New Mexico Whole Chiles


New Mexico is famous for its chiles and its chilis (the stew-like dishes), both come in forms green and red. Some divide the state into the southern green-leaning part and the northern red-tending area, but it ain’t quite that simple. Most restaurants throughout the state offer both – green or red chili poured over your enchiladas or your chile rellenos or really anything you can think of.

Chiles grown in New Mexico, such as the famed Hatch chiles grown in and around Hatch, New Mexico, are often just called New Mexico chiles and come in many varieties.

Red and Green: What’s the Difference?
So what’s the difference? Time. Time is the difference between green and red chiles in New Mexico. The green chiles turn red as they ripen. In general, fresh and/or roasted chiles are green and dried chiles and dried chile powder are red.

In any case, they start green—when many people harvest and roast them—and turn red as they ripen. Some people roast them red, but more commonly red chiles are hung to dry in bunches called ristras before being ground into a chile powder as fine and flavorful as you can imagine.

How to Use New Mexico Chiles
How you use them depends entirely on what kind you have.

For green chiles, make a green chiles sauce or, even better, this pork green chili or this turkey green chili. For those with a true love of the green chile, this cream of green chile soup is sheer heaven.

Got red chiles instead? These chicken enchiladas with red chile sauce are tasty, but an even more classic New Mexico answer would be: make carne adovada, a red chile pork stew.

After living and cooking in New Mexico for 5 years, its no secret that these are my favorite Chiles!
Just a special shout out to my favorite New Mexican Chef and friend W.C. Longacre who re trained my style of thinking when it comes to Latin American foods and its methodology.
Not just a friend and published author, but truly a father of culinary fusion.

Great Bowls of Fire and Great Salsas from the Boss of Sauce are must haves for you New Mexico Kitchen staples.

You can order his books here:

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1 lb tub