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On this page:
Chile, Food of the Gods: About Chile - Books About Chile - Pictures of Chile - How To Prepare and Cook Chile - How To Grow Chile - Chile Events in New Mexico - Chile-Head Sites - Chile and Chile Products For Sale - Chile Seeds and Plants For Sale - New Mexican Cuisine, Cookbooks, & Recipes: About the Cuisine - Chile Cookbooks - Chile Recipes - Recipes for the other kind of chili

Chile, Food of the Gods

About chile: What's the big deal?

Chile is a term which usually refers to any of hundreds of chile peppers used in cuisines across the world to flavor and spice food. In New Mexico, however, chile means much more than that. Chile is the state's largest agricultural crop, but more than that, across the state of New Mexico chile is consumed at every meal, is celebrated in songs and at festivals, and is the subject of the Official New Mexico State Question, "Red or green?", estimated to be uttered between 175,000 to 200,000 times a day in New Mexico. The question refers to the color of chile you want on your food. (If you can't decide, say "Christmas" and you'll get both red and green on the same plate.)
  • All about chiles - A great introduction to "our favorite little pods": what they are, what they're used for, and a brief history of their introduction and development into a major agricultural industry in New Mexico. "Chile has long been used in folk medicine and lately, as well as heat and flavor, it’s been found to pack an antibacterial punch. You’ll find the pepper pods in mayonnaise, lozenges, liniments and pepper sprays. Loaded with nutrients including calcium, iron and vitamins A and C, chile also is used to relieve headaches and decorate homes with ristras. It’s even been known to provide a color boost to fading flamingos."
  • An introduction to chiles - Addresses why people eat food that hurts, whether it's spelled "chile" or "chili", and other important issues.
  • All about chiles - Chile anatomy, types, pungency, diseases, nutritional value, glossary, production statistics, and growing tips from the Chile Pepper Institute.
  • Another introduction to chiles - Addresses the difference between red and green chile, the difference between 'chile' and chili', explains how to roast green chiles and rehydrate red chiles, and other chile facts.
  • A Chili, is a Chili, is a Chili, or is it? - Why chiles are called peppers (and why Native Americans are called Indians)
  • Chile peppers fire up New Mexico cuisine - "The cuisine of New Mexico represents a diverse blend of Pueblo, Spanish Colonial, and Mexican and American frontier cooking."
  • The legacy of chile according to New Mexico's chief chilehead - by Dave DeWitt. History of chile and chile growing in New Mexico.
  • Chile-rich New Mexico - by D'Lyn Ford. "Whether it's grown for fresh market sales or processing, chile brings big bucks to New Mexico's economy."
  • Peppers under pressure: Preserving the business of red and green - by D'Lyn Ford. "After 400 years, chile's status as signature crop of New Mexico is well preserved in memories and freezers throughout the state. But the $250 million pepper processing industry that has emerged over the last 30 years faces intense international competition and weather, disease, and insect problems. Every segment of the industry - from red and green chile to cayenne and jalapeño production - is under pressure."
  • Which is hotter, red or green? - As this page explains, "A general rule of thumb to use is that red is usually milder while green is usually hotter. This is not always true, though, so you should always ask the server. The real truth is that red is more consistent in "hotness" while green can vary significantly."
  • Chile pungency - What causes peppers to be hot, how hotness is measured, and a chart showing the heat values of most common chile peppers. "The most common way to test chile pungency is to taste the pod. This method, although quick and cost-effective, may leave the tester in some pain. There are two other ways of testing pungency as well, the Scoville organoleptic test and high performance liquid chromatography."
  • Revised Chile Heat Scale - by Dave DeWitt. "Improving technology and more selective breeding has changed the standard heat levels for some chiles. Here is the most up-to-date chart, compiled by the pioneering experts in the Fiery Foods Industry."
  • The Question of Chile Addiction - by Kellye Hunter and Dave DeWitt. "What is it about chiles that makes us continue to want more of them? Is it really possible to get addicted to chile?"
  • Burning in the Mouth, Fire in the Belly: Why Some Like It Hotter Than Others - by Dave DeWitt. The chemical basis of why chile tastes hot, and a great section on how to make it stop hurting and wash the heat away.
  • Pepper Profiles - From the Mo Hotta, Mo Betta site, detailed profiles of over a dozen peppers including pictures, vital statistics, and interesting info about each kind.
  • Pepper Profile: New Mexican Varieties - by Dave DeWitt. History, botanical information, and recipes featuring New Mexico's favorite food. "The intense use of chiles as a food rather than just as a spice or condiment is what differentiates New Mexican cuisine from that of Texas or Arizona. In neighboring states, chile powders are used as a seasoning for beef or chicken broth-based "chili gravies," which are thickened with flour or cornstarch before they are added to, say, enchiladas. In New Mexico, the sauces are made from pure chiles and are thickened by reducing the crushed or pureed pods." (Fiery-Foods.com)
  • More Pepper Profiles - In-depth description and and history of a different type of chile each month. Includes recipes. (Fiery-Foods.com)
  • Read testimonials about the lengths people will go to get green chile after they move away from New Mexico. (click on "Testimonials" in the green navigation bar at the top.)
  • A guide to Southern New Mexico chile - by Sunny Conley. "Welcome to Southern New Mexico! You have ventured upon the hottest spot in the U.S.A. I’m not talkin’ solar heat. I’m talkin’ chile fire."
  • Bush Medicine: Folk Cures with Chile Peppers - by Dave DeWitt. A quite thorough study of chile pepper folk cures used in various cultures.
  • Chile Legend & Lore - by Dave DeWitt. "The ritual uses of chiles range from the innocuous to the murderous, but the fiery pods are always powerful."
  • The Chile Way to Burn Fat and Boost Metabolism. - From the "Too good to be true" department: How a chile-peppered diet can help burn fat and control cholesterol. "Chile in the diet can enhance the means by which cholesterol and fats are processed. Studies have found that capsaicin works in two ways to reduce cholesterol levels: it decreases cholesterol absorption by the body so that more is excreted in the feces; and it increases the enzymes responsible for fat metabolism in the liver, so that more triglycerides, the hard insoluble fat, are secreted by the liver rather than accumulated in the body."
  • Chile Knights: Chile Lore, Tales & Tidbits "A weekly column that appears online as well as in the Las Cruces Sun-News in Las Cruces, New Mexico, a chile-fertile valley shadowed by the majestic Organ Mountains." Nice articles that almost always include a recipe or two.
  • The Chile Pepper Institute - For more than a century, New Mexico State University’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics has been breeding new and improved varieties of chile and aiding the state’s farmers in developing the commercial chile industry. The Chile Pepper Institute is a clearinghouse of chile research and information, including access to research publications about how to grow and harvest chile, a searchable database of 7,000 citations, and a chile disease diagnostic center.
    • The Chile Pepper Institute, NMSU's little hot spot for chile information - by Natalie Johnson. "Despite cramped quarters and a small staff, this nonprofit organization feeds the world's need for the most up-to-date scientific information about chile."
    • Name a new chile variety - "A charitable gift to the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University can make you one of the fortunate few who name a new chile variety*. *The only stipulation is that the name must be approved by the Dean of NMSU’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics."
    • Not-so-hot chile - A story about chile breeder Paul Bosland's spiceless jalapeño.

