3 minute read

How to Roast Green Chiles

When handling chiles, either wear gloves or coat your hands with vegetable oil, and don't touch eyes or other sensitive areas.

If roasting the chiles indoors, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. A layer of foil makes for easier cleanup later.

Place in the oven, 4-5 inches from the the broiler element. The skin will blister and turn black. Turn the peppers as required to blister all sides evenly. At this point, your kitchen should be filled with the mouthwatering aroma of roasting green chile!

If it's a nice day outdoors, and if you have a good gas barbecue grill, you can roast your chiles that way. Arrange the peppers over high heat, turning as necessary to blister the skins evenly on all sides. Whichever roasting method is used, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered, mostly black. Cover the hot chiles with a damp kitchen towel for 15 minutes or so. This steams them and loosens the skins.(You can also use a plastic bag to steam the peppers, but let them cool a minute so the bag doesn't melt!)

If you're having green chile for dinner tonight, the peppers are ready to use now. Just slip the skins off and stuff, chop, etc. Otherwise, package the cooled chiles in airtight bags for freezing. We think leaving the peppers whole and freezing with the skins on results in a better texture and flavor when thawed. When ready to use, thaw for a few minutes and the skins slip off easily. Drain on paper towels and you're ready to cook.

By Summer's end the green chiles are ripening and changing to a rich ,earthy deep red color. The chile flavor is changing also, becoming sweet and mellow, with a completely different taste from the green pods.

All over Southern New Mexico at this time of year you'll see colorful hanging ristras, or strings of red chiles. These are not just pretty to look at. After the chiles are dried, they are the starting point for the lovely red chile sauce which is the basis of a multitude of red chile dishes.

This has become a decoration, and it is a popular belief that ristras are hung in front of your home to welcome visitors and bring you good fortune. Shrimp and Green Chile Enchiladas 2 cups chicken broth 12-15 large shrimp, peeled & deveined 2 Tablespoons butter or margarine 1 small onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1½ cups sliced mushrooms 2 Tablespoons flour ½ teaspoon salt Pinch of black pepper 1 cup canned or homemade green chile sauce 1 cup diced green chiles 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese 10-12 corn tortillas Chopped tomato for garnish Pre-heat oven to 350° and oil a medium-size casserole dish. Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan. Cut the shrimp into bite-sized pieces and cook in the broth for 3-4 minutes or until pink. Remove the shrimp to a bowl and save the broth. Cook the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the butter until soft—about 10 minutes. Add the flour and stir well. Add 1 cup of the saved chicken broth and simmer until thickened. Stir in the shrimp, salt and pepper. Using a hand blender or food processor, blend the green chile sauce, chopped chiles, and remaining 1 cup of the saved chicken broth. Heat the sauce in a small skillet and keep warm. Warm the tortillas. Dip each tortilla into the green chile sauce, fill with about ¼ cup of the shrimp & mushroom mixture. Roll and place seam side down in a lightly oiled casserole. When all the tortillas have been rolled, pour the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with chopped tomatoes and serve. Makes 4-5 servings.

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