Roasting green chile: the smell and flavor of fall

Chef Mick Rosacci

Both tasty and healthful, the chile is a favorite around the world. Chiles kick up the flavor of foods without adding fat, they increase metabolism, are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, preserve foods, are linked to gastrointestinal health, aid in the prevention of heart diseases, cancer, asthma, and allergies, and are even used to control pain. No wonder chiles are the most widely grown seasoning in the world!Ranging from mild and sweet, to very hot, it’s the chemical capsaicin (kap-say-ee-zin) that gives chiles their punch. Most of a chile’s capsaicin is concentrated in the seeds and internal veins, so much of it can be removed. But take care, the chemical remains on the skin for hours.A chile’s outer skin keeps it fresh, but doesn’t eat too well, so fresh green chiles are roasted to remove the skin. If you just have a few, you can char them over an open flame and close in a plastic bag to steam, but commercial roasters do a much better job. Pick up a bushel at a roadside stand, pack them in Ziploc bags, and store in the freezer. Once thawed the skin almost falls off and you’ve can enjoy their rustic zest any time you need a chile fix.Around these parts, the green chile is king! Your best bets are: the mild Anaheim – rated a No. 1 on the heat scale, the Rio Grande rated a No. 2 and the Big Jim rated No. 3. By comparison, the Jalapeo rates a No. 7, and the Habaero flames away at a scorching No. 10.Attention chile heads! Autumn is here and the chile harvest is at its peak. It’s time to pick up a bushel of roasted chiles and pack them away for warming dishes all year long. – Chef Mick Rosacci, Tony’s Meats & Specialty FoodsGreen Chili & Cheddar Quiche4-6 oz leftover ham, turkey, or chicken1/2 onion, chopped1 TBS olive oilprepared pie crust4 eggs, beaten1 cup half & half1 cup milk1 TBS floursalt, pepper & oregano1/2 cup mild green chiles, roasted & chopped1 cup shredded cheddar,1/2 cup shredded smoked cheddarPreheat oven to 325 degrees, preheat a skillet on stovetop.Add meat and onion to hot skillet with olive oil and brown quickly over high heat, remove and reserve.Whisk together eggs, half & half, milk, flour, and seasonings to taste (suggestion: 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp dry oregano and 1/4 tsp pepper). Stir in meat, onion, green chiles, and cheeses and mix well. Place piecrust in on a jellyroll pan and fill within 1/2 inch of the top. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.Green Chile and Smoked Salmon Quesadilla8 oz. Chvre cheese4 TBS mild green chiles, minced4 large flour tortillas8 oz. Dry Smoked Salmon, shreddedred onion, thinly sliced1/2 cup chopped cilantro2-3 TBS butterStir green chiles into chvre and smear 1/4 onto each tortilla. Top with salmon, red onion, and cilantro and fold in half. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a warm skillet. Place folded tortilla in pan and cook until brown, brush lightly with oil, turn and cook other side. Remove and cut into wedges and serve hot.Quick Green Chile Gravy2 TBS. vegetable oil2-3 TBS. Flour or masa2 cups chicken stock1 clove pressed garlic2 TBS minced onion8-12 roasted chiles, peeled, seeded and choppeddashes of oregano and cumin – to taste1 small can chopped tomatoesIn a skillet over medium-high heat brown flour and oil, stirring constantly, cook to produce a golden roux. Whisk in stock and remaining ingredients and simmer over medium to low heat to marry flavors and reduce to taste, adjust seasoning. Serve on anything and everything that needs a green chile zing.Classic Pork Green Chili3 pounds pork, cubed1 TBS oil3/4 cup flour or Masa1-3 tsp salt*3 cups chicken stock5 cups fresh roasted green chiles1 TBS fresh oregano1-2 jalapeos or chipotles (optional)1 TBS minced garlic14 oz can tomatoes, choppedIn a Dutch oven, brown pork cubes in oil (in batches if necessary). Add spices and flour and mix well. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring well to avoid lumps. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and let simmer until meat is tender and sauce is thick (about 2 hours). Adjust seasoning as desired. *Careful with the salt, some stocks are salty.Pueblo Green Chile Stew 2 pounds boneless pork loin or shoulder, cubed1 TBS vegetable oil5-6 ears of corn – kernels removed(or 3 12-oz. cans corn kernels, drained)2 stalks celery, without leaves, diced2 medium potatoes, diced2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped12 oz diced green chiles4 cups chicken broth2 tsp ground cumin1 tsp dried oreganoSalt, to tasteIn large Dutch oven or deep skillet with lid, brown pork cubes in oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add rest of ingredients to pot, cover and simmer for one hour. Serve hot with fresh corn or flour tortillas. -Serves 8.Ham & Cheese Chile Rellenos3 cups smoked turkey or ham, ground 1 1/2 cups Colby, jack or mozzarella, grated 1 small onion, finely chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon salt 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 eggs 1 cup milk 1 cup cornmeal 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning 12 green chiles, roasted and peeledMix turkey (or ham), cheese, and onion. Add salt, pepper, and garlic, to taste, and set mixture aside. Mix eggs and milk together. Beat well and set aside. Mix cornmeal, flour, fajita seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of salt together. Set aside. Slit the chiles down the side just enough to remove the seeds and stuff with meat mixture. Roll chile in plain flour. Next, dip chile in egg and milk mixture then roll the chile in cornmeal and flour mixture. Repeat dipping chile in milk and egg mixture, then roll again in cornmeal and flour mixture. Fry chiles in oil over medium heat in pan on stovetop until golden brown. – June RuthefordPotato-Green Chile Gratin6 roasted green chiles2 cups heavy cream or half-and-half 1 large garlic clove 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes Kosher salt Special equipment: a mandolin or other manual slicerPreheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roast, skin, remove seeds and chop the chiles into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Bring cream with garlic just to a simmer and remove from heat. Peel potatoes and cut crosswise into 1/16-inch-thick slices using mandolin. Arrange one-third of potatoes evenly in bottom of a well-buttered 1 1/2-quart shallow baking dish, overlapping them slightly, and sprinkle with salt, to taste, and 1/2 of chiles. Repeat, ending with a layer of potatoes. Remove garlic from cream and pour cream over potatoes. Cover dish with foil and bake in lower third of oven 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake, basting the top occasionally, until gratin is golden brown on top and bubbling, about 30 minutes more. Cool slightly before serving. Cooks’ note: Gratin can be baked 1 day ahead, then cooled completely before being chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before reheating, covered, in a preheated 350 degree F oven. 6 servings, GourmetGreen Chile Macaroni1 TBS corn oil 1/4 cup diced green chile 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper 1/4 cup diced red onion 1 TBS minced garlic 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels 2 cups cooked elbow macaroni, cooked al dente 1/2 cup roasted, peeled and pureed green chiles3/4 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup grated hot pepper Jack cheese Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to tasteHeat the corn oil in a heavy pan over high heat and saute the diced chile, red bell pepper, red onion, and garlic until just tender. Add the corn kernels and saute quickly. Add the macaroni, green chile puree, cream, and cheese. Stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Season to taste and serve. Can be topped with cheddar and breadcrumbs and baked. Yield 4 servings – Robert McGrathGreen Chile AioliIf you like mayonnaise, and you like green chiles, you’ll love this aioli! Great on a sandwich or as a veggie dip.1 cup mayonnaise 1 tsp finely chopped garlic 1-2 roasted, seeded, peeled and diced green chiles2 TBS fresh lime juice Salt and freshly ground pepperCombine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.