Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Yummy in My Tummy
Unlike last year's tiny, stringy lil' suckers, this year's crop of green chiles is one of the best in recent memory. Usually when they're big and plump like this, they lack flavor, but these are as smokey/sweet as they come, with just the right amount of tongue-stinging heat.
Last week, I froze thirty pounds of chiles, but may go get another bag. Especially if S.B. gets an elk next week. If so, fuggedabout ground beef or buffalo—I'll be spending all winter making elk green chile stew, enchiladas, and rellenos. Maybe even tamales, although pork is the traditional filling and red chile the traditional sauce. But, still. Experimentation is allowed, even encouraged.
How else to utilize roasted green chiles? Well, if you're New Mexican, just about anything goes better with a little bit of chile (even ice cream and chocolate cake!). So, do like the natives do, and:
1. Mix chopped green chiles, minced onions, and grated cheddar cheese into scrambled eggs or stuff inside an omelet
2. Add it to a burger or hot dog in place of relish
3. Toss your favorite pasta with a green chile, gorgonzola, and cream sauce
4. Add a whole, peeled chile to a wrap sandwich
5. Make a dip out of a cup of sour cream, half a cup minced green chiles, and a quarter cup of Ranch dressing
6. Steep a whole, peeled chile and a quarter slice of lime in a glass of cold beer for several minutes and serve (try it with vodka, too)
7. Insert slices of garlic throughout a pork roast, then wrap with whole pieces of roasted and peeled chiles, then wrap again with bacon. Bake in oven until done, slice, and serve.
The possibilities are endless, not to mention nutritious, as a half cup serving of green chile has approximately 143 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 240 percent of the average daily allowance. That's nearly four times the amount of a medium-sized orange. If I feel a cold coming on? I just heat up some chile, pile it on a couple pieces of toast, eat, and that virus backs right the hell off.
Several words of caution, though: don't touch your eyes after handling chiles. Capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives chiles their heat, has a half life of, like, a bazillion years, and even a thorough hand-washing won't fully remove it from your hands. Time is the cure all here, so don't touch your eyes or poke your fingers into any other raw or soft tissue for at least 24 hours and several washings.
One last word of advice: do not drink water to calm the heat on your tongue. That will only make things worse. Instead, drink a glass of milk or eat a tablespoon or two of yogurt or sour cream. And don't worry; you'll get used to it.