“I bought 30 pounds of green chiles and I need to get them roasted. Would you mind standing in line for me at Albertson’s?”
My friend and I had decided to buy several 30-pound bags and split them between us. She was at the grocery store early in the morning to buy the chiles hoping the line wouldn’t be too long. It was. After 2 hours and with other errands to do she called me to take her place, and I called on my husband.
He immediately set off to take her place in line at 10 a.m.
Around noon he called asking if I’d bring him some lunch and his ipod. I arrived to discover he had moved a few feet. He had however heard the fascinating life story of the gentleman behind him.
7 1/2 hours after he first arrived, with only 2 people left in front of him, my friend showed up to switch places again. Totally anti-climatic. We lingered in the parking lot so he could witness the fruits of his labor, i.e. the chiles being thrown into the roasting barrel and spun slowly over the blazing fire until they were roasted.
That was last year. This year we live in Florida, and the only roasted green chiles to be found are in cans at the grocery store. And it is so terribly sad. I or my husband would gladly stand in line for 7 1/2 hours again. Those abominations in the can are pitiful. They’re blasphemy. They’re so blah compared to the glory that is a New Mexico roasted green chile (it is spelled ‘chile’ when speaking of green chiles from New Mexico. It was actually made the official state’s spelling by a New Mexico senator.)
With only a few bags of frozen roasted chiles left from that long ago day, I decided to make some green chile cornbread. I based it off a southern style cornbread recipe with incredible results. The smell in the house while it was baking was wonderfully reminiscent. It smelled like New Mexico in August: the air full of roasting chiles from every grocery store and every vacant parking lot.
- 1½ cups cornmeal (always check the label, some are not GF)
- ¼ cup white rice flour
- ¼ cup potato starch
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon - 2 tablespoons sugar depending on how sweet you want it (I used 1 teaspoon and loved it but my husband wanted it a bit sweeter; even using 2 tablespoons there will be only a very light sweetness)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 1 cup roasted green chiles, chopped (if you must you can also use 1 can green chiles, well drained)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of an 8 x 8-inch casserole dish.
- In mixing bowl stir together all the dry ingredients. Throw in everything else, beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Pour into pan.
- Bake 23-27 minutes until golden brown.