Escaping to Santa Fe for a few days of indulging in red and green chiles has become my Labor Day tradition. So has taking a Saturday morning class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.For the past four years, the demonstration class has been taught by Michelle Chavez. This year’s “Traditional New Mexican 1” was jampacked with chile information and cooking tips, and culminated in a delicious lunch. The entrees included chicken enchiladas with green chile sauce.“Fresh green chiles are like fresh grapes,” Chavez said. “As the chiles ripen, they turn red, and they are dried in the sun and become like raisins. They get sweeter and deeper in flavor.”A food historian, Chavez fills her class with interesting culinary facts. “All chiles originated in Mexico,” she said. “The long green, or Hatch, chile is a hybrid of chiles from Mexico. It’s a milder flavored pod. The jalapeño is just hot. The serrano, jalapeño’s evil sister, is hotter but with a great flavor.”Green chiles have nutritional benefits, too. One pod has “as much vitamin C as 10 oranges.”When it comes to heat level of chiles, she has some observations.“For milder flavored chiles, look for ones that are straight and fat,” she… Read full this story
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