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New Mexico chile


Rhone1998
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My aunt from New Mexico just dropped off two bags of crushed chile. One is green, the other red, and both are labeled medium in terms of heat. Neither bag actually says what variety of pepper they are.

Any ideas what these are likely to be, and what I should do with them?

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Depends on what you mean by "crushed." Generally, you can use it as you would any other crushed dried chile. I use ground red chile in burritos, chili, and enchilada sauce. I rarely use dried ground green chile, but when I have, it's been in sauce for meatballs or mixed into meat for burgers. If the green chile is still moist, you can put it on stuff as well as mixing it in. Green chile stew with pork and potatoes is common in NM, as is sauce for burritos, eggs, etc. It's also amazing on cheeseburgers or just on a bowl of pinto beans.

If none of that sounds appealing, you can bring it to me. :)

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Any ideas what these are likely to be?

Probably green and ripe Hatch chiles. Some friends of mine who moved to Santa Fe sent me some of each dried, last year. I found them lacking in much flavor--I prefer to use fresh poblanos or ripe poblanos that I keep in my freezer, or dried Mexican chiles like pasillas or anchos.

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Probably green and ripe Hatch chiles.

I would guess that since they were brought to you in bulk, this is what they are. I still have some dried red hot Hatch chiles from 2008. I bought more than I've been able to use.

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At risk of pedantry (not that that ever stops me), "Hatch chile" is a misnomer. Hatch is the town in southern New Mexico that is most famous for green chile, but the peppers themselves are not "Hatch peppers." There are a number of cultivars grown in NM that we natives just call "green chile," and they're grown in many places throughout the state.

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The chile looks crushed, that's really the best way I can think of to describe it, and it's definitely moister than dried crushed chile I've gotten at Asian markets before.

That looks like what my friends sent me last year, except they sent me bags without labels and told me they were Hatch chiles. I know that there are different varieties, like Big Jim and Sandia--years ago another friend brought me seeds of various local New Mexico chiles to grow, so that he could taste them side by side. I can't remember all of thenames, just those two.

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Yesterday morning I made what became a filling for omelettes by "reconstituting" some of the green chili with some boiling stock, then grinding in salt and a garlic clove using a mortar and pestle. I thought the result was delicious but the consistency of the chili really didn't change from adding the hot stock and manually grinding it...it just became wet chili. I think a food processor is going to be necessary to really turn this into a sauce.

Oh, and Xochitl10, you're more than welcome to some of this! It would be years before I could finish this amount myself.

Dan

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I just got back from New Mexico last night, and I have in my possession about 2 pounds or so of fresh green chile peppers and a bag of dried red chile peppers. I'm trying to find the best way to store both of them. I'm assuming that I need to roast the green ones ASAP and plan to do that over the grill, then freezing them. I was planning to follow this method:

http://www.twentymile.com/Cookbook/roastinggreenchiles.htm

I'll be roasting these over my gas grill. What I'm not sure about is whether I should freeze them whole and then peel/seed/de-stem them as I need it, or freeze them chopped up. My gut says that I should freeze them chopped up, but a lot of sources say that you should freeze them whole unpeeled. I just want to get it right while I have a "hot" commodity in my possession.

And, I need to know how to store the dried red chiles. They aren't totally dry - they almost feel like sun-dried tomatoes so they're a little flexible still. I'm guessing the best way to store these is to freeze them too, but any tips would be helpful.

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I just got back from New Mexico last night, and I have in my possession about 2 pounds or so of fresh green chile peppers and a bag of dried red chile peppers. I'm trying to find the best way to store both of them. I'm assuming that I need to roast the green ones ASAP and plan to do that over the grill, then freezing them. I was planning to follow this method:

http://www.twentymile.com/Cookbook/roastinggreenchiles.htm

I'll be roasting these over my gas grill. What I'm not sure about is whether I should freeze them whole and then peel/seed/de-stem them as I need it, or freeze them chopped up. My gut says that I should freeze them chopped up, but a lot of sources say that you should freeze them whole unpeeled. I just want to get it right while I have a "hot" commodity in my possession.

