Saturday, August 1, 2015

Harvest Begins

Every year we put 3 or 4 sacks of green chile into the freezer and food dryer.  New Mexicans as a rule use a lot of chile, and we are as addicted as the rest of our neighbors.  Growing up here, we both consider having a year's worth put up as normal a an Idahoan would feel about storing potatoes.  You just gotta have em.

A 40 pound sack of chile
Today we stopped on our way home from Albuquerque at our favorite farm store for a sack of mild and a sack of hot chiles.  If you aren't familiar with the food of New Mexico, I'll tell you this- we eat it green and we eat it red.  We argue about which is best and we usually like it hot.  This is not a casual treat.  This is serious food, folks.  

First batch going into the roaster basket
To preserve the green, it has to be roasted and peeled.  My husband built us a roaster a few years ago so we can take care of it ourselves.  Commercial roasters work great, but often the operators are rough with it while it cooks and tear it up.  Besides, it's a fun job.  

We turn the handle to keep the chiles moving while they are exposed to the flames.  
Some of my best memories of growing up are chile roasting day.  Mom would make a pot of pinto beans, bake bread and she and I would start roasting early in the morning.  We would make rellenos to eat with our bread and beans for lunch, then start packing the freezer.  It was hot, long work, but the food was worth it.  

Blistered and mostly cooked, it's time to take them out.
When our kids were home I kept that tradition going.  The kids still want to be in on roasting and putting up the chile.  It's one of the best parts of Fall approaching.  The harvest has begun.  

We'll cover them with a moist dishtowel and let them steam for an hour to two to finish cooking.
Although I don't bottle nearly as much food as I did years ago, I still love the feeling I get as the pantry and freezer begin to fill up. It makes me feel secure and like I have some control over something!  

These chiles are peeled, stuffed with cheese and ready to dip into the batter.

Rellenos are one of our favorite dishes.  Basically, you stuff a roasted, peeled chile with cheese, dip it into an egg batter and fry it.  A simple thing to make and eat, but they taste gourmet. 

Ready for supper.  Some freshly picked corn on the cob will round the meal out.

If you haven't ever tried them, here is the recipe.  Hopefully you can get chiles of some variety in your supermarket.  

Chile Rellenos-
For every four chiles:
1 large egg, separated
1 T. hot water
2 T. flour
A bit of salt

Whip the egg whites till stiff. Stir the hot water into the yolks then add the flour and salt. It will be thick. Fold the yolk mixture into the beaten whites. Dip the chiles into the egg batter and fry on both sides till golden brown.  I hope you love them as much as we do!  

Thanks for stopping by!  Alice

No comments: