September 22, 2010

Green Chile Season

Roasting chiles in my grill pan
Fall in southern New Mexico means green chile.  There's chile roasting going on everywhere, which is an amazing smell that is hard to even describe.  If you drive around town with your windows down the smell is almost constant.  There is also the Hatch Chile Festival Labor Day weekend.  Me, Carrie, and a few other friends went to take part in the festivities.  They had all the typical fair food such as turkey legs and curly fries but they also had green chile ice cream which was amazing.  I entered a chile eating contest and got fourth place out ten or so people.  There's a video and more chile talk after the bump.

The guy next to me got second and the three people to my left all ate less than three.  It was the hottest my mouth has ever felt.  I think it was like making out with a dragon.  It went away in about five to ten minutes though (a nice local porter from the beer cage (yeah it was cage like) helped).  I have eaten habenero salsa before and it actually lingers for much longer; up to forty minutes one time.

One of the things I love to do with fresh roasted chile is make sandwiches.  When I was a kid my family would grill pounds and pounds of them on a grill and eat chile and butter sandwiches.  It's a pretty simple process roasting them yourself and the things you can do afterward are pretty awesome.

Here are directions for roasting them at home.  I used a grill pan but the goal is the same no matter how you do it:  blister the outside and steam in a plastic bag afterwards.

Green Chile Sandwich with romaine, tomatoes, and onions on a whole wheat baguette with spicy ranch mustard

Below is a video of a roasting cage.  There were at least a dozen of these at the festival:

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