Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Red or Green?

 

“Red or green?” A seemingly odd question coming from your waiter or waitress. Just about anywhere else, but New Mexico, where it is, in fact, the official State Question.

It refers to these guys, and is asking which one you want smothering your food: red and green chile. They’re the same thing, except the red has been allowed to ripen before harvesting.

Not “chillies,” “peppers,” or “chilis.” And they are a way of life around here.

Chile grow natively here, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that researchers at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces created a hybrid variety that was actually mild enough to eat. Called the “Big Jim,” that chile is the grandfather of all New Mexico chile.

When I say that chile is a way of life around here, I mean it. We put chile on eggs, hamburgers, pizza, beans … pretty much everything. Including, of course, tacos and burritos.

Unlike many Asian chillies and real firestorms like Ghost Peppers and Scotch Bonnets, New Mexico chile aren’t exceedingly hot. (At least, we New Mexicans don’t think so.) But they are flavorful, which is why we love them so much. (New Mexico grows the vast majority of the world’s chile, and we keep 80% of it for ourselves!)

Until relatively recently, it was impossible to get green or red chile outside of this state, but these days, grocers like HEB and Wegman’s are trucking in shipments of fresh chile in August, so you might be able to get some fresh chile and roast them yourself. Otherwise, you’ll have to content yourself with powdered or frozen chile from Amazon or these guys.

Once you get some, you can try out the helpful recipes in the comments, which are some of my favorites.

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There are 65 comments.

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  1. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

    Ingredients

    2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 ½ cups Hatch green chile peeled, seeded and chopped

    ½ cup tomato, chopped

    ½ teaspoon salt

    1 ½ cups water

    Roux made with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour or potato starch

    Directions

    Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and garlic and cook just until the garlic has softened, but do not allow it to brown, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients, except the roux, and simmer for 10 – 20 minutes or until most, but not all, of the liquid has evaporated. Add the roux and continue to simmer until the sauce is bound together and no longer watery.

    Makes enough for 4 servings of enchiladas.

    • #1
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:16 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  2. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

    New Mexico enchiladas are assembled and served flat, not rolled!

    Ingredients

    2 cups green chile enchilada sauce

    3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs)

    Chicken broth

    Mexican Oregano

    Shredded Cheddar cheese (about 2 cups, the sharper the better)

    Corn tortillas, preferably blue corn, if you can find it

    Directions

    Poach the chicken breasts in broth with a couple of pinches of oregano, for about 20 minutes. Remove breasts, and shred in a bowl.

    Heat the enchilada sauce in a large skillet, but do not let it boil.

    Heat the oven to 300°F and set out your oven-safe plates.

    Heat tortillas, one at a time, in the enchilada sauce until flexible, about 20 seconds. Make sure both sides get covered with sauce!

    Assemble enchiladas in a stack on each plate: tortilla, chicken, sauce, cheese, repeat–make three enchiladas per plate. Place finished plates in oven to melt cheese.

    Serve with Spanish rice and refried beans, and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.

    • #2
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:16 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Taco Meat

    Obviously, this can be used to fill tacos, but we also use it on pizza around here!

    Ingredients

    1 lb ground beef

    1 cup water

    1 tbsp red chile powder

    1 tbsp cumin

    1 tbsp ground black pepper

    1 tsp salt

    2 tsp garlic

    1 tbsp Mexican oregano

    Directions

    Brown ground beef in large skillet for about 7-8 minutes over medium-high heat, making sure to break the meat up well.

    Add water, then remaining spices, and mix. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until most water has boiled off.

    For tacos

    Fill freshly-fried corn tortillas with beef, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, salsa, shredded Cheddar cheese. Serve with Spanish rice and refried beans.

    For pizzas

    Cover 16″ pizza dough with cooked beef and top with roasted diced green chile and shredded Cheddar cheese. Bake at 500°F for 10-12 minutes.

    • #3
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:17 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Carne Adovada Burritos

    If I had to pick one food that I miss most when I’m out of state, this would have to be it

    Ingredients

    2 tbsp lard

    3 tbsp all-purpose flour or potato starch

    4 tbsp New Mexico red chile powder

    2½ cups warm water

    3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

    1½ tsp dried Mexican oregano

    Absolutely no cumin

    1 tbsp salt

    3 lbs cubed pork

    Directions

    Melt lard in large skillet over medium heat

    Stir in flour or potato starch and brown until golden brown

    Blend in chile powder

    Slowly add water, stirring until lumps are removed

    Add garlic, oregano and salt

    Simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes

    Remove and cool

    Place pork in large resealable bowl or bag

    Pour cooled sauce over pork and mix to thoroughly cover pork

    Marinate overnight

    The next day, bake in 350° oven for several hours until pork is extremely flakey and tender. Alternatively, cook in a slow cooker on low for eight hours.

