Soul Cocina

Eco Chef Roger Feely

Red or Green?

Our train rolled into Santa Fe Station at high noon

Actually we took Route 66 from Chicago to Albuquerque.

Then we took El Camino Real from Albuquerque to Chimayo in search of the holy chile.

Chimayo chiles may be holy, but they are just one of the many red chiles that are dried and used to make red chile sauce.
When you order a meal in New Mexico your host or server will ask you if you would like "green or red?"
New Mexicans are more particular about the type of chile used for their green chile sauce and chile rellenos. Hatch green chiles are the green chile of choice, grown in and near Hatch Pueblo in southern New Mexico. When harvested the chiles are roasted in cylinder cages over open flames to give them their distinct taste.
I personally love both green and red chile. I may be slightly partial to green chile, but it is hard to live without my red chile. New Mexico's solution to this dilema comes in the form of a one word answer that represents the best of both worlds. Christmas! Christmas means half red and half green chile.

This recipe for green chile sauce comes from The Cafe Pasqual's Cookbook. When I worked at Cafe Pasqual's in New Mexico we used to go through a few five gallon buckets a day of both green and red chile. I think it is the best green chile sauce in the world. Buy the book here, for more great New Mexican recipes.
~About 1 1/2 pounds fresh mild green New Mexican chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined, and chopped to measure 2 cups
~About 3/4 pound fresh hot green New Mexican chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined, and chopped to measure 2 cups
~4 Cups water
~1/2 white onion, cut into medium dice
~2 t dried Mexican oregano or marjoram leaves
~6 cloves garlic, finely minced
~1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
~2 tablespoons vegetable oil
~3 tablespoons all purpose flour
Place all the ingredients, except the vegetable oil and flour, in a large saucepan over medium heat. Simmer uncovered until juice has thickened and is opaque, 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, taking care that the chiles do not burn or stick to bottom of the pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and flour until smooth and well blended, to form the base for a roux. Place in a saucepan over medium high heat until hot and bubbling. Reduce the heat to low and whisk constantly until the roux is slightly brown and has a nutty flavor. Remove from heat.
Add 1/2 cup of the green chile mixture to the roux and whisk thoroughly until smooth. Add the roux to the remaining chile mixture and cook over low heat until the sauce thickens and the flour taste dissappears, about 15 minutes. Adjust to taste with salt.
-You can find fresh roasted green chiles all over New Mexico during the Hatch chile harvest in late summer and early fall. You can also pick up fresh roasted green chiles at the ferry plaza farmers' market in San Francisco. Frozen green chiles will do if fresh are not available. You can always roast them yourself
Whether the chile is green or red, in New Mexico it is always hot.
The adobe oven is a fading culinary tradition in New Mexico
At Shikshantar in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India they made an adobe oven from soil and cow dung.

We heard about all the UFO sightings in New Mexico and we were searching for aliens among all the rock formations and chile farms. We even heard a UFO warning on the radio
this is an audio post - click to play
We didn't see any aliens or UFOs in the desert, but we did come across a camel near Tesuque Pueblo

And we have seen many after midnight electrical lightning storms that looked like the works of some extraterrestrial forces.

We also felt like some kind of alien was going to abduct our car as we drove through Area 51 in Nevada as night fell.Nori's outerspace collection