This post is sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture through Kitchen PLAY.
Every July marks the beginning of my excitement for New Mexico green chile.
August is when they begin to arrive in stores here, so July is my time for dreaming up new ways to use them. I’ve loved New Mexico green chile for longer than I can recall and created countless recipes with them.
I make sure I know the day they’ll arrive (I usually go to our local Wegmans as they’ll be roasting them fresh outside the store) and I always pick up as much as I can carry. Normally I do this 2-3 times during the month of August, with one final trip to pick up enough to fill a shelf of my freezer.
My easy go-to is to add them to my soups. Almost every soup I make becomes transformed into something new when I add green chile. Potato, vegetable, even lasagna soup isn’t safe from my obsession. Every single one is amazing with green chile added!
Appetizers are another favorite way to use green chile. A mix of cream cheese and New Mexico green chile as a filling for puff pastry is a simple and crowd-pleasing dish. The same mixture is perfect when used to stuff mushrooms. Add a few spices, some sour cream and cream cheese and you’ve got a delicious dip. If you really want to impress your friends, try making a green chile cheesecake!
New Mexico is where you’ll find exceptional green chile, most commonly known as “hatch chile”. I’ve written before about my love of New Mexico, its people and the unsurpassable green chile that grows there. I brought back the “Big Jim” variety of seeds and grew them here in VA last summer. They were good, and they’ll do in a pinch, but if they’re not grown in New Mexican soil, they’re missing that special something.
The growing conditions in New Mexico are unique to that area. Of course, you start with quality seeds, but then you have that New Mexico soil, the water used for irrigation, hot temperatures during the day, and cooler temperatures at night. This all contributes to the delicious and unique flavor profile of the New Mexico green chile that you just can’t find anywhere else.
Believe me, I’ve been searching for something comparable, and so far it’s been fruitless.
New Mexico green chile is most commonly called the “hatch chile” and it’s labeled as such when it arrives in the stores near me each summer. “Hatch” refers to Hatch Valley, New Mexico, where their green chile is produced, but it’s not a specific variety. “Big Jim” is my personal favorite of hatch chile; it’s on the milder side in terms of heat yet has plenty of flavor, making it perfect for any number of dishes and palates.
Although the flavor is what I love most about New Mexico green chile, it’s the versatility that’s the reason I buy so much each year. These chile peppers are rare and limited in season and supply, so I stock up as much as I can! They go incredibly fast, too, so I’m clearly not the only one obsessed with this culinary delight. The fact that they work so well in both sweet and savory dishes – in any type of cuisine, not just Southwestern – means that my creative juices flow freely while “wow-ing” my friends and family.
Another thing you might now know about New Mexico green chile is that they’re a superfood! Just one green chile has more Vitamin C than SIX oranges! I find that incredible. Seeing as how I typically use 3-4 green chile in a recipe, that’s a lot of Vitamin C in a serving.
As I mentioned, my local store roasts their green chile right outside the store, so check around your local area and see if you can find some freshly roasted. If not, you can easily roast them at home on the grill or in the oven. In either case, bring the temperature to about 425F. Rub the chile with a little oil and place on the grill (or a sheet pan if using the oven). Grill until they’re blackened all over, turning them as needed. Toss them in a large bowl covered with saran wrap and let them sit for about 15 minutes. Once they’re cool enough to handle, you can slip the skins right off, remove the stem and seeds then chop them. You can use them right away or pop them in the freezer for a reminder of summer on a cold winter’s day.
I used the very last of what I had in my freezer to make these pork chops. I used my Instant Pot since it always gets my pork chops super tender (you can see one falling apart in the video). Radish might seem like a strange addition, but hear me out.
When I was thinking about what recipe I could create that was a bit different from what I’d done before, I started thinking about a green chile stew. It’s a common dish, and a favorite of mine, but I wanted to elevate it slightly. I spotted radishes at the store and remembered that it’s a common topping for posole…and my wheels started turning. I decided to make tender pork chops with radish in place of potatoes, all smothered in a creamy parmesan & green chile sauce.
Let me tell you, it was a MAJOR success!!
I’d made the dish earlier in the day then left to see my parents. Rob, who follows the Keto diet, came home and heated it up for his dinner. I came home and asked him how he liked it. He said he loved it! Then I told him that I hoped he’d saved me some of the radishes, but he said he’d only eaten TWO of them because he thought they were red potatoes.
The radishes get very soft, just like potatoes, and they lose their peppery bite. I’d explained this to Rob earlier in the day, but he was still convinced they had to be potatoes!
Now let’s talk about the sauce. It’s so crazy simple with just a few ingredients, yet it has so much flavor from the New Mexico green chile that you’ll be making it all the time. To go over everything! You can make this dish with chicken or beef. Skip the radish and use baby red potatoes if you prefer! Heck, make just mashed potatoes and serve it with the sauce instead of gravy.
As long as it’s got New Mexico green chile in it, I promise you that it’ll be a smash hit!
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 lb pork chops
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 lb radishes
- ¼ cup diced New Mexico green chile
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- More salt as needed
- Press “Saute” on your Instant Pot. When it’s preheated, add
the oil to the pot. Add the pork chops, then season with half the garlic and
onion powders, salt, and pepper. Cook until the chops are browned on both sides, then remove.
- Add the chicken broth to the pot, scraping to remove any
browned bits from the bottom (this is important to ensure your Instant Pot
comes to pressure). Add the remaining garlic and onion powders, salt, and pepper
to the broth. Place the pork chops into the chicken broth and add the radishes.
- Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot, making sure the
valve is set to “Sealing”. Press “Manual” and make sure the pressure is set to“high.”. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
- When the time is up, release the pressure by carefully moving the valve (quick pressure release).
- Remove the pork chops and radishes
with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Press “Saute” and boil (reduce) the chicken broth mixture until it’s reduced by half. Stir in the cream, parmesan, and green chile, adding salt if necessary.
- Return the pork chops and radishes to the pot. Place one pork chop and a few radishes on a plate then top with the creamy sauce. Serve immediately.