The New Mexico, or the hatch chili, is an aromatic pepper that is milder than the jalapeno. Like the jalapeno, however, it is a versatile chili that compliments many dishes. It can be served a variety of ways, but it is best when roasted and peeled. The green chili is central to New Mexican cooking. Right now it is Hatch chili season and they are being celebrated all over the Southwest. They are really inexpensive right now... so I like to buy a lot, roast them, and freeze whatever I don't use. The trouble is I think of so many ways to use them that I rarely have any left in reserve once the season is done.
How to Roast a Pepper: Place the oven on broil…or even better heat up the outside grill. Puncture each chili to prevent explosion. Place peppers on a cookie sheet or if cooking outside place directly on the grill. Cook until the skins begin to blacken and separate. Turn occasionally.
Remove from heat and place in a bag or a bowl with a lid to sweat. After 15 minutes or so peel and discard skin. If you wish to freeze some for future use leave skin on until you are ready to use.
New Mexico Green Sauce
If Hatch chilies don't happen to be in season right now... or you just don't live somewhere where they are common you can substitute other mild peppers like Poblano peppers for the hatch chilies. This is a good sauce for eggs, enchiladas, and burritos or just as a dip for chips.
6 New Mexico or Hatch chilies
1 C. warm water
2 T cooking oil
3 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Cups veggie broth
1/2 small onion diced
After you roast the chilies in the broiler or on the grill and place them in a bag to sweat you will then want to remove the peel and seeds. Place 3 chilies in the blender with water and blend.
Sauté the flour in oil until slightly brown. This is the roux that will thicken up the sauce when you add the remaining ingredients.
Add garlic and onions and sauté until translucent. You can also heat up the broth at this time. You can use either vegetable broth or chick broth depending on whether you wish to make this a vegetarian meal.
New Mexico Corn and Zucchini
2 t. veggie oil
3 New Mexico chilies-Roasted, peeled, etc…
1 Chopped onion
2-3 ears of corn
3-4 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 zucchini, sliced
Heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until translucent. Add the chilies, corn and zucchini. Cook until zucchini is tender, but not falling apart. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use as a side dish or a filling for tamales and burritos.
New Mexico Style Burritos
This is a recipe my husband Paul likes to make. The recipe is based on a burrito I ate at a small brewpub in New Mexico. The pub called the burrito “The Fatty”… and it is fat indeed!
1 recipe sauce
Burrito size tortillas
1 can black beans
1 recipe New Mexico corn and zucchini
Potatoes fried with onions, garlic and cumin. (cooked well-almost like mashed)
Wrap beans, potatoes, and veggie in tortilla and top with sauce. Garnish with cilantro and top with cheese if you wish. I also like to just put beans and potatoes in the burrito and serve the corn and zucchini as a side dish. You can stuff the burrito with whatever you wish... just make sure to top it with plenty of sauce!