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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wood and Green Chile Are In

A couple weeks ago I was at our local Mora Farmer's Market and the weather was unseasonably cool, in the 50's. Everyone was bundled up and there wasn't a pair of shorts in sight. Peggy, one of the farmers, said, "It's a reminder to get your wood in!"

We've been working on that.

Almost everybody uses wood heat around here. This is a common sight, although there's usually a dog of some sort riding on top of that load.

In town, the cool breezes carry the sharpspicysmoky scent of roasting chiles. The folks who tend these baskets with their fiery heat will roast the chiles you choose in nothing flat. You can find them on street corners, in front of grocery stores, and at the fancy mall in Albuquerque. The smell of roasting chiles is a reminder to get your chiles in. So okay, that's what I will do.

People line up for their favorite roasters selling their preferred chiles: Socorro, Hatch, Rocky Ford are all represented around here. I've been buying Socorro chiles from a crack team of roasters led by a man in a wheelchair.

When the chiles are done, they are shoveled into a heavy duty plastic bag (I suppose there is BPA there but I will pretend not). Inside, it looks like an inferno happened. At first I was kind of, "Ewww!' but they smell so good.

I split 40 pounds with a friend, so we each left the chile roaster with 20 pounds of chiles. At home I removed chiles from their black bag a handful at a time and packaged them in smaller plastic storage bags.

This year I listened to friends who said, "Don't peel or seed them, just put the chiles in the bags and do all that when they're defrosted." So I defer to experience, and it was a lot faster and easier this time around.

What will I make with all this green chile?

Here are a few links to my favorite green chile recipes:

Pie Town's Famous Green Chile Apple Pie

Grilled Cheese and Green Chile Sandwich

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

While I was at the post office today I noticed the aspens up higher in the mountains are turning yellow, another reminder that autumn is here. I didn't take this photo, but if you are near Taos, you are in for a big show.

Happy Autumn!


  1. Thank you for that hint! Peeling the chilies is hard work before freezing! Hubby just brought in more chilies to roast. Hope he gets to them today. Our weather here has been cooler like your area so our chilies are doing so well! Have to make that New Mexican Apple Pie again! It was soooo good!

  2. I feel like I'm reading about a foreign territory, and here all this fun is right in the Western US. I loved the adventure of getting the wood in, as well as roasting the chiles. Do you make chili strings to hang on the outside of your doors? Ristras, I think they are called? Loved reading this, esp. since our temps will be over 100 degrees this weekend. Sigh. I'm jealous of your fall color and the turn in the temperatures.


  3. There is nothing quite like the aroma of green chiles roasting ... love it. And the recipes sound good, too. When I was in Houston for quilt festival a couple years ago, I had the best fried mac and cheese and green chili balls. It's probably the best thing I've ever had from a food truck.

  4. OH I love roasting chilies and then mixing it up with roasted corn, the combo is awesome...When I saw your chilies I thought I had seen similar on the 7MSN Ranch guys must go to the same roaster!!


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