We went on vacation last week to one of my favorite states to visit. New Mexico. Not because I worked three summers in the Sangre de Cristo mountains in the northwestern part of the state and have a bond with it. The state is different. Of all the states I have visited, it is the only one that feels DIFFERENT. Both New Mexico and Oklahoma have a lot of Native Americans, but Oklahoma looks and feels and tastes the same to me as any other state I’ve been to. New Mexico is different people, different food, different life. We stayed in Flagstaff, Arizona several years ago. I figured it would have the same feel as New Mexico being that it’s in the southwest. Felt pretty Joe American to me.
One of the best parts of New Mexico is the green chile. Ask for green chile on you enchiladas in Texas? You’ll get CHILI colored green. Yuk! Ok, so I’m exaggerating but you get the point. You walk into a New Mexican food restaurant in NM, and it states right next to most dishes, “Add green chile?” or “Red or green chile?” Not to be confused with a verde sauce. That is more tomatillo based.
New Mexico is known for their chile peppers. Namely, the Hatch green chile pepper, grown only in Hatch, NM. It’s not a variety of pepper, as there are four different types of chile pepper that could be called a Hatch chile. NM 6-4, Big Jim, Lumbria, and Sandia. There isn’t much difference between these and the Anaheim pepper. Except for maybe flavor. And that’s where Hatch comes into play. You don’t go to El Paso to get clam chowder do you? No. You go to New England. I even grow Big Jim chile peppers in my garden, but its definitely not a Hatch chile.
At most convenience store, grocery store, street stand, bowling alley in the late summer you’ll find people roasting and selling Hatch green chiles. Steve (my wife’s dad. We met her parents in Ruidoso for vacation) picked up a batch of chiles when they had arrived. Steve and I ate them breakfast, lunch and dinner. Stephanie and I had contemplated bringing some home with us but we really didn’t have the storage for them. Fortunately, after we had arrived home early this week Stephanie found a load of them at Albertson’s.
This evening I finally got around to roasting and storing them.