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Next to ski season, green chile season is my favorite time of year! Nothing beats the smell of fresh green chile roasting over a campfire. The sizzling and popping sounds the skin makes as it blisters is the music that causes the flames to joyfully dance and twirl around the chiles. I love the season of Green Chile!
For me the celebration of Green Chile season is the beginning of the holidays as we move toward fall. Falling toward the end of August into the first of September the weather in New Mexico is perfect for camping out and roasting chile. This is a tradition for me and Smiley!
Being a native New Mexican, green chile is in my DNA! Therefore, we don’t settle just any green chile. Sorry Colorado, there is no comparison to Hatch Green Chile. There is something about the soil in the Hatch Valley that creates the beefy, meaty, savory unique taste of their chile that can not be duplicated.
There are several different types of green chiles, depending on your taste for heat. The hotter varieties are called Sandias. They are thinner and have less meat to them than the mild 1904 variety. Smiley and I prefer the medium-hot Big Jims.
You can purchase Hatch Green Chile already roasted, frozen or in a can. (In a can was how my mom sent green chile to me when I was in New Zealand! I had to get my fix…) AND…
Most stores will roast them for you, still I beleive when you roast them yourself over a campfire they taste the best!
Not only does roasting them over a campfire give them a wonderful smokie flavor it is a great time to have a party! I told you that I consider Green Chile season a holiday!
The first time Smiley and I roasted green chile over a campfire we envited a few of our friends to help knowing it was going to be alot of work. Because (Smiley says) my super power is organization, I had everything set up and out in stations. We had the flipping station, the cooling and bagging station, and the putting them on the grill station. It was a full on green chile roasting assembly line that I promptly put our friends to work with certain instructions for each station.
Our friends played along for a little bit then one of them stood up in revolt and made one more station….
The BEER Drinking Station!
From that day on we have made our chile roasting a party! It is a great way to have some fun with friends, enjoy the outdoors and get some great memories!
How to Roast Green Chile…
- Set up your campfire ring just big enough to hold your folding campfire grate.
- Have LOTS of ice and fresh water available. (We use colapsable cubes.)
- Set up a large bucket of ice water for cooling the chile down fast after it comes off the fire.
- Have freezer bags ready. I like pint size freezer bags.
Once you get some coals going set your grate over the hot coals, with just enough flame to lick at the bottom of the grate. Arrange the fresh chile on the grate. The fire should be just enough to blister the skin of the chile. Using GRILL TONGS flip the chiles so that they are blistered all the way around.
Once they are blistered toss them in the ice water bucket to cool them off quickly. Then put them in freezer bags, making sure you squeeze out all the water and get as much air out as possible. (To help prevent freezer burn!) Keep them cold!
I don’t peel them until I get ready to use them!
Oh yeah… have a BEER drinking station!
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