The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Red or Green?

     Did you know that the official question for the state of New Mexico is: Red or Green? If you are from New Mexico (or have just been transplanted from some other state) you will know this question refers to what type of chile you want on your food. My preference is green. Oh, and yes, I like my chile hot. Not burn your mouth off hot, but I definitely want to feel the heat.

     Now that we are living back in New Mexico, my husband and I and even our kids were very excited to be able to buy fresh green chile again. Around mid-August through mid-September is chile season around here. And the best chile comes from Hatch New Mexico. In fact, New Mexico even has a law that says it is illegal for other chile growers to put the name Hatch on their chile if they are not grown in the Hatch region.  Almost every grocery store in New Mexico towns sell bushel bags of green chile. Then you take them outside and have them roasted. The roasting blisters the skin so that it slips and peels off easily. Then we sit for the next hour and peel and chop the chile up to freeze and use in recipes all year. Here is a short video that shows the roasting machine that is outside the grocery stores.

Roasting Green Chiles

     Here is a picture of some of my family members peeling roasted green chile.


     So, I am sure the next question you may have is: What do you use green chile in?  We happen to love the flavor and heat of the chile. So I use the chile in tacos, taco soup, pinto beans (also known as frijoles con chile) enchiladas, burritos. A favorite breakfast is huevos rancheros, this is corn tortillas topped with eggs, red or green chile sauce and cheese. Yum!. Matthew even told me the other day I should add some green chile to the homemade mac and cheese I make.

      This is a great tradition that I am glad I can participate in and use all year long. To sum up the depth of feeling that New Mexicans can have for chile season, I have a quote from a man walking into the store while I was getting my chile roasted. He said, “Roasting chile, the greatest smell in the world”.


Jennifer said...

I spotted gloves on one person. My fingers hurt for days after chopping up red peppers this summer.

Kym said...

I live in MD and just a couple days ago was in the grocery store and noticed they had chile labeled as "Hatch" and I didn't know what that referred to! Now I know! I'm not from the southwest but I love the flavor of chile too. 8-)

Michelle said...

Sounds delicious! I

Giggly Girls said...

what a cool tradition! Thanks for sharing.

Our Village is a Little Different said...

It's nice that you're settling back into NM - I'd be all over this tradition! I like green, too. I like red, but love green. It will be nice to use your chile and remember this day. Thanks for sharing!

Our Homeschool Reviews said...

I have to say that chiles are not my thing. Now my husband enjoys green as well. If it is available, he will put it on what he is eating.

Vickie said...

Guess we need to come visit you during Chile season so we can bring a whole bunch back.

Bountiful Baskets has a 30lb bag of Chiles the past couple of weeks. I've been tempted but I don't want them to go to waste and I'm not confident enough to roast them without an experienced "roaster" to be here as well.

Tess said...

Green or Red.. both are *yum*.. jealous because I don't like in New Mexico!