    Books About Chile
  • Tough Love Chile Co. Bookstore - Annotated list of favorite books about or featuring hot peppers.
  • Chile books - from the Cross Country Nursery site
  • Pepper Food and Cook Books - from the PepperClicks site
  • Pepper Farm and Garden Books - from the PepperClicks site
  • Books by Dave DeWitt, "The Pope of Peppers" - Dave DeWitt, with his coauthors, has written more than thirty books, mostly concerning chile peppers and fiery-foods. His books include The Chile Pepper Encyclopedia, The Pepper Garden (with Paul W. Bosland), Peppers of the World: An Identification Guide (with Paul W. Bosland), and The Whole Chile Pepper Book (with Nancy Gerlach).

    Pictures of Chiles
  • Chile & sweet pepper photo gallery - HUGE, sortable list of peppers, showing the picture, name, length, width, heat, and country of origin for each pepper. From Cross Country Nurseries.
  • Chile pepper photo gallery - from Pepper Fool
  • Chile photo gallery - from the Chile Pepper Institute
  • Photos of chiles - from Seeds of Change

  • Chile Events in New Mexico
  • The Whole Enchilada Fiesta - Las Cruces, Labor Day weekend. "The Whole Enchilada Fiesta is a three-day celebration of southern New Mexico's traditions, people and great food. The celebration is centered around the making of the world's largest enchilada, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records." (Read about the quest to be listed in the Book of World Records).
  • The Hatch Chile Festival - Hatch, Labor Day weekend.
    • Hatch Chile Festival - Woodstock for Chileheads - Story and photos by Harald & Renate Zoschke. "On a Labor Day weekend, Hatch's population swells to from a thousand to about 12,000 to 15,000 - most of them chileheads. It's the Hatch Chile Festival!"
    • Celebrate Chiles at the Hatch Chile Festival - By Sunny Conley. How to get there and what to do once you're there.
    • Discover Hatch - A Chile Lover's Dream - By Sunny Conley. "Just when the rest of New Mexico begins to cool at the dawn of autumn, Southern New Mexico begins to sizzle. The fiery happenings begin on Labor Day Weekend when the normally pacific village of Hatch is transformed into blissful pandemonium."
  • The Really Chile Festival - Santa Fe Plaza, third Saturday in September. A combo celebration of lowriders and lowrider culture and the statewide chile harvest. Features the crowning of the Really Chile King and Queen, a Carlos Santana look-alike contest, a Frida Kahlo beauty contest, and a lowrider car competition.
  • The National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show - Albuquerque, early March
  • The New Mexico Wine and Chile War Festival - Memorial Day weekend, Las Cruces at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds. "A ‘hotly’ contested battle between Texas and New Mexico over who can prepare the best chile. Sample wine from the many New Mexico wineries along-side live entertainment and local vendors."
  • The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta - Sponsored by the Santa Fe Restaurant Association. Last weekend in September in Santa Fe.

