I am sharing this week with Teach Me Tuesday’s,The King’s Court IV, Thursday’s Favorite Things and Homestead Simple. In September, I will be entering these in the Vanilla Clouds and Lemon Dreams, Sweet Heat challenge.
I love the smell of green chiles roasting over an open fire. The scent fills the air with a warm, spicy fragrance. It makes me feel like Fall is just around the corner. Being from the southwest we think everyone knows how to roast, steam and peel New Mexico long green chiles. (some places known as Anaheim chiles.) I had a good lesson in this exercise from Chef Johnny Vee of Las Cosas Cooking School in Santa Fe, NM. He has lots of experience in teaching, catering, and restaurant management.
If you have the chance to visit Santa Fe and take a class with Chef Johnny you should do it. I learned a few new tricks in his class and had a blast cooking with him and my friend Nelda. She and I have both raised families and cooked lots of meals. I thought I knew everything there was about chiles. Not so. Did you know, if your put a small slit near the stem of the raw chile before roasting it that it will prevent the chile from exploding while over the direct flame? Then you can use that same slit to fill the chile for chiles rellenos before you put it in the batter? I never thought of that. I always do things the hardest way first. This makes perfect sense. He introduced all types of recipes in which to use the chiles. I’ll be sharing those with you from time to time as chile season proceeds.
When picking out your chiles be sure they are as flat and heavy feeling as you can find. This will make it easier to char the skin more evenly. Heavy feeling chiles will be meatier or thicker for stuffing with your favorite cheese. I like Asadero or Mennonite cheese. Very good for melting in those chiles rellenos.
Wash and dry the chiles and leave the stems on, use a knife and slit about a 1” verticle slit near the stem, and place them on a grill or over the open flame on your gas stove. You can put them under the broiler too. I prefer the gas grill outside when the weather permits. (In El Paso that is almost always!) Turn them until they are charred on all sides. Once they are blackened all over, put them in a bowl or pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap, a plastic bag or even foil. You wantthem to steam completely. They need to be cool enough to handle. With the back of a paring knife slip the charred skin away by sliding the knife down the chile. Remove as much of the blackened skin as possible. A little char adds to the smoky flavor of the chile. DO NOT RINSE THE CHILES when preparing them for sauces, enchiladas, pico de gallo or casseroles/stews, unless instructed in a recipe.
You can slit them open and remove the stems and seeds if they are to be diced or sliced. The seeds are the hottest part. For chiles rellenos leave the seeds in and stems on.
After all of that instruction here is a nice sweet surprise that Chef Johnny shared with us. This is a very creamy and quick ice cream to make. The chiles add a new twist to ice cream I had never thought of. I took the liberty to adjust the chile prep a little. I really wanted the flavor throughout the ice cream. In the class we served the chiles in strips on top in case some didn’t want chile with their lime. I added the zest of ½ of an orange too. Thinking margaritas here! The Chef told us he used the chile syrup from caramelized chiles to make margaritas. Sounds like a good idea. It must be 5 o’clock somewhere!
Lime Ice Cream with Caramelized Green Chiles
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup sugar
- Zest of 2 limes
- Zest of ½ orange
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, about 2 limes
- ¼ cup key lime juice (bottled is fine or about 8 key limes)
Important note: Set up your ice cream maker before you add the lime juices.
Whisk together cream, milk, sugar and zest. Mix until sugar is completely dissolved.
Quickly stir in the lime juices (it gets very thick) and quickly pour into the ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. I used my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker. This is such a handy little machine. No fuss or bother with ice, salt, etc. And It makes a perfect quantity ice cream – perfect for this recipe.
When the ice cream is finished freezing, add the chiles through the top opening and mix in the chiles and allow to blend for a minute. Pack the ice cream in plastic containers and store in the freezer section of your refrigerator until ready to serve.
Caramelized Green Chiles
- 6 New Mexico green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and rinsed
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Blot the chiles dry with paper towels and cut them in ¼” dice. Combine all ingredients in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens and becomes syrupy. About 10-12 minutes.
Remove from the heat and strain the chiles through a sieve. Scatter the chiles on a lightly oiled plate and freeze. Add to the Lime Ice Cream before storing in the freezer.
–Chef Chat with Chef Johnny V “It sounds crazy but these candied chiles end up tasting like candied pineapple, but with a kick. If you are not sure you will love them, serve them as strips on top of the ice cream.”
–His cookbook Cooking with Johnny Vee has this recipe and lots more.