Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chile Colorado

I made this last weekend and it is really, really good.  I guess, as with anything you cook, a lot is going to depend on the red chile you use. I tried some red chile flakes (which are like broken up pods) that were samples from Biad Chile Products.  I will probably get some more.  They have flakes, then crushed (like you see for pizza), coarse ground, and powder.  Probably get flakes and powder.  Looking at other sources as well.

9 New Mexico dried red chiles - washed, with stems and seeds removed (or 2-3 oz flakes)
3 cups water
5 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
3 tablespoons oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 cups beef stock or water

Cover chiles with 3 cups HOT water and steep for 30 minutes to soften. Strain into a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the chiles and some of the liquid into a blender and puree until smooth. Add more liquid as necessary to form a smooth sauce. Pass sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds and the tough skins. Add the cooked onions (see below) and puree again.  Set aside.
Cut the roast into 1 to 2 inch chunks. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the beef chunks in the seasoned flour; set aside.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot and brown the meat and remove from the pan. Don’t over crowd the pan and you may need to do this in batches.  Reduce the heat and add the onions, and sauté until translucent.  Remove the onions to the blender and puree with the chiles.  Add flour and garlic to the oil in the pot and cook roux 1-2 minutes (don’t burn the garlic).  Add chile/onion mixture and cook about a minute more but be sure not to burn as the chile will taste bitter.  Add the meat back in the pan with the rest of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.  Add beef stock to just cover beef chunks, or to personal preference. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to lowest setting, and simmer covered for 3 hours, or until meat is tender. If necessary, adjust with more stock during cooking.

Note: Makes 12 servings.  Serve with tortillas and if you have to; chopped onion, sliced green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or sour cream.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fat. Happy, and Satisfied

Well I couldn’t be happier with the chiles starting with the packaging.  The chiles in the one pound packages are “displayed” side by side with the stems on the same side and frozen flat for easy stacking in the freezer.  You can tell that someone had some pride in what they were trying to present.  Yeah, yeah, I know you don’t eat the package but I thought it was nice that they didn’t just grab a handful and cram them in the sack! 

As advertised the chiles were good size, perfectly roasted, meaty, and fragrant.  Out of the 5 or 6 pounds I have consumed in the last 24 hours I found one or two chiles that were slightly over roasted with browning of the flesh.  I ate them.  They were good.  So far I have eaten them straight up (whole, chopped, medium, and hot), in a ham and feta cheese omelet, medium chopped on a hot dog (actually two), two pots of chile sauce with pork (one hot one medium), and in a fried egg sandwich.   The flavors are a little more intense for both varieties when they are chopped in the soup. 

The medium Joe E Parkers are initially sweet followed by a little tingle on your tongue and lips.  The hotter Big Jims still allow the great chile flavor to come through without just cauterizing your mouth.  Both are fragrant and delicious.  With both, the sensation of “heat” subsides fairly quickly leaving one fat, happy, and content (and not reliving the meal for the next four hours- if you get my drift).  The perception of heat is very subjective and some will find the medium to be as hot as they want and some will think the hot is mild.  These aren’t intended to compete with a Hell Fire Double Habanero Latte.   

Tomorrow the rest of the pork shoulder will be slow cooked and shredded for burritos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It is Chile Day

Well the chiles are in and I have been dreaming about cooking up some sauce with pork and stuffing myself on smothered burritos. I think a big pot of the hot and one mild would be appropriate.   Have some deliveries to make for people that waited patiently for the chiles arrival and then its going to be football and chiles.  I think I will start the day with a stacked enchilada smothered and topped with a couple eggs, burrito for lunch, and Mike’s Famous Burger for dinner or maybe the green chile mac and cheese.  Or maybe both.

Friday, September 17, 2010

What makes Chimayó® chiles special?

Unlike some mass produced, hybrid, or genetically modified products Chimayó® chile seeds are handed down from generation to generation producing a distinctive local variety generally known as a landrace (or native chile).  A landrace is a plant species with unique features that has developed by natural processes and adapted to the specific environment in which it is grown.  Variations in terrain, irrigation practices, soil, climate, and other factors along with individual selective seed propagation produce distinct qualities or individual “farmer varieties”.
Once this chile has ripened, dried, and been ground into powder form called molido (milled), the aroma produced is a characteristic simultaneous mix of sweetness, richness, and spiciness that is not overbearingly hot.  The flavor is complex and distinctive.  Native Chimayó® chile has medium heat and a smooth robust flavor with chocolate-like base tones.  If aged properly this chile’s flavor is refined like a fine wine.  The more common chiles do not improve with age.  Chefs often use less Chimayó® to achieve the same desired results.  Authentic Chimayó® chile powder has a distinct pottery red-orange color as opposed to the more common chile which has a more brick red color. However, the only sure way to identify it is to look for the registration mark and certification number on the label. 

Similar to the use of term “organic”, the name “Chimayó® “is now a US Patent and Trademark registered certification owned by Chimayó Chile Framers, Inc and restricted to only products that are certified as authentic.  Buyers should be aware that “Chimayo like”, “Chimayo blend”, and “similar to” are product descriptions that are not true Chimayó.  In fact products using the name without certification are in violation of the farmer’s trademark rights.  Of all the native chiles, those from Chimayó have long been considered the standard in New Mexico, and have commanded the highest prices.  As one New Mexican writers put it, “…Chimayó is to chile as Havana is to Cigars.”  The Chimayó® powder at the Chile Man’s site is authentic certified Chimayó®.  
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Spain is a Long Way from New Mexico