And, I need to know how to store the dried red chiles. They aren't totally dry - they almost feel like sun-dried tomatoes so they're a little flexible still. I'm guessing the best way to store these is to freeze them too, but any tips would be helpful.

I usually peel fresh chiles and freeze them whole on a tray and then put them in zip locks for storage in the freezer. That way if I just want one chile, they aren't all glommed together. A brief spin in the microwave to thaw and I can do whatever I want with them--stuff whole, cut in strips or chop. As far as storing dried red chiles--do you have enough to string together to make a ristra? That's the traditional method for drying them and hanging storage. Plus, they look so pretty that way.

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I usually peel fresh chiles and freeze them whole on a tray and then put them in zip locks for storage in the freezer. That way if I just want one chile, they aren't all glommed together. A brief spin in the microwave to thaw and I can do whatever I want with them--stuff whole, cut in strips or chop. As far as storing dried red chiles--do you have enough to string together to make a ristra? That's the traditional method for drying them and hanging storage. Plus, they look so pretty that way.

So when you say peel the chiles, I'm assuming you roast then peel them? That seems reasonable - I just want confirmation that I don't screw this up!

I don't have enough reds to do a ristra unfortunately. Just a freezer bag full of them. Should I keep them in the bag or take them out? I'm just worried that they go bad in the bag if I don't use them right away, and I'm dreading possibly seeing some mold in there.

Thanks for the tips...

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So when you say peel the chiles, I'm assuming you roast then peel them? That seems reasonable - I just want confirmation that I don't screw this up!

I don't have enough reds to do a ristra unfortunately. Just a freezer bag full of them. Should I keep them in the bag or take them out? I'm just worried that they go bad in the bag if I don't use them right away, and I'm dreading possibly seeing some mold in there.

You can roast the fresh chiles over an open gas flame, with a plumber's torch, under a broiler or on a gas or charcoal grill. I use a metal vegetable steaming basket as a chile roaster and put it on one of the gas burners of my stove. I can roast three or four chiles at a time, turning them with a pair of tongs as each side blackens. Then put them in a covered bowl or a bag to steam for 10 or 15 minutes and they'll be cool enough to handle and easy to peel.

Dried red chiles aren't necessarily brittle. I buy them in cellophane bags and store them in a plastic bin in my pantry, If they don't get wet, they won't mold. If it feels safer to keep them in the freezer, you can do that, but it's probably not necessary.

Here's a video of Amanda Hesser and her food 52 collaborator Merrill, roasting and peeling peppers two ways: click.

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You can roast the fresh chiles over an open gas flame, with a plumber's torch, under a broiler or on a gas or charcoal grill. I use a metal vegetable steaming basket as a chile roaster and put it on one of the gas burners of my stove. I can roast three or four chiles at a time, turning them with a pair of tongs as each side blackens. Then put them in a covered bowl or a bag to steam for 10 or 15 minutes and they'll be cool enough to handle and easy to peel.

Dried red chiles aren't necessarily brittle. I buy them in cellophane bags and store them in a plastic bin in my pantry, If they don't get wet, they won't mold. If it feels safer to keep them in the freezer, you can do that, but it's probably not necessary.

Here's a video of Amanda Hesser and her food 52 collaborator Merrill, roasting and peeling peppers two ways: click.

Thanks for the tips! I finished roasting them on my stove top, but I had a problem of making sure they weren't charred too much but also weren't undercooked either. I think I ended up with a few burnt peppers, but overall it was a success. Now I just need to find a good recipe to make some of that green chile sauce that they put on everything in NM...

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I happened by Fresh Food Market in Vienna, VA this afternoon (across the side street from the Giant; next door to Elevation Burger) and saw them roasting chiles in a big roaster in front of the store. They are green chiles from Hatch, New Mexico. They will be doing it again tomorrow (Sunday, September 15) from 1-5 p.m. $1.99 a pound, roasted or unroasted. Mild or medium, and the medium is quite spicy. I got two quart-sized tubs for less than $3 each. Go get 'em, chile heads!

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