The Fall Chile Roasting Tradition

DaveChile Peppers, Harvesting, Recipe, Roasting1 Comment

corkscrew chile
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Here is an odd-looking corkscrew ‘Big Jim’ red chile. I took the photo at the Sichler Farms stand today when I purchased a half-bushel of fresh red chile and a half-bushel of fresh green chile. They roasted it for me, but it still took a lot of time to peel the pods, clean them, chop them, place them in plastic ice trays and freeze them. We do this every fall–it’s part of the family ritual of living in New Mexico. BTW, this is not the way New Mexico chiles usually look! Here’s my favorite sauce made with fresh red New Mexican chiles. Note that because this dish is pureed, the red chiles don’t need to be roasted and peeled. But the ones I bought today will be used in many other recipes, so they were roasted and peeled.

Dave’s Fresh Red Chile Sauce

This method of making chile sauce differs from others using fresh New Mexican chiles because these chiles aren’t roasted and peeled first. Because of the high sugar content of fresh red chiles, this sauce is sweeter than most. When I first made this sauce, I harvested some chiles from my garden one late summer day, made a batch of this sauce, and ate every drop as a soup! It makes a tasty enchilada sauce, too.

1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 fresh red New Mexican chiles, seeds and stems removed, chopped (or more, to taste)
1 large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic 4 cups water
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano leaves
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and saute the chiles, onion, and garlic until the onion is soft, about 7 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour, uncovered.

In a blender, puree the sauce in batches and return it to the saucepan. Cook until the sauce thickens to the desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

Yield: About 3 cups

Heat Scale: Mild to Medium