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It's Green Chile Season!

Oh the sweet heat. If you've ever lived in Colorado for more than 8 seconds, chances are you've probably got a bag of roasted green chiles in your freezer right now. Roasted Green Chiles are a kitchen staple at my house, and probably yours too. As we all know, Colorado lays claim to the Pueblo Chile, but did you know that the Pueblo Chile, The New Mexico Hatch Chile, and the Anaheim Pepper are all the same?

The difference...? Just like the three things that make or break a restaurant...

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

The green chiles in our region are found in four varieties: mild, medium, hot, and extra hot.  The Scoville range for the these peppers is between 5000-20,000 units (which is comparable to a Jalapeno) and have a delightful flavor.  These chiles grow to 5-6 inches in length and can be found in green or red.  The difference?  Green chiles are a bit younger and have a sharper flavor.  Red chiles however were allowed to stay on the plant and ripen a little longer, leading to a sweeter flavor!  Contrary to popular belief, the color of the pepper does not influence the heat level - so if you have sensitivities, try a little piece of the bottom of the pepper.  It'll be happy to tell you how spicy it is.  These 3 varieties of pepper have a very thick skin, so as they do taste excellent raw, or in salsas, they work the best when roasted!  The three recipes below all feature the roasted Pueblo  or New Mexico Hatch Green Chile! Enjoy!


I'm not trying to start a war, but Colorado grows the best green chiles... hands down. 



New Mexico Posole

• 3 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into large pieces

• 2 25oz. cans of hominy, drained and rinsed

• 5 ancho chiles

• 5 guajillo chiles

• 1 onion, split in half

• 3 Hatch Green Chiles, roasted

• 3 cloves of garlic + 1 head of garlic

• 1 tbsp Mexican oregano, fresh

• 3 bay leaves

• 1 T. sea salt + as needed


Garnishes:

• Shredded Red Cabbage, or lettuce

• Diced Onion

• Sliced Radish

• Limes

For the Pork:

In a pressure cooker, combine the pork, head of garlic, bay leaves and half an onion. Cover with water and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Remove the pork from the cooking liquid and set aside. Strain the broth and set aside. When the pork is cool enough to handle, shred.


For the Chiles and Soup:

Remove the seeds and stems from the chiles. Place the cloves of garlic, ½ onion, and Hatch Green Chiles in a pot. Cover just over the top with water and bring to a boil (about 3 C.). Boil for 10 minutes, turn off heat, cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Add the chiles, onion, garlic, oregano and the soaking liquid to the food processor. Blend until smooth, strain. In a large pot, heat 3 T. oil over medium heat. Add the pureed chile mixture, reduce heat and simmer until thick and very dark red. About 30 minutes. When the chile sauce has thickened, add the hominy, the reserved pork broth and the shredded pork. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 more minutes. Taste for seasoning.


Roasted Green Chiles Enchiladas Suizas

• 1 ½# tomatillo, de-husked and cut in half

• 4 chiles, whole

• 2 T. oil

• 1 C. cilantro, chopped

• 1 ¼ C. crema

• 1.5 tsp ground cumin

• 6 cloves garlic

• ¾ C. hot water

• 1 rotisserie chicken, picked clean from the bones, and shredded

• 4 roasted chiles, deseeded and diced

• 12 ounces queso fresco + 4 oz queso fresco for topping

• 2 green onions, chopped

• Corn tortillas

1. In a bowl, toss the tomatillo and chiles with the oil and salt and pepper. Broil in the oven until charred. Let cool. When cool, remove the skin from the peppers, but not the tomatillo.

2. Transfer the roasted tomatillos and chiles to a food processor and mix with the cilantro, crema, cumin, garlic and hot water. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

3. In a bowl, combine the rotisserie chicken, roasted chiles, 12 oz. of queso fresco, and the green onions.

4. Wrap the tortillas in a damp towel and microwave until pliable. Place ¼ of the mixture inside a tortilla and roll it up into a large cigar shape. Place seam side down in a casserole dish. Repeat this process with remaining ingredients.

5. When all of the enchiladas are rolled, pour over the sauce and crumble the remaining 4 ounces of queso fresco and bake in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. Do not let the enchiladas burn.

Stewed White Beans with Green Chile and Herbs

• 1 lb. dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and drained

• 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

• 1 medium onion, finely chopped

• 1 celery rib, finely chopped

• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 3 bay leaves

• 1 large poblano chile, seeded and finely chopped

• Kosher salt and pepper

• ½ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

• 1/3 cup chopped mixed herbs, such as dill, tarragon and mint, for garnish

1. In a large saucepan, cover the beans with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

2. Wipe out the saucepan and heat the 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the onion, celery, garlic, bay leaves and chile. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Return the beans and the reserved cooking water to the saucepan. Stir in the vermouth and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, to meld the flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the beans into bowls and top with the chopped herbs. Drizzle with olive oil and serve warm.