Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-09-17 09:55:34 –
After seven years of fascinating years in New Mexico, I became partly native. Especially my stomach. Early autumn was my favorite time. This is because another hot summer end has always brought a sweet relief, but mainly because of the particular scent that floats up and down the Lower Rio Grande Valley during this time. Massive roasting of green chili fills the air with a magical spiciness that guides you into a dry landscape like New England’s fall foliage and cider.
Green Chile has the power to transform food. You can turn a cheeseburger into a green chili cheeseburger or a scrambled egg into a green chili scrambled egg. This simple change sounds rudimentary, but it improves the flavor dramatically.
And there is green chili on the main course. This stew should not be confused with “chili”. This is a Midwestern formulation similar to Sloppy Joe with beans that found a way to Texas. New Mexico’s Green Chili Stew is broth and nuanced, like the evening breeze after the monsoon rain.
However, while roasted green chili peppers and the delicious foods they enhance are central to their identity, New Mexico rarely dominates the cultivation, roasting and preparation of green chili. There is nothing about the local soil or rain that makes New Mexico’s green chili essentially superior to New Jersey-grown green chili.
The main difference is that farmers yield higher in Hatch, New Mexico than in Duluth, Minnesota. But most importantly, where it was cultivated, and more important than any variety, is that Chile is harvested at the right time. Otherwise, the flavor will be turned off.
Green chili is, by definition, immature chili. If you leave it to your own device, each pepper on earth will eventually turn red, like all maple leaves. The secret is to harvest the chili just before it begins to turn red. Up to that point, it’s all green, so the only way to determine if Chile is ready for harvest is to taste it. Alas, most farmers except New Mexico don’t seem to know what green chili tastes like.
If there are yellow or red spots, there is no problem. In fact, in New Mexico, when you mix red and green chili, they say a word. They call it “Christmas”.
When I put green chili on the grill, that’s one of three reasons. Roasted green chili freezes very well — much better than fresh peppers. In addition to the freezing bag, the roasted green chili is further protected by a skin that slides off as soon as it is ready for use.
Another reason to put green chili on the grill is that the grill also has meat, and green chili is like a fine wine in terms of bringing out the flavor of the meat.
The final reason to put green chili on the grill is to make a pot of green chili. When doing that, add other ingredients to the grill, such as tomatoes, potatoes, onions, corn, and meat. After growing myself best on fiery coal, I put the ingredients in a pot to make chili.
Grilled green chili
The cool autumn weather is the perfect time to gather around a warm grill, cook and make a great autumn stew from the leftovers. Do not add herbs as a side dish or when cooking. There is no oregano or coriander. Green chili fills that niche.
For 10 people
- ½ cup of liquid amino or soy sauce (Mexico uses Maggie)
- Olive oil ½ cup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 4 pieces of garlic, chopped
- A pound of onion sliced in half along the equator
- 2 lbs of tomato
- 2-3 pounds of meat on the bone, like a shank
- £ 3 Green Chili-I like the mix of Anaheim and jalapeno
- 1 pound potato
- Three-eared corn, unshelled
- 2 apples
- Chopped onions for garnish
First, make a marinade from liquid aminos, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Save potatoes, onions, tomatoes and meat in a marinade.
Heat the grill. I use fast-burning hardwood wrought charcoal and add urgent smoky and exciting notes to the process.
Place the corn cobs along the perimeter of the grill, roast the chili in the hot middle, and spin as soon as blisters form. Note the slow-cooking corn on the edge, rotating as needed. If the chili is swollen and not burnt, remove it from the grill, place it in a pan with marinade, and cover it tightly. This step, called “sweat,” fully develops the flavor of green chili and makes it easier to peel.
Add tomatoes, potatoes, onions and meat to the grill (or if the grill is big enough or the batch size is small enough, do it all at once). Do not burn anything, but make it brown so that it is covered with grill marks. You don’t have to worry about cooking anything. After grilling, put everything, including shelled corn, back into the marinade with chili and cover so that all the ingredients sweat together.
Use a pan with perforated inserts, just as you would make pasta. Cut the meat from the bones and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut the corn from the cob. Add this meat and potatoes to the bottom of the pan. Then add inserts and add bones, tomatoes, apples, onions and corn cobs. Add the remaining marinade and simmer. Cook until the meat is tender. Peel, sow, and chop roasted green chili while it is cooking.
Remove the insert, leaving the soup with the meat and potato chunks.Serve in a bowl with green chili, corn and chopped onions