Monday, September 7, 2009

CHILI Season

What would September be without Chilies? Hatch chilies no less. Of course, September brings cooler weather, wonderful fall colors, changing leaves and shorter days. But, when September rolls around, in our book it's time to head out to gather those Hatch green chilies from New Mexico. We visit our favorite roasting spot--Nick's Garden. We remember the first time we visited Nick's several years ago when roasting chilies were just coming in and it wasn't popular to feast on these sensations. There was just a small setup with a few bushels of chilies and one lady was serving up some green chili stew as a sample of what could done with the chilies. To this day, that is the best chili recipe!
New Mexico Green Chili
4 Cups water
3 cups roasted & peeled chopped green chilies
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes with juice
1 clove fresh minced garlic
1 Tbls bacon drippings or lard (that certainly adds to the flavor!)
2 Tbls flour
Salt to taste
We add cooked pork but you could also use beef, turkey or chicken
In dutch oven, heat bacon drippings until hot. Add flour until it looks like pasty (in the south, we call it a roux) Brown flour until dark brown, if you don't brown enough, chili will look chalky. Add water, wisking until all lumps are gone. Add tomatoes with juice, chilies, garlic and salt. At this point, chili may still be too thick; add a little more water; not too much. Simmer for 10 minutes with meat. TA DA! Delicious! Serve with cornbread.
In the many years since our first visit to Nick's for our chilies, we have learned there is a right way and a wrong way to clean those roasted specialities. We tried cleaning in the kitchen over running water; but, after tears and running noses from the strong chili smell, we moved outdoors to the deck. Now, we are 'pros'! We bag them in freezer bags and store in freezer for future consumption.
Here's another couple recipes that we like using roasted green chilies.
Green Chili Quesadillas
Large homemade flour tortillas laid out on hot grill, sprinkle shredded cheeses (Mexican white & cheddar mixed) over tortillas, spoon over chopped green chilies, fold over half tortilla, grill till cheese is melted, slice into eating pieces and serve--yum, yum!
Stuffed Green Chilies
Take whole green chilies and stuff with goat cheese (our favorite) and place on grill (we use non stick foil). Heat till cheese is melted. You can also use cream cheese. If grill is not handy, layer split chilies in casserole and spread cheese over top--bake 350 degree oven until cheese is bubbly.
And of course, there is the
Green Chili Sauce that can be served over anything and everything! And if you have ever eaten in New Mexico, that's actually what they do--
2 lbs red or green chilies, roasted and skin removed
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1/4 lime
2 tablespoons oil
1-2 jalapenos seeded (optional for spiciness)
2 cups water
Blend chilies in food processor until chunky. Add in remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
Use immediately or freeze for later use.


  1. You'll definitely want to use gloves when dealing with these hot devils as the juices will burn your eyes for days if you touch your eyes -- even if you've washed your hands a dozen times!