First time we visited Betty and Dan Cooksey in New Mexico they took us to Wagner’s Produce where they were roasting green Chilis.
Last year, 2021, the local Kroger store advertised that they had Hatch Chilies. Hatch is considered the best of the green chilis. They grow in one area.
The New Mexico tourism site says:
30,000 people flock to this small community situated along the fertile Rio Grande river valley in southern New Mexico. Any time of year, visitors can find stockpiles of roasted chile. During harvest time, you can hear the sizzle of chile skins searing and smell the sweet roasted fruit pods with every inhale. You can see ristras being made and may catch a glimpse of the glamorous Chile Queen.
Well, phooey! New Mexico tourism spelled it chilie. I thought it was chili. Anyway you spell it, think TASTY! ( by the way, ristras are the string of drying chilis.)
Hatch or otherwise, once you get a hankering for the taste of chili in your food, you know nothing else is like it! Theses are not the peppers that roast your tongue (unless you choose hot or extra hot which I never have). You are likely thinking of jalapenos.
Green chilis are large, growing to 6 inches long, with a blocky shape that narrows at the end. “Jalapenos” are very small, rarely growing longer than 3 inches. They have a more uniformly narrow shape.https://homeguides.sfgate.com/difference-between-green-chillies-green-jalapeno-peppers-75402.html
When the Kroger advertisd arrived with the announcement that the Chilis were in I bought about 6. Unfortunately we forgot to take them out of the plastic bag immediately once I got home and one spoiled within a couple hours. I put the remainder on a paper towel with the reminder to roast them the next day on our grill.
So above is the progression. When they were fully charred I put them in a plastic bag to rest on the countertop. Wish I could have sent you the fragrance.! Yum!
When I was peeling them I tried to remember if the heat was in the seeds or membranes inside the pepper pods? I think Dan told us membranes, so I tried to remove both. I am after the flavor not the heat. While I had the grill turned on I cooked burgers for our supper. Bob had a piece of chili on his and loved it.
Last time I roasted them I froze on sheets of waxed paper. Bad news – the waxed paper stuck to the chili, so this time I tried plastic wrap instead.
Opening the wrap for the second photo about had me drooling! I forgot to tell you! The chilis get peeled and seeded with GLOVES ON! The active ingredient is capsacian. You might have heard about that from pain relieving rubs? I tasted a frozen bit of chili juice when I unwrapped the ones above for the photo. Rinsed my fingers, but did not scrub with soap and water. Just rubbed my eye a few hours later. Ouch! Heat!
In case you think this is only a New Mexico thing, for several years now Kroger’s has been selling green chili bagels in Cincinnati. Dan makes the best ones though. Toast the bagel, add chili, bacon and cheese. Heat until cheese melts. Yummy! In Albuquerque MacDonald’s sells green chili hamburgers. There is even green chili ice cream in a few places.
I think I need to make some mac ‘n cheese with chili. Yep, I feel the craving growing!