Thursday, June 19, 2008

What are your favorite green chile treats?

Here are a few of my favorite green chile sources and treats. Do you have some recommendations to add?

can't get enough of that good hot green stuff.

We particularly need some great green chile ice cream, sorbet or other frozen treats, I think. Any ideas, chile lovers?

The staples
• Green chile chicken enchiladas are a tasty staple of the Southwest, perfect for a patio supper — or lunch or breakfast. Some say the blue corn version at Pink Adobe in Santa Fe ranks as the state’s finest. Chile heads we surveyed had several regional picks for enchiladas as well as any dish that could be improved by adding some great green chiles (in other words, pretty much everything) including El Comedor in Mesilla, Chope’s in La Mesa and in Las Cruces: Nellie’s, Napolito’s, Ranchway, The Pit Stop, Roberto’s and El Sombrero. El Sombrero has some spectacular chile quesadillas, too.
• Green chile chicken tamales are a unique treat at La Cochina Restaurant.
• Green chiles are wonderful in tacos, stews, caseroles, sandwiches, soups and salads.
Oriental fusion exotics
• Green chile chicken egg rolls at Teriaki Chicken on El Paseo are a surprisingly delicious, multicultural treat, with or without the fruity dipping sauce. Try their green chile tempura in season, too.
• Green chile wontons, a specialty at Double Eagle on the Mesilla Plaza, are another classic fusion treat. The wontons are served with pineapple jalapeño salsa to double your pepper pleasure. The Double Eagle’s bartenders also keep a big glass “infusion” jar of Hatch-raised, fire-roasted green chiles marinating in vodka. It’s used for their Green Chile Vodka Bloody Mary as well as chile-enhanced martinis and margaritas, if you’re in the mood.
Sweet heat
• Chocolate-covered chile mango bonbons are a unique taste sensation at the Chocolate Lady in Mesilla.
• Chile lollipops come in several tempting combinations at Mesilla’s Billy the Kid Gift Shop. Try chile corn, peach and chile, or cucumber con chile.
• Hot fudge takes on a new meaning when you try the rather mild pastel green jalapeño fudge or the pleasingly fiery orange habañero fudge at El Platero in Mesilla.
• Chile ice cream and frozen treats seem to be in short supply. We used to love Caliche’s chile sundae: creamy vanilla frozen custard topped with a spicy green chile relish and a red-hot cinnamon candy in the shape of a chile pepper.
When we insisted on a Caliche’s chile sundae this week, we were finally served the custard with a ladle of chili con carne. Oops. We meant chile, not chili. And while we gamely tried a taste, remembering how well sour cream goes with chili, we’d say, don’t try this at home. Instead, you might try a sweet green chile relish on ice cream or sherbet, or make your own with roasted, diced chile mixed with a little honey or fruit preserves. It’s great on a scoop of chocolate ice cream, or top with dark chocolate shavings and a generous sprinkling of chile power.
• Green Chile Nut Brittles (available in peanut, piñon, pecan and pistachio and also in red chile versions of each) offered by Luis Flores of Las Cruces Candy Company at the Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market on the Downtown Mall, start with savory sweetness and follow with a lingering hot kick.
Red or white with red and green?
•The late, great international wine expert Alexis Bespaloff, in his last days in Las Cruces, recommended serving champagne with green chiles, advising that the bubbles could stand up to the spiciness and heat of our local peppers.
Travel or picnic chile survival kit
• RX: Chile OTC: Tia Rita’s offers dried red and green chile powders, spicy mixes and concoctions at area supermarkets and the Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market that are a great way to get your chile fix when you travel or add some zest to your fast food salad or burger at the office.
• Canned Heat: When you’re on the road, without refrigeration or in sad areas of the world where fresh chiles are not readily available, you can make due with fiery standbys like Hatch brand green chile enchilada sauce. Their Hatch Santa Fe combo of diced tomatoes, chile peppers, cilantro and lime can serve as emergency salsa: pack a can opener, chips and fresh veggies to dip for a full-tilt fiesta picnic.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are there places in town that conjure the red/green debate? I'm heading there this week and would like to explore both... and make mine hot!

Thanks, Jon