Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Chiles A Go Go

I’ve written about my love of green chiles before. My love for them is starting to border on an obsession. And apparently I’m far from alone in feeling this way. I’m not really sure why I respond to them so strongly, but I think that their limited availability is a big part of it. What better way to make something seem irresistible than to tell someone “You can only have this for one month a year”? Of course, to me they also taste sublime, and the smell of roasting green chiles is hard to beat.

I knew that I would be eating lots of things with green chiles in or on them while I was in New Mexico, because those options are offered at many restaurants throughout the year. However, I really wasn’t expecting to see chile roasters while I was in Santa Fe. They don’t show up in Dallas until late August, and the Hatch Chile Festival isn’t until Labor Day weekend, so I thought I was going to be a little bit too early to buy some freshly roasted chiles. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was wrong.

I was determined to bring some chiles home with me, so I decided to wait until the last day of my trip before making my chile purchase so that they would remain as fresh as possible. At this point I had a traveling companion who shares my chile obsession. We decided upon the amount we felt we could safely squirrel back home in our luggage and the hotness levels desired. Five levels of hotness were offered – mild, medium, hot, extra hot, and extra extra hot. I bought a quarter bushel of hot, while my friend bought a quarter bushel of extra extra hot. He also bought a package of fresh red chile powder. The chiles made the trip home in my suitcase, which greatly improved the smell of said suitcase. Roasted green chile smell > dirty clothes smell. We bought some gallon-sized Ziploc bags and double bagged each portion of chiles to avoid any spillage or leakage. I will definitely be making some green chile sauce, and I want to attempt some green chile stew too.

Here are the roasters set up in the Big Lots parking lot! BIG LOTS!

They smell amazing.

Donovan McNabb takes time off from training camp to load a chile roaster.

OK, click on the pic to see the big version so you can see the heat waves coming off of the roaster!

The red ones are typically dried and then ground into chile powder.

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Blogger hollibobolli said...

You crack me out. I love that you chose to smuggle green chiles.

8/08/2007 2:27 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Oh what I wouldn't give for Smell-O-Vision right now! I still have green chiles in my freezer from last summer. I completely understand the compulsion and obsession with those chiles. They are unlike anything else I have tried. Jealous of you yet again!
Do you not get the chiles in Dallas? I assumed that they make their way across TX. No?

8/08/2007 9:57 PM  
Blogger JC said...

You should cook something with them!

We do get them here, but this was a chance to get them about a month early and also to stock up. There are a couple of restaurants around here that have green chile festivals in August until they run out of them.

8/08/2007 10:15 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Yep, am an idiot: "They don’t show up in Dallas until late August." Duh. Sorry.

I have a recipe that I have been saving for the chiles. It's a lamb, green chile, and potato stew. Sounds amazing, but too hot for summer. Have to wait till next fall.

8/08/2007 10:25 PM  
Blogger Vedrana M. said...

cool photos, people's love for some food can be amazing :))

8/11/2007 6:26 AM  

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