Savor New Mexico chiles now

Bring home this region's classic flavors with our recipes for roasted stuffed chiles, chile-chicken enchiladas, and red-chile pork stew

Green chiles stuffed with almonds and raisins

Green Chiles Stuffed with Almonds and Raisins

Annabelle Breakey

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RECIPES:

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Like all good New Mexico food, this is simple, earthy, and delicious. Its heat depends on the chiles; go with Anaheims if you scorch easily.

Carne Adovada (Red Chile and Pork Stew)
Pure ground dried red chiles are the star of this simple stew.

Green Chiles Stuffed with Almonds and Raisins
This dish softens the chiles' heat with raisins, nuts, spices, and a slightly sweet tomato sauce.

To experience chile season in New Mexico, you could head to the Hatch Valley, near Las Cruces. The world's single-largest chile crop ― about 18,000 acres ― is grown in the fertile valleys of southern New Mexico, and the annual Hatch Chile Festival draws about 30,000 heat-seekers every Labor Day weekend.

But there's another world of chiles along the northern backroads near Santa Fe. It's a quieter, more homespun scene. The farms are smaller, the season shorter. Even the chiles are different.

To get a taste, start at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Here, chile roasters fill the air with their signature sweet smoke.

As the drums turn over propane burners, fresh green chiles tumble around inside, their skins blackening, flaking off, and falling like snow through the open metal mesh of the drum. The chiles are then gathered up, bagged, and sold.

At the market, you can find northern chile varieties like Chimayo and Española, both named after the areas where they're grown. But how, exactly, are these chiles different from ones raised in the south?

 

 

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