dishes on a service plate to serve.

SALSA FRESCA

This refreshing sauce can be as mild or  as hot as you like, depending on the chiles used. Any leftovers of this sauce can be added to guacamole, made into salad dressing or chile con queso, and can be frozen for up to 4 months for later use in cooked dishes. This salsa is the original salsa developed in Mexico and reputed to “save lives” after one of the Revolutions. The salsa has equal parts of red, green and white—just as the Mexican flag does and is reputed that those who had it on their dinner tables at meal time were saved—when the Federales came around to check on their loyalty.

Yield: 1-1/2 to 2 cups

1 large fresh tomato, finely chopped

½ cup finely chopped onion, or 2 scallions with tops included

4 green chiles, parched, peeled and chopped, or 4 ounces of canned chopped

           green chiles (or 2 to 4 fresh jalapenos, finely minced)

1 clove garlic, finely minced

½ teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro (optional)

1. Combine all ingredients; allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes. Sauce keeps for 1 week when refrigerated.

 

 

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