Chile or Chili?
Here in New Mexico we take our chile seriously. Whether red is your preference or if you like the heat and fire roasted flavor associated with using green. Here chile is not just chili. For one the spelling with an i at the end denotes that it is a Texas style chili and that it will have more sweetness than heat. It typically relies on a variety of spices including red chile powder and sugar to give it it’s flavor. In New Mexico, both red and green, is all about the heat. The very best heat is grown in Hatch, New Mexico.
Christmas in New Mexico?
So what’s your preference Red or Green? I can never decide so I always order it Christmas with what ever I am ordering. This denotes that you want half and half of each. The best of both worlds so to speak. Chile con Carne is traditionally made using red. The purist way of making the chile is to hydrate dried chile pods in a hot water bath and then puree them in the blender. It is then strained so that it has the silkiest texture. It is then added to a pot of cooked, drained pinto beans along with some ground beef thats been sautéed with garlic and onion. The chile in its raw state is a bright orange and as it simmers it takes on a deep dark red color and develops a very distinct flavor that you can’t get from a powder.
Reinterpreting This Classic
The pinto beans is what gives this classic dish its hearty heft. I set about the task of making my version without those very high carb pinto beans. I instead paired it with veggies that would give it some chunky texture, as well as a hint of sweetness without the addition of a sweetener. Additionally rather than using just red I incorporated fire roasted green chile into the recipe. This gives it a much better flavor and fiery finish that you will not soon forget. by incorporating the best of both worlds. When you make this I think you’ll find that this is one heck of a fiery and very satisfying bowl of New Mexico comfort. From my kitchen to yours, happy low carbing. Mike