    Add water during cooking to ensure carne adovada doesn’t dry out.

    Place about ½ cup carne adovada in a burrito sized flour tortilla with shredded Cheddar cheese. Fold and smother with more cheese and either left over liquid from baking or red chile enchilada sauce. Bake burritos at 350° to melt cheese, and top with lettuce, diced tomatoes, and sour cream.

    • #4
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:17 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Oh, and the answer to the question, according to most people, is “Christmas”.

    Me? Red on pork, green on everything else.

    • #5
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:25 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. Gary McVey Contributor

    Everything on Ricochet is mouth-watering. Often, it’s the exciting new foods I’ve never discovered. Sometimes, it’s the SEC cheerleaders that @mikelaroche and @roberto post. Sometimes it’s exotic cars. Once in a while, it’s a juicy economic theory. 

    Well, okay, usually it’s the chile and the cheerleaders. 

    • #6
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:25 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Everything on Ricochet is mouth-watering. Often, it’s the exciting new foods I’ve never discovered. Sometimes, it’s the SEC cheerleaders that @mikelaroche and @roberto post. Sometimes it’s exotic cars. Once in a while, it’s a juicy economic theory.

    Well, okay, usually it’s the chile and the cheerleaders.

    SEC cheerleaders? Roberto’s in NoCal, and Lash posts TTU girls. That’s not the SEC, man. ;)

    • #7
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:27 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. JosePluma Thatcher

    Damn you! Giving away all our secrets…

    • #8
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:33 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Damn you! Giving away all our secrets…

    Texan.

    • #9
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:36 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Gary McVey Contributor

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Everything on Ricochet is mouth-watering. Often, it’s the exciting new foods I’ve never discovered. Sometimes, it’s the SEC cheerleaders that @mikelaroche and @roberto post. Sometimes it’s exotic cars. Once in a while, it’s a juicy economic theory.

    Well, okay, usually it’s the chile and the cheerleaders.

    SEC cheerleaders? Roberto’s in NoCal, and Lash posts TTU girls. That’s not the SEC, man. ;)

    Roberto is not among the geographically prejudiced, I assure you. Now, Lash, yeah, there you got me. Somehow I associated his pictures of blonde beauties with the SEC. Foolish me. 

    • #10
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:37 PM PST
    • 1 like
  11. JosePluma Thatcher

    dnewlander (View Comment):

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    Damn you! Giving away all our secrets…

    Texan.

    Hey! I resemble that remark!

    • #11
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:39 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. Gary McVey Contributor

    Why do you damn people have to post all the delectable recipes in the middle of the night while all the damn stores are closed?

    And why am I cursing so much? Because you made me hungry. That’s why Ricochet needs the online alliance with overnight food delivery services that could be custom co-branded. 

    The Right’s Night Kitchen. 

    • #12
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:41 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  13. Arahant Member

    Not a bit of cilantro in any of them. I approve.

    • #13
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:43 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Not a bit of cilantro in any of them. I approve.

    Hell no.

    Nor onions.

    And, while you’re on your own to find flour tortilla replacements, the recipes themselves have gluten-free alternatives built right into them.

    Let me know and I’ll hook you up with the good stuff. And the other stuff for your wife.

    • #14
    • June 17, 2019, at 11:47 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Arahant Member

    • #15
    • June 18, 2019, at 12:00 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    No.

    • #16
    • June 18, 2019, at 12:04 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    I have a jar of El Pinto salsa in my fridge right now.

    Hot, of course.

    • #17
    • June 18, 2019, at 12:07 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    But this is the best salsa in the state.

    Even if their food’s gone downhill. Especially their carne adovada.

    • #18
    • June 18, 2019, at 12:13 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    This is a bit too forgiving to Colorado, and I think overestimates Mexico by about 100 times.

    But it shows how serious we are about chile.

    • #19
    • June 18, 2019, at 12:26 AM PST
    • 1 like
  20. dnewlander Member
    dnewlander Post author

    Which is, of course, pronounced “CHI-la”.

    Not “CHILL-ee”.

    Just so you know.

    • #20
    • June 18, 2019, at 12:28 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Gary McVey Contributor

    After I moved to Los Angeles, I went back and forth to New York a lot. But I didn’t do, or have to do any real cooking back east until a trip in the early Eighties. I was hosting a brunch, so I figured it was a hot time of year. My friends all knew I was living in California, so I’d do a Mexican one. I drove to the supermarket and looked for the Mexican/Latino/Spanish foods aisle. 

    It wasn’t an “aisle”. It was two different brands of canned refried beans. I hadn’t done much of the shopping before we moved west, so it just never occurred to me that being about 2000 miles farther away from Mexico might, you know, mean that my home town didn’t have foods I’d gotten used to. 

    To be fair to New York, it and a lot of other places have more ethnic food choices than ever. Smacked upside the head by the great invisible guiding hand of capitalism, the supermarket industry now offers an almost bewilderingly varied selection. 