Aimlessly wandering about the net today I came across a picture of an unbelievable pizza with Padron peppers from Delancey in Ballard and I got curious about the little beauties.  The most famous produce of Padrón region of Spain are its peppers which today are also grown in Virginia for the Harris family of La Tienda.  Traditionally, these peppers are served seared in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.  Most taste sweet and mild but some are hot which gives a little excitement to the experience.  Usually, the peppers grown later in the year towards August or September contain more capsaicin and are hotter than the ones of June and July.  I can’t wait to give these a try.
 La Tienda, the best of Spain seem like very nice folks and what a fabulous selection of artisan and small family products from firms in Spain.  This is from La, About Us:
“Whenever possible, we seek small family-run businesses in Spain, many of whom are continuing food-making traditions that go back generations. In addition, we are sensitive to issues concerning sustainable agriculture and fisheries, and to the ethical treatment of animals. We hope to help our Spanish neighbors stay connected to the land and their traditions. In turn, we hope that you will enjoy in your home the authentic flavors of Spain that have enriched our lives.”  Chile Man will be dropping a couple bucks here.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How Bout this at Your Next Tailgate

I think I am going to start a series on game food- tailgate or otherwise.  The first two nominations are Mike’s Famous Burger, Mike’s Famous Green Chile, your favorite burro or enchilada smothered in Mike’s Famous Chile (my ideas later), or this:

Green Chile Mac and Cheese

This makes me weak and “drooly” just thinking about it. This came to me via a nice lady, Hanna, at bouffe e bambini and looks like it was originally posted on Epicurious.  This makes two casseroles- one hot, one not or whatever combo you want.  Remember it is your football and you make the rules.

Yield: Serves 8 adults plus 10 children (or me and my brother-in-law)
Active time: 30 min
Total time: 1 hr
For bread crumbs:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs

1 cup roasted, peeled, and chopped New Mexico green chiles (or 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo)
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 pound macaroni
2 pounds extra-sharp Cheddar (preferably white), grated

Make bread crumbs:
Heat butter and oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook garlic and bread crumbs, stirring, until crumbs are golden. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt.

Make macaroni:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Melt butter in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over moderate heat, then add flour and cook, whisking, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, cream, and mustard and simmer, whisking occasionally, 3 minutes.
Cook macaroni in a 6- to 7-quart pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain in a colander and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in white sauce, cheese, and salt to taste.
Fill a 1 1/2-quart shallow casserole with half of macaroni mixture. Stir chipotles into remaining macaroni. Spoon into another 1 1/2-quart shallow casserole and sprinkle both with bread crumbs. Bake casseroles in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until bubbly.  Better yet make one with medium chiles and one with hot- just a suggestion. 

Nice lady Hanna’s note to the cooks: Macaroni and cheese may be made 2 days ahead, put into casseroles, cooled completely, and chilled, covered. Do not add bread crumbs until ready to bake. (Baking may take longer than 30 minutes.)

My note: Don’t forget to wash it down with a very cold suitable beverage.  Is it Saturday yet!
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Chile Man is really Cometh-ing Now

Frozen roasted green chiles are available on the web with freight rates that will make your nose bleed.  So next week I am bringing in to a cold storage facility in Kent initially about 3,000 lbs of roasted whole and chopped chiles (medium or hot) that can be ordered and paid for on my website, for a much more reasonable price.   I will then deliver them or hopefully arrange a time and place where many orders can be picked up at once and we can celebrate the arrival of some good green to Seattle.  Absent that I will deliver them individually to unofficial NM chile cult members or they can be picked up at my house.  Pass the word.  Spread the joy.  If you can’t handle the delivery fee get a few friends and order together and I waive the delivery fee (I can do that because I am the Chile Man and the Chile Man can do damn near anything he wants to do with his chiles).  Well, nothing dirty or anything. 

Friday, September 10, 2010


Here is a list of some great cookbooks that use real New Mexico chile products in the recipes (and if they don’t then substitute the good stuff from  so your dish doesn’t taste like garbage):

The Border Cookbook: Authentic Home Cooking of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico
Cheryl Alters Jamison (Author)

The Rancho de Chimayo Cookbook: The Traditional Cooking of New Mexico
Cheryl Alters Jamison (Author)

El Paso Chile Company's Texas Border Cookbook
W. Park & Norma Kerr (Author)

Best of the Best from New Mexico Cookbook: Selected Recipes from New Mexico's Favorite Cookbooks (Best of the Best Cookbook)                     
Gwen McKee (Editor), Barbara Moseley (Editor), Tupper England (Illustrator)            

The Great Chile Book                      
Mark Miller (Author), John Harrisson (Author), Lois Ellen Frank (Photographer)                      

Coyote Cafe              
Mark Miller (Author)    Owner, Cyote Café, Santa fe

Green Chile Bible: Award-Winning New Mexico Recipes                        
Albuquerque Tribune (Author)             

The Red Chile Bible: Southwestern Classic & Gourmet Recipes             
Kathleen Hansel (Author), Audrey Jenkins (Author)                 

The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook                                   
Susan D. Curtis (Author), Valerie Santagto (Photographer), Susan Curtis (Author)                               
The Tequila Cook Book                               
Lynn Nusom (Author)                          

Cafe Pasqual's Cookbook: Spirited Recipes from Santa Fe                                  
Katharine Kagel (Author), Barbara Simpson (Photographer)                            

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Green Chile Fans Unite

Mike's Chiles has officially launched!  I still have a few glitches to work out on the site, but the important information is there and I'm ready to take orders.  If you live in the Seattle area, help me spread the word to all the New Mexico chile heads you know.  Maybe we can form a group, but then we would need a name for the group, and then someone would want to be the head of the group and everything would go to shit.  I guess I will be the head of the group located in my mind and I will call myself the Chile Man.  Pretty clever I think.