New Mexicans love their chile — and we use it to top and smother just about every food we can. The state’s favorite crop doesn’t just flavor New Mexican cuisine. You can find it in the most unexpected dishes. Just in time for harvest season, here are six unusual ways to eat chile whether you’re dining in a restaurant or bringing it home with you.
Sometimes the best fusions are the most unexpected ones. Several sushi restaurants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque incorporate green chile into their sushi rolls. Sometimes roasted and sometimes breaded and fried, the chile adds spice to the often otherwise delicate flavors of Japanese cuisine. You can find these rolls at Azuma Sushi & Teppan and Shogun Japanese Restaurant, both in Albuquerque.
Ice Cream and Paletas
In Santa Fe, La Lecheria delights customers with flavorful ice creams made with local ingredients. Nothing says “local” like chile, so come fall, look for green chile ice cream on the menu. The chile adds a sweet heat that balances beautifully with creamy vanilla ice cream. In the Duke City, classic chocolate ice cream gets a twist with cinnamon and red chile. The ice cream is made before your eyes using dry ice. Also in Albuquerque, Pop Fizz incorporates chile in several of its refreshing paletas (fruit popsicles) including mango, lime, and watermelon.
Since founding Las Golondrinas Pie Company in 2018, Andrea Villegas-Bernal has dazzled her customers with delicious seasonal flavors. Because fall marks chile season, expect to find chocolate chile pie and green chile apple pie with piñon crumble on the menu. The sweet and savory combination is an exceptionally craveable combination.
With New Mexico’s thriving and creative craft beer industry, it was only a matter of time until chile made its way into a few adult beverages. Eske’s Brew Pub and Eatery, in Taos, has been brewing luck in a glass with a bit of green (chile) in one of its beers for decades. Sierra Blanca Brewery picked up the mantle with its Green Chile Cerveza. Every August it roasts thousands of pounds of Hatch green chile, puts it in giant tea bags, and steeps the chile in light lager for seven to ten days to infuse the beer with roasted green chile flavor — and just a bit of heat at the finish.
New Mexico is the oldest wine-growing region in the country. Combining the state’s love of great grapes and chile, Hatch Chile Wines infuses its vino with red and green. The chile comes straight from the vine in the self-proclaimed chile capital of the world. The results are unforgettable spicy, fruity blends.
Chile heads will find a way to blend their favorite vegetable into just about everything, and condiments are no exception. From Ol Gringo Chile Company comes Green Chile Butter, a spread that can go on crackers or just about anything made for snacking. For a sweeter variation of a savory spread, try the green chile jam from Los Poblanos Organic Farm. The jam has a sweet heat that’s flavorful when added to anything from avocado toast to charcuterie boards. Heidi’s Raspberry Red Chile Jam also delivers a fruity, spicy, savory combo to snacks and sandwiches.
We hope you enjoy sampling these chile-laden treats this harvest season and beyond!