6. roasting green chile
new mexicans put green chile on everything. i mean, everything. i have a lot of friends who see these in the grocery store (make SURE you’re buying hatch, new mexican grown) but have no idea how to prepare them.
green chile is another building block, and makes me feel so connected to my family and the changing of the seasons. it’s common practice in the fall to buy 30-60 pounds (yes, pounds) of fresh hatch chile and get them roasted in big communal fire roasters outside the grocery stores. drive down any road in new mexico in september and you can smell the very distinct, delightful, delicious smell of roasting chile. my mom loved it so much, she built a mini chile roaster to fit over the grill. (engineering moms, amiright?)
my friend, sha holt, even made an air freshener to mimick the smell in the off season. new mexicans take it srsly.
but, if you don’t have that, here’s how you roast chile in the oven. which is perfectly fine too. :)
this is a more than a chile, it’s a way of life.
options for where to use it: green chile tempeh burritos, calabacitas
here’s how you roast them.
- 1 case green chile.* (i buy beuno, or i have them shipped from chilemonster.com. either way, just make sure you’re buying hatch, new mexican grown chile.)
*a note about bueno products: i’ve used this brand all of my life. it’s the absolute best brand for new mexican chile, and they support local new mexican chile farmers. when you’re shopping for new mexican chile, it’s important to know that the chile you’re buying is actually FROM new mexico because there are local farmers there who have been farming this crop for generations. because of the lack of regulations on the chile industry, new mexico chile farmers are threatened. when you support brands like bueno, you not only get the best tasting product as the chile grown in lower new mexico tastes very distinct, but you’re also protecting family businesses. i have a lot of heart for the bueno brand. sometimes it’s not possible to find them in store, and i have 100% gone out of my way to purchase their products online. look for the certified “grown in new mexico” on the product. it’s worth it, i promise.
here’s how to make it:
1. preheat oven to 400 degrees. line cookie sheets with non-stick aluminum foil. (did i mention, non-stick? get non-stick. NON-STICK, PEOPLE.)
2. arrange the chiles in a single layer. put them in the oven on the top rack. set a timer for 18 minutes.
3. at 18 minutes, when your kitchen smells like chile roasting heaven, flip the chiles over. it’s perfectly fine to get roasted spots, or even if they burn a bit. that’s normal and delicious. roast them until they blister, about another 20 minutes.
how to peel the chiles:
it’s *very important* that you keep in mind not to touch your face while peeling these. oh, the pain. there are two parts to the chile; the meat and the skin. the meat is what gets diced and put into things. these aren’t like bell peppers, where the skin is the part you eat. It’s okay if some skin ends up in the final chiles, as it’s technically edible, but it’s waxy. the exception to this rule is if you roast it over the fire. then i tend to leave a few charred skin bits in for the smoky flavor.
1. *pro tip* after you’ve taken them out of the oven, immediately put the hot chiles into ziploc bags. if you let them cool in the bags, the steam helps seperate the particularly stubborn skins from the meat. if none of the skins are seperating, you didn’t cook them long enough. throw em’ back in.
2. peel the chiles by peeling the skin off. you can leave them whole and save the in-tact ones for chile rellenos, or dice them to be used at a later time. i usually have, at any given point, 7-8 gallon sized ziploc bags of frozen chile in the freezer.
things to add chile to: mac & cheese, green chile stew, enchiladas, chile rellenos, hamburgers.