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Green Chile - Yum!!

Updated on October 2, 2014

The World of Green Chile

Having grown up in New Mexico, my husband was stunned to discover you couldn't order green chile on your pizza in Texas. While in NM, almost every restaurant offers something with green chile on it, it's almost unheard of anywhere outside the state. I've only recently developed a taste for it, being a fan of red chile myself, but it's totally yum to me now.

I've started this lens as a way to help you explore all the yumminess to be had from green chile - where to buy it and what to do with it once you have it. Enjoy and muy caliente!!

About Green Chile

Most of the green chile you're going to find comes from Hatch, New Mexico (although I have it on good authority that they're starting to grow it in Espanola again). I've been there - my dad decided once when I was a kid that it would be a great idea to go by and pick our own. We then drove all the way to Mississippi with bags of chile on the roof of the station wagon, watering them down at every gas station to try to keep them from turning red before we got to my uncle's where we could roast them. Now, where was I?

The chile coming out of Hatch comes in a variety of heat levels and most places will let you mix and match as you please. Your choices will likely be Mild, Medium (also known as Big Jim), Hot (mostly likely Sandia), or Really Hot (Lumbre among others). Try them all to figure out which one you really like. I know people who think Lumbre isn't hot enough and people who can barely take Mild.

What to Call It

OK, let's start with as basic as you can get - the name. To me, chili is the stew stuff with beans and meat and red chili - like Chili's the restaurant. When you're talking about chile peppers, it's with an "e." At least in New Mexico, that's the way it is, seeing as how that's the spelling from the Spanish. In fact, Senator Pete Dominici from NM has even held out on the Senate floor about this very issue.

So, for this lens, remember it's chile with an "e," folks!!

Chile - does spelling matter?

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Where to Buy

Here are a few links to places where you can order green chile and get more info and recipes. Since I live in Dallas now, this is the only option for me unless my mom comes through and brings me some. You just can't find it outside of New Mexico very easily. Check out the eBay links farther down the page as well.

Green Chile Stew - Recipes for the classic green chile dish

Green chile stew was a weekly staple in my house growing up and one of the pots that always sat on the back of my grandmother's stove. The versions of this classic dish are quite astounding in their variety. Even my own family takes different paths now.

My mom makes her with potatoes, but my brother has dropped those out of his and uses chicken stock for the liquid. My brother-in-law uses pork roast instead of hamburger meat, and I've started combining the best of these versions in my own, which has onions instead of potatoes. Here are a few other recipes to get you started on this staple dish.

Cooking with Green Chile

Hatch Chile Festival - Weekend party to celebrate green chile

Held Labor Day weekend every year in Hatch, N.M., which is where the best green chile comes from. Go and join in the fun as thousands of people descend on the town!!!

Other Green Chile Recipes - For those who just don't like stew

Green chile stew isn't to everyone's taste. And let's face it, it's hard to face a bowl of stew when it's still in the 90s outside. So what other options are there for those delicious green peppers? Check out the below links for other ideas.

Eating Green Chile

Roasting and Freezing

Or - what to do once you get your fresh chile

Roasting is a fairly simple process and you can do it at home. But it's a lot of fun to go someplace where they're roasting them in the big barrels. The smell is divine!!

Basically, you're cooking the chiles until the skins blister - they'll go from bright green to more of an olive shade and blacken a little. Try about 7-9 minutes in a 450-degree oven or toss them on the grill outside.

I've heard different stories about whether you should leave the peels on before you freeze your chiles. Some people feel it impacts the taste and texture to remove the peels first. But my personal experience is that a quart-size bag of frozen chile doesn't get used because you have to thaw the entire block and that's a lot of chile! So I developed a method that allows for easy use of my chile once frozen.

What I've taken to doing is peeling and chopping right away, then freezing it in ice cube trays. My "chile cubes" then get placed into a freezer bag and are ready for use in any quantity I need. One cube to toss in a couple of scrambled eggs or five for a stew. There are some who might not feel this is an optimal way to freeze your chilie, but it provides convenience and allows me to stretch those precious few bags of chile my mom brings to Dallas for me out for as long as possible.

Roasting and Peeling Green Chile - Too bad it isn't smell-o-vision!!

Cool Green Chile Stuff to Buy

Green Chile-heads Speak Out - Share your chile experiences!! What's the strangest food combination you've seen or had using green chile? How did you get hooked?

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    • mistyriver profile image

      mistyriver 3 years ago

      I live in Southern Colorado where we eat Pueblo green chilies. They're good on everything! When we lived in other states, this was the one thing we missed the most, and even had relatives bring us a bushel of roasted chilies.

    • mastemga profile image

      mastemga 3 years ago

      A day without Chile is a day without sunshine

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 4 years ago

      Two New Mexico's restaurants I miss for the green chile are Dionâs Pizza (green chile and pepperoni) and Blake's Lotaburger (green chile cheeseburger). I am making myself hungry just talking about it.

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 5 years ago

      Bring on the Chile - they are good for you and help get the metabolism burning fat.

    • profile image

      TWWSTUDIOS 5 years ago

      Nice lens on New Mexico and Green chile. We love it here in NM. Gets me excited to make more videos. Feel welcome to link to us and see our program on tv or the web at http://www.newmexicorides.tv/

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • RolandTumble profile image

      RolandTumble 8 years ago

      Very nice. 5*, favorite & lensrolled to my foodie lenses

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Being from Socorro, NM I grew up on chile since the age of five or younger. I don't like how this web page keeps refering to hatch chile! There are other vedors available. In my opinion, hatch is not all that great. The chile's tend to be thick. True it's the largest producer in the state but keep your options open and call around.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      I love chili, chile however you spell it. Green, red, yellow. Yummy lens. Very artistically done. 5*****

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 8 years ago

      Love green chiles, the mild kind. The best Chile Rellenos EVER are to be had at El Charro Avitia in Carson City, NV. Yum! 5* favored and lensrolled!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Love this! One of the most satisfying foods you can eat and I love to smell it roasting!

    • Clairwil LM profile image

      Clairwil LM 9 years ago

      I adore spicy food, chile in particular. Yum!

    • profile image

      squidfun 9 years ago

      What a great lens! I'm craving chili big time.

    • Tolovus profile image

      Tolovus 9 years ago

      Hola from the Duke City! Great Lens on Green Chile. I tried them all when I first moved here over 10 years ago. But, this gringo can't handle the spicy stuff. I have to stick to sopapillas... lol. 5 stars!

    • SpicySun profile image

      SpicySun 9 years ago

      Hi! Great lens! I can't wait to read more.....Please visit my new lens Spicy Sun Rubs and Dips! It is soooo delicious! Your friend, SPICY!

    • profile image

      Aika 9 years ago

      chili roasting? uhm~ never tasted that one. Maybe I should try it! its looks yummy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Where can I get plans to build a full sized

      chile roaster?

      thank you

    • profile image

      webseitler 9 years ago

      Great job for your first lens!

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