Green chile harvest is not the first thing that most people think about fall – but the smell of chiles roasting comes to my mind as soon as the air turns crisp and cool.
In New Mexico and Arizona, you can find giant chile roasting tumblers at grocery store parking lots and roadside farmer’s markets. There is a festival every year to celebrate the famous Hatch green chile. Next year – I swear I’m going to be there! And now, one of my favorite grocery stores in my new Rocky Mountain home has chile roasters every Saturday. That’s right. Roasted chiles have finally arrived at Harmon’s.
The smell of chiles roasting is earthy, grassy, smokey and spicy at the same time.
You can roast your own chiles at home by removing the grill from your barbecue and throwing the chiles right on the flames. Food blogger Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen puts her green chiles on the grill, but I say, throw them right on the flames for a very black char. You have to have very long tongs, so as not to burn your hands, because you will have to turn them frequently. It will only take a minute or two to char the skins, and then all you do is bag them and let them cool. Then just rub the skins off with paper towels or under running water. That’s it. Really.
And while you have an abundance, whip up a green chile souffle – sort of a shortcut chile relleno.
Happy Chile Season, Everyone!
CHILE RELLENO SOUFFLE
5 eggs, separated
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon each salt and cayenne pepper sauce
8 to 10 roasted Anaheim chiles, peeled
8 ounces Monterey jack cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cut open chiles and remove stem, seeds and pulp. Cut chiles into long strips.
In a buttered 2-queart casserole, place chile strips in a single layer, covering bottom of casserole. Spread a handful of cheese on top. Place another layer of chiles on top of cheese. Repeat this process so that you have four layers of chiles and 2 layers of cheese.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, cayenne pepper sauce. Pour on top of chiles.
Place casserole in a large pan and fill halfway up sides of casserole with hot water. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until almost set in center. Turn off oven and open door. Let cool to warm. Serve warm.