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.


czar said...

That all sounds delicious. Elk rellenos! Wish I were there.

I worked on a chili [sic] pepper cookbook one time that went into rather intimate detail about other parts of one's body one shouldn't touch after handling chiles. Ouch.

Jenny said...

Very cool. Not something you ever hear about in my neck of the woods (even the elk, they hunt only deer around here.) I'm glad you got a bumper crop and hope you do go back for a second batch. If it makes Moi happy, it makes me happy. But, I'm not a fan of the hot food but I can appreciate from afar.

Pam said...

Oh yum, those look lucious. If that is how you, in fact, spell lucious. I've been craving these things lately after a party I went to where they were serving "bird bombs"..... basically a hot chile (could use jalapeno probably also?), stuffed with cheese, wrapped with bacon and then wrapped with chicken breast, skewered together on a stick and grilled. Mmmmmm, I might have to break down and make some myself. And yes, I have the scratching the eye after de-seeding peppers story. Thought. I. Was. Going. To. Die.

Aunty Belle said...

Elk, huh? SB an' Uncle would git along I reckon.

Did'ja *grow* that 30 pounds of chilies?

moi said...

Czar: Ouch is right. And, also: yew.

Boxer: A favorite local pastime is watching newbies sweat their first bite of chile. Cruel, I know. But, also: fun. Still, you make an interesting observation. No need for hot foods in chilly climates. Hot foods make you sweat and that's no good when it's cold.

Pam: Jalapenos are great for stuffing—around here, we call them "poppers." Well, the good thing about touching your eye after handling chiles is you can bet that's the one and only time you'll ever do it!

Aunty: Oh my, no. That's the job of the fine folks down in Hatch, New Mexico! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatch,_New_Mexico

Sharon Rudd said...

Envious of your chiles and elk. Elk rellenos indeed!

Meanwhile, will content myself with wineries and fresh NoCal produce - at least for the rest of the week I'm on vacation :)

Big Shamu said...


moi said...

Eggy: I have visions of you frolicking among the hills and vines of cool and misty NoCal mornings. And being drunk by noon.

Shamu: Careful, Miss Cranky Pants. Or someone may not be getting their Lady Gaga inspired Christmas present.

Dani said...

Can I come and live in your kitchen? ;)

moi said...

Dani: If you don't mind two slobbery dogs . . .

Pam said...

Oh yes, jalapeno poppers, that is waht we call them too. But the Bird Bombs was a bit different. However, I think I might have to drive to Sonic for lunch and indulge in some Cheddar Peppers. Maybe that will solve this crisis.

LaDivaCucina said...

I am going to cut and paste this info in a word doc, thank you very much! I wish I had access to all those wonderful chiles! How the heck did you fit 30lbs. of chiles in your freezer? I can barely make room for the ice cube tray!

My great uncles used to hunt elk in northern Michigan, I've never eaten it. By the way, I heard that some deer and elk get mad cow. How do you know if it's ok to eat? Hope SB nails a big one! Have a good weekend, Mizz Moi!

LaDivaCucina said...

PS to Pam: Those chicken bacon chile things on a stick sound out of this world!!!