    Yeah, it’s a little PC. But not much. As long as I, the consumer, am the winner, I like today’s world better. 

    • #21
    • June 18, 2019, at 12:36 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  22. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    After I moved to Los Angeles, I went back and forth to New York a lot. But I didn’t do, or have to do any real cooking back east until a trip in the early Eighties. I was hosting a brunch, so I figured it was a hot time of year. My friends all knew I was living in California, so I’d do a Mexican one. I drove to the supermarket and looked for the Mexican/Latino/Spanish foods aisle.

    It wasn’t an “aisle”. It was two different brands of canned refried beans. I hadn’t done much of the shopping before we moved west, so it just never occurred to me that being about 2000 miles farther away from Mexico might, you know, mean that my home town didn’t have foods I’d gotten used to.

    To be fair to New York, it and a lot of other places have more ethnic food choices than ever. Smacked upside the head by the great invisible guiding hand of capitalism, the supermarket industry now offers an almost bewilderingly varied selection.

    Yeah, it’s a little PC. But not much. As long as I, the consumer, am the winner, I like today’s world better.

    There really wasn’t a Mexican neighborhood in NYC up until the 1990s or so — you had Latino ones, but they were more likely to be Puerto Rican or Cuban (IIRC, there are three Mexican neighborhoods now if you really want to shop for authentic stuff — East Harlem south of 125th Street, Jackson Heights/Corona in Queens and Port Richmond on Staten Island, with the middle one along the Flushing elevated line being the largest of the trio).

    The ‘green or red’ question on enchiladas pops up here in the Permian Basin every other Friday or so, especially since enchilada plates are pretty much the de facto fundraiser lunch meal for the locals. But we’re only about 50 miles from New Mexico, so no surprise there.

    • #22
    • June 18, 2019, at 2:27 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  23. Kozak Member

    We got y’all here in the Carolinas. The Carolina Reaper has 1.5 million scoville units…..

    • #23
    • June 18, 2019, at 4:50 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. Stad Thatcher

    Green chiles (especially Hatch) are the way to go. Every birthday, my wife makes my favorite meal: Death Star Barburritos. They are basically a burrito stuffed with hamburger, onion, cheddar cheese and a slathering of green chile. They’re sealed with refried beans (homemade when she’s in the mood).

    On the outside, she slathers on more green chile and tops them with even more cheddar cheese. She then throws them in the oven and bakes ’em until they bubble. I should mention she makes a huge pot of green chile the day before. Anyway, here’s a picture from a year or two ago:

    • #24
    • June 18, 2019, at 5:27 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  25. Tex929rr Coolidge

    Most of the Tex-Mex places around here are owned by immigrants from Zacatecas – red salsa only (but very good). Few places offer red or green.

    When I was a corporate guy the Pace Picante sauce plant was right across the street. The number of semis delivering raw ingredients 24/7 was amazing. 

    • #25
    • June 18, 2019, at 6:40 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  26. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member

    dnewlander: (New Mexico grows the vast majority of the world’s chile, and we keep 80% of it for ourselves!)

    There oughta be a law! This is precisely the kind of injustice for which the Commerce Clause was written!

    • #26
    • June 18, 2019, at 8:27 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. JosePluma Thatcher

    I knew I had moved to a bizarre place when I asked for green chile at a burrito place and the clerk replied “what is that?” Fortunately, things have improved a great deal here. 

    (On a side note, the spellchecker on my iPad still doesn’t recognize the word “chile.”)

    • #27
    • June 18, 2019, at 10:09 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. Arahant Member

    JosePluma (View Comment):
    (On a side note, the spellchecker on my iPad still doesn’t recognize the word “chile.”)

    For good reason.

    • #28
    • June 18, 2019, at 10:10 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Full Size Tabby Member

    dnewlander: Until relatively recently, it was impossible to get green or red chile outside of this state, but these days, grocers like HEB and Wegman’s are trucking in shipments of fresh chile in August, so you might be able to get some fresh chile and roast them yourself.

    The last couple of years we lived near Rochester, NY (home of Wegman’s), Wegman’s had roasters outside some of their stores in late August to early September so they could roast chiles on site. When we moved to north central Texas last year, I saw roasters outside the local Albertson’s (though I never saw the roasters in operation). 

     

    • #29
    • June 18, 2019, at 11:20 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  30. Full Size Tabby Member

    Mrs. Tabby is more of a fan of chile (and green chile in particular) than I am (I’m not a fan of spicy or hot food in general). She really likes green chile on hamburgers.

    We were introduced when our daughter and son-in-law moved to New Mexico almost six years ago, and quickly learned the what waitresses meant when they asked “red or green?” You New Mexicans (and our daughter is following along) do put green chile on everything

    • #30
    • June 18, 2019, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 6 likes
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