For the Love of a Chili
Open your mind to the taste of a spring green chili stew or a chile relleno
by Laurie Richardone
Summer is on the horizon. Farmers markets across the country are starting to blossom with seasonal ingredients, ready to wake up our appetites. Peppers might not be what comes to mind, however, the pepper can be the perfect plant pod for your palette to discover.
I lived in Santa Fe for twenty-three years, of the many things I miss are the smell, taste, and sight of Hatch Green Chilies. They were roasted at the markets, on the streets, and in parking lots of local favorites. When in season, this intoxicating fragrance was ubiquitous in Santa Fe.
I realize we are in The Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, not The Rocky Mountains of New Mexico, where this local tradition is present everywhere. Some things just stay with us, no matter where we plant new roots.
When you have a craving for a dish that cradles you when you most need it, the only course of action is to get some green chiles (even if they are from a can), crank up the oven, and make a Spring variation of this beloved dish of Northern New Mexico.
I was delighted to discover Sleight Family Farm at North Asheville’s Market offering green peppers. Poblano’s to be exact. These beautiful, large, relatively mild cousins of The Hatch Chili Pepper are what is generally used to make a chile relleno, a classic favorite of Santa Feans.
Classically they are stuffed with cheese and fried in a batter. Personally, I love roasting them up on the grill, and turning them into a vibrant late Spring Green Chili Stew. If peppers aren’t your go to at the market, I invite you to open your mind.
Cooking alongside the seasons with new found ingredients, keeps our senses from complacency, and our palettes fresh.
Each season has something delectable, colorful, and unique to offer, not to mention all the health benefits of eating ingredients that are grown locally, naturally, and picked at their peak of flavor.
To help start a new tradition to pass down to your family and friends, I offer my Spring recipe of green chili stew, inspired from my years in Santa Fe, made in my kitchen in Asheville, North Carolina.
I hope you will give this vibrant savory stew a try. I add a dollop of sheep yogurt from Asheville’s amazing Grass Roots Farm & Dairy. This local edible treasure adds an element of cool and creamy acidity to the stew. I would love to hear what you come up with to make this dish your own. Happy cooking.
Cooks Note: You can purchase Hatch Green Chili in small cans in most markets here in Asheville.
The Benefits of Eating Green Chilies
• Green chilies are packed with antioxidants that act as scavengers, protecting the body against harmful free radicals.
• Green chilies are known to increase a person’s metabolism by up to 50% for at least three hours post meals!
• Green chilies keep your blood sugar in check. They create a balance in the bodies of those suffering from diabetes by lessening the increased levels of blood sugar.
To your good health ~ Laurie
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Laurie Richardone is an inspirational seasonal chef and certified health coach.
To work with Laurie, visit LaurieRichardone.com