Oh, The Heck With It All…It’s GREEN CHILE TIME!

By NM-GRL (IA)

Things have been so incredibly busy here that my blogging at both of the sites has been slowed in the last week or so. Also, I’m in one of those moods where I just can’t stand politics anymore!  But, the one bright spot?  CHILE!!  To be specific, Hatch ORGANIC green chile peppers, roasted, rushed home, and stashed for the next year!

If you’ve never seen how it’s done, here are a few pics of what happened on Tuesday (9/1/2009) in my kitchen…

First, I went down to the co-op, Mountain View Market, with my receipt for my pre-paid chile and waited for a few moments as the attendant fired up the chile roaster.  Within about 5 minutes, wonderful aromas wafted through the air as my 25-lbs. of  peppers were tossed over the flame. When the roaster stopped, the peppers came down the chute into their box, now lined with a plastic bag.

I rushed home and began getting them ready for the freezer. In past years, I’ve spent a long time peeling the skins off the peppers, but this year, on the advice of regular visitor “ea” I just popped them into bags.  Funny, for the first time I also ran into someone while we were watching the roasting who also said that it was easier not to peel them until use.  So, here’s how things unfolded:

First, here’s the box they came in…direct from Hatch, NM, our local “chile capital”:

2009_0831CHILE20090030

Here’s a picture of what the chiles looked like as I opened the bag/box when I got home:

Chiles ready to go...

Here are a couple of roasted chiles, close-up:

Roasted chiles with charred skins...

Of course, highly specialized tools are needed to process these beauties!!  I get 10 bags at a time opened and ready, then use a gloved hand to pick up about 6 oz. of chiles.  That portion size yielded 55 bags of chile for the freezer, to allow for 52 weeks of chile plus a few spare bags to make sure we have enough until the next roasting day next year.  I still have a few bags of last year’s peppers that we have to finish off before we start on the new batch.

You’ll notice a straw…since I don’t have a vacuum sealer and won’t get one (way too expensive!), I simply close the bag around the straw, suck in hard, then pull the straw out quickly and seal up the last small section of the bag. Voila!  A pretty good vacuum seal!

Tools of the chile trade...
Tools of the chile trade…

Finally, here’s a shot of some of the bagged chile ready to go into the freezer!

Packages of joy...
Packages of joy…

Just before I closed up the box to throw it out, I fished around the line and lo and behold!  a few errant chiles hiding in the corners!  I popped them into a bag and that was it!

Another year of good eating lies ahead–always something to look forward to!  I usually open up a bag on Sunday morning, then have another day of chile later in the week.

I have to say, as a transplant from New Jersey, I had no idea that I could become so hooked on green chile.  But, am I glad I picked up on this New Mexico tradition.  It’s just plain delicious!!

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Related site:

New Mexico Chile

Last year’s report:

Exhausted….from GREEN CHILE!

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