The New Mexico State question is “Red or Green?” Everywhere you dine, you are faced with this tough decision. Sometimes the best answer is “Both.” We enjoyed our wonderful visit to Santa Fe, New Mexico, with the highlight of the trip being attendance at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. The cooking store was incredible.
Our instruction centered on a very traditional New Mexican meal. Maybe it’s best to see the visual of the end result:
12 small fresh New Mexican green chiles or Anaheim chili
1-3/4 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
canola oil frying
6 eggs, separated
2/3 cup beer, New Mexican or Mexican
1 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons ground medium Chimayo red chile
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups red chile sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
Roast the chiles over a flame until charred. Place in a plastic bag to sweat for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully peel the chiles. With the tip of a small knife, make a slit in the chiles, the length of each pod, and remove the seeds. Rinse under cold running water and drain on paper towels.
Mix the cheeses and oregano in a small bowl. Stuff the cheese mixture into the chiles and press the opening closed. Place the chiles on a tray covered with a layer of paper towels and refrigerate for one hour to allow the stuffing to chill.
When you are ready to prepare the batter, heat the canola oil in a deep pot or deep fat fryer to 375 degrees. Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks, beer, flour, red chile and salt together until smooth. Fold in the egg whites. Remove the stuffed chiles from the refrigerator. Dip a chile into the batter, coating thoroughly. Carefully place into the hot oil. Repeat with 4 or 5 more chiles, frying to a golden brown, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining chiles.
Serve the chiles topped with chile sauce and sour cream or with the Carne Adovada.