Monday, September 29, 2008

Autumn Means Hatch Green Chile, Part I

Science tells us that the sense that is the most evocative of memory is that of smell. I know this to be true. Nothing takes me back faster to the autumns of my youth in New Mexico than the smell of roasting green chile. And not just any green chile, but the Big Jim variety grown in Hatch, New Mexico, a tiny hamlet near my own home town.

When I moved to Colorado two years ago, I nearly cried when I caught a whiff of pure heaven at the Farmer's Market. I followed my nose, and here is what I found:

YES!!! The gentleman in the above photo is roasting HATCH GREEN CHILE!!!

Now you could roast chile in your own oven at home, but only if you like the idea of cleaning chile off the inside of the oven for months to come.

All this is well and good you say, but what do I do with the chile? Tune in tomorrow...


A Novel Woman said...

Can't you just bbq it?

This ignorant Canuck wants to know.

Lottery Girl said...

Yes, you definitely could put it on the BBQ, which would be about the only thing I'd try at home.

I've seen magazine articles recommend that people place chile, one pod at a time, directly onto a stove burner. AHHHHHH!!!! I can't imagine anything so messy or so slow, because you'd need to do this to probably ten good-sized pods to get get enough for a dish of enchiladas.

My cousins tell me that apparently the roasting of the chile has gotten quite "high tech" at home. The barrel device I pictured is so... yesterday. They now roast on a conveyor belt that passes through an oven, resulting in roasting so uniform that the peels just slide off like little jackets.

And while you are indeed a Canuck dear to my heart, you are anything but ignorant.