New Mexico’s Green Chile Dishes you dream about
There are very few states who feel as passionately about their home-grown produce as New Mexico does about their chile peppers. Ask any native about chile peppers and you will be left way behind each and every time! The king of the hill is their green chile pepper which is used in family recipes all the way to five-star restaurants like The Corn Maiden.
There are several varieties of the New Mexican green chile pepper but the best known is the Hatch. The Hatch even has its own chili festival every August, that’s how popular it is. The majority of people in New Mexico prefer incorporating chile peppers in traditional dishes such as:
Green Chile Stew
There are many very creative and unusual dishes created throughout the state. From cheese dishes to cookies, from pizzas to waffles; only in New Mexico will you find such creative and very tasty dishes! Here are some fine green chile pepper concoctions:
New Mexicans enjoy their meatballs both with or without spaghetti and their very favorites are made with green chili peppers. El Pinto Restaurant & Cantina, in Albuquerque, has created the most delectable dish that leaves many coming back for more. Try your hand at meatballs with green chili peppers that adds the perfect zip to your dish. Add a little twist to other Italian classics such as Green Chili Alfredo Sauce and Linguini!
Mac ‘N’ Cheese:
Everyone has grown up on this American classic dish with it’s creamy cheese and macaroni! Adding green chili peppers takes this ago-old classic to a whole new and amazing level of great taste. The combination of chili heat incorporated into the rich taste of melted cheese is extraordinary! The mixture of cheese and chili peppers is nothing new in in New Mexico, they’ve been creating dishes with the combination for a very, very long time. You will find this dish on the menus of many a great restaurant around state. De La Vega’s, Pecan Grill & Brewery in Las Cruces all the way to the Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe. Give it a shot – you can lose!
Grilled Cheese & Green Chili Soup:
Another childhood favorite, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, only with a New Mexico twist! The main pepper ingredient uses the Hatch green pepper along with a nice touch of Greek Yogurt for a nice balance and a very creamy experience. Imagine blending some chili peppers with melted cheese and peppers in tomato soup for a nice twist!
What a great blend of crunch, cheese, spice and sauce when you place wonderful green chili peppers on top of your pizza! You won’t find this concoction anywhere else in the USA! Some states have tried to lay claim on this recipe, but New Mexicans so No Way! There are many restaurants that will be more than happy to put green chili peppers on your pizza including Dr. Field Goods. In some areas, even Domino’s is jumping on the band wagon!
OK, this might take some imagination, on your part, but how about recipes that call for green chili peppers in cookies and waffles!
Waffles are a very popular breakfast fare with the sweet smell of maple syrup and vanilla flavored waffles. How about taking it up to a whole new level by adding green chili peppers? New Mexico has a sweet but savory blend that will knock your socks off. Create a batter adding cheddar cheese and New Mexico green chili peppers. Give it a shot – you will have a new, favorite breakfast delight!
In New Mexico, green chili peppers are often frozen before including them in various dishes. The heat of the peppers actually increases the longer they are kept frozen. Well, Dai Huynh of the Houston Chronicle came up with a wonderful recipe that people are flocking to. This is taking bitter chocolate and green chili peppers for Spicy Sweet Chocolate Cookies. The blend works beautifully because the bitterness of the chocolate brings down the heat of the chili peppers.
In case you’ve gotten this far down the list and haven’t figured it out, green chile is an absolute knockout in desserts. Skeptics are encouraged to visit the Pie-O-Neer in Pie Town, New Mexico, where they’ll be happy to convince you. There are more than a dozen varieties of pie on the menu, but if you’re going to drive all the way out Highway 60 to get there, don’t leave without sampling the apple pie with chopped green chile and pine nuts.
Adding green chile powder to glazes or donut fillings is something Albuquerque’s Duke City Donuts and Rebel Donuts do best. You’ll find flavors like green chile apple and bacon and green chile cream cheese served seasonally, when ingredients are at their freshest.
To New Mexico locals, putting green chile on a burger is no big deal. But if as a visitor you’re biting into your first one, it’ll likely make an impression. Most restaurants and cafes will claim their version is the best, but it’s better to make your own decision after indulging in a few stops along the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.
and of course…
In thinking about this drink, two different approaches came to mind. One entailed steeping the Hatch chiles in my “spirit of choice” and the other was to muddle the Hatch chile with the drink ingredients. Since it was going on 5PM I opted for the latter (not having the time to wait for the first because as I said, “I needed a drink!”). So I muddled, said Nancy from A Communal Table
And created what can best be termed a “version” of a margarita on the rocks. (Yes, I know I am stretching the term here a bit but all the creative “juices” went into the creation of this drink and not the nomenclature…).
The flavor of the Hatch chiles was subtle and I definitely think the flavor would be more pronounced if the chiles were steeped in say, tequila or vodka. Started a batch steeping so when it’s ready I will let you know!
Actually, there have been many dishes and condiments that have used a variety of green peppers. From jams to relishes, using milder chili peppers to different cake recipes. Whether you want to jump in with really hot peppers or lean toward milder varieties, chili peppers of New Mexico should be a part of your culinary skills!
It’s great to have like minded friends, like Matador, who love food…chiles specifically…and help craft posts like this!