The smell of green chile roasting helps to welcome fall in New Mexico. Tons of businesses on Cerrillos Road have roasting stations in their parking lots and the Farmer’s Market offers several on-site roasters. It is tradition in Santa Fe. I love to eat green chile all winter and decided to grow my own this year. My garden plot for chile was 10’x10′ with a walkway down the middle. My dad helped me pick the chile plants to have a nice variety. We tried some different types this year, including Santa Fe Grande that are light yellow with the size and heat index of a jalepeno pepper. These little peppers were hot this year with all the dry heat at the end of the summer. We had good weather for growing all types of chiles this summer.
I picked many types of green chile when they were green. The varieties Big Jim and Sandia Hot taste better as roasted green chile. I also roasted the Santa Fe Grande and Hungarian Wax Peppers to give them more flavor and allow winter storage in my freezer.
I tried a few different ways to roast my chile, but the most efficient seems to be grilling them at 400 degrees. I am able to fit about a sheet pan full of chile on my grill at a time. I use a long tongs to turn the chile after it is charred on one side. The small peppers only need to be turned once, larger ones may need to be cooked on all four sides. It is also easy to see the cooking progression on the grill. Once the chile has been roasted, I let it cool on a sheet pan. I freeze them in gallon freezer bags, organized by type. So far, I have about 5 gallon freezer bags of chile in my freezer for winter.
Send me your tips for growing and preserving your green chile to firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Hetager, CSA Blogger