Okay, folks… you asked for it! Needless to say, we receive numerous inquiries about green chile… how to make it; how to cook it; how to store it; how to roast it; how to peel it; etc. So due to popular request, we have provided some basic information for our beloved chile lover guests who want to know! Enjoy- COMPLIMENTS OF INN AT PUEBLO BONITO- SANTA FE
CHILE 101: PREPARATION, HANDLING AND STORING NEW MEXICO CHILE
Chile – both Red and Green – are essential ingredients in traditional New Mexican cooking. Of course, one can buy already prepped and ready to go chile, but Santa Fe chefs know chile taste better when prepared in season and fresh. Doing it yourself not only is more economical, but it’s fun too! An experience of authentic New Mexico culture and history. Below is everything you need to know to become a “chile pro”. Go ahead, take your New Mexico cooking to the next level!
Perfect Chile Roasting 101:
ROASTING FRESH NEW MEXICO CHILES AT HOME
- It’s easy! Roast fresh New Mexico chile pods in an oven; on top of a gas stove; or on an outdoor grill!
- Begin with New Mexico grown green chiles- they are the most frequently roasted! About twenty minutes for oven roasting putting a single layer of green chile on a baking sheet. Blister chile at 450° F (blackening skins in many spots) and turn as needed for uniformed scorching or until chiles collapse.
- If roasting just a few green pods, hold with tongs over flame of a gas burner for a few minutes. Turn to blacken all over, or use an asador (wire-mesh griddle).
- If using a gas or charcoal grill, place green chile on grate over hot fire, searing all sides- about ten minutes.
- Roast fresh red pods the same ways, but because of their higher moisture content, keep from blistering and blackening as fully as green. Judge their readiness by looking for loosening skin with deep brown shades.
STEAM AND PEEL FRESH NEW MEXICO CHILES
After roasting red or green chile, steam pods immediately to loosen skins.
- Place pods in a Ziploc plastic bag or covered bowl. Let sit five to ten minutes until cool enough to handle.
- Peeling quantities of chiles, require rubber gloves! Avoid capsaicin ( a substance that gives the pods heat) getting onto your hands- it doesn’t wash off easily and can irritate skin.
- Strip off the outer skin or peel. If tempted to run water over chiles to help in the process (some peel is bound to stick)- Don’t do it! As this will dilutes the flavor. Instead, rinse gloved hands under running water.
- Remove all stems and seeds unless plans include stuffing chiles. In this case, leave the stem and any seeds still attached to avoid weakening the pod.
GREEN CHILE SAUCE RECIPE: Servings: 4 cups
Green chile sauce is an essential ingredient in New Mexican recipes. Green chile sauce can be frozen- so feel free to be creative and smother any/all meats, eggs, pasta, etc with this highly popular accompaniment! This green chile sauce will be a welcomed treat packing a punch of flavor and spice to any dish. If planning ahead, remember this keeps for 3 days refrigerated otherwise it freezes well!
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ to 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chopped roasted New Mexican green chile, fresh or thawed frozen
- 2 cups chicken or beef stock
- ½ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
- Warm the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and continue cooking for another 1 or 2 minutes.
- Mix in the chile. Immediately begin pouring in the stock, stirring as you go, then add the salt.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until thickened but still very pourable. Use warm or refrigerate for later use.
RED CHILE SAUCE RECIPE:
Another staple in New Mexican cooking! Use red sauce in enchiladas, burritos, tamales, or smothered on top of basically anything. This sauce will keep up to 6 days refrigerated and freezes well.
Servings: 4 cups
- Toast dried whole chile pods in a heavy skillet over medium heat until they are warm and release their fragrance, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Remove the chiles from the skillet immediately. When cool enough to handle, break each chile pod into several pieces (wearing rubber or plastic gloves if your skin is sensitive), discarding the stem and seeds.
- Place half the chile pieces in a blender and pour in one-half of the water or stock. Puree until mostly smooth but with a few flecks of chile still visible in the liquid.
- Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté several minutes until the onion is limp.
- Pour in the blended chile mixture, then add oregano and salt.
- Puree the remaining chiles with the remaining water and pour it into the sauce in the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for a total of 20 to 25 minutes.
- After about 15 minutes, taste the sauce and adjust seasonings. When ready, the sauce will be cooked down enough to coat a spoon thickly but still drop off of it easily. Use warm or refrigerate for later use.
- 8 ounces (about 20 to 25) dried whole red New Mexican chile pods, mild, medium, hot, or a combination
- 4 cups water or chicken stock (divided use)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 to 2 teaspoons crumbled dried Mexican oregano or marjoram
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
Any time of year is an excellent time to visit Santa Fe, New Mexico! Foods, flavors, colors, clear skies, world class museums, art, culture, skiing and so much more! But the Fall- October, November are Chile harvest times! Fresh Chile is abundant. Then December while New Mexicans are preparing for Holidays- chiles are plentiful in local markets. Rellenos, tamales, stews, posole are local traditional favorites. Inn at Pueblo Bonito features the BEST Red Chile Pork Tamales in the State of New Mexico every morning for breakfast- all year round! So, we invite you to travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico and feast on our local cuisine featuring the beloved red or green chile. You won’t be sorry! Give us a call 1-800-461-4599 if we can be of assistance. We’d love to host you on your next historic Santa Fe vacation get away! Pueblo Bonito bed and breakfast Santa Fe!