  • Chile How-To's

    Remember to wear rubber gloves when handling chiles! ESPECIALLY if you wear contact lenses - trust me.

    How To Prepare and Cook Chiles
  • How to buy, roast, and freeze fresh green chile: A few easy steps and you, too, can be putting up green chile like a native - By Carrie Seidman, Albuquerque Journal. An excellent article explaining step-by-step how to buy, roast, and freeze fresh green chile. Includes a couple of recipes for basic green chile sauce.
  • How to roast green chiles - Nicely illustrated.
  • How to roast and peel fresh green chile - by Nancy Gerlach. How to roast and peel fresh green chile and what to do with it afterwards: recipes for Chiles Rellenos, Green Chile Sauce, and the queen of the New Mexican winter table, Green Chile Stew. (see Recipes section below for more chile recipes) (Fiery-Foods.com)
  • Handling and processing fresh chiles - by Dave DeWitt, Nancy Gerlach, and Jeff Gerlach. Six different ways to roast fresh chile, how to freeze the chile, and fresh chile recipes, including one for fresh red chile sauce, and a very nice chile relleno recipe. (Fiery-Foods.com)
  • How to dry chiles - Covers sun drying, oven drying, and dehydrator drying, and what to do with all that dried chile (make a ristra!).
  • From pods to powder: drying chiles - by Dave DeWitt, Nancy Gerlach, and Jeff Gerlach. How to dry them, how to string them into ristras, how to grind them into chile powder, and recipes for dried chiles. (Fiery-Foods.com)
  • How to string chile ristras - "From mid-September until frost, green chile matures and turns deep red. New Mexicans have traditionally harvested and strung red chile into colorful strings called ristras. The chile is allowed to dry in New Mexico's warm sun, then is stored - still on the ristra string - for use in various tantalizing food dishes during the winter."
  • How to make chile ristras - from Rebecca's Garden, a gardening show on HGTV. See how to make a ristra step by step, or watch the video (RealAudio format).
  • How to rehydrate dried red chile pods - Nicely illustrated.
  • How to make smoked chiles - Smoked chiles are called 'chipotles'.
  • How to make hot sauces - by Dave DeWitt and Chuck Evans. "Turn your chiles into sauce! Here's a selection on commercial manufacturing, along with recipes for attempting to duplicate some of the classic hot sauces that are most popular today." (Fiery-Foods.com)
  • How to make fried peppers - by Dave DeWitt. "In many countries, frying peppers is a common culinary practice. Dave explored this technique and has seven recipes that sizzle." (Fiery-Foods.com)
  • How to pickle peppers - by Dave DeWitt, Nancy Gerlach, and Jeff Gerlach. Great directions, great recipes, pretty pictures.

    How To Grow Chiles
  • How to grow chiles: Pepper Gardening 101 - From The Pepper Encyclopedia, by Dave DeWitt. Here are the basic steps for growing your own pepper crop, from selecting the seeds to harvesting chiles.
  • Chile growing tips - from the Chile Pepper Institute at the New Mexico State University Department of Agronomy and Horticulture.
  • How to grow chile in places with England-like weather - Hints and tips for growing your own chiles in places with cool, cloudy, and wet weather, otherwise known as exactly the opposite of what chile plants prefer. (Chile Foundry)
  • Growing Hot Pepper from Seeds - From the Pepper Store at Reimer Seeds.
  • Chile pests and problems - by Dave DeWitt and Paul W. Bosland. "Explains the most common pests and problems when growing chile, complete with symptoms and measures to control the problem." Lots of great info, but I wish they'd included pictures of all the diseases.
  • How to harvest and process your home-grown chiles - by Dave DeWitt
  • More pepper gardening articles from the folks at Fiery Foods

  • Chile-Head Sites

    "Chile-heads" are people who can't get enough of the hot stuff. These sites are characterized by a love of chile in its many forms, but are not necessarily New Mexico-centric.
  • U.K. Chile-Head - Great site, chock-full of information and recipes. Has sections on Canning, Freezing, Drying, Growing, Pickling, Roasting, Cooking, and Drinking chiles.
  • The Ring of Fire - Chilehead Website Community - "The Ring of Fire is a linked community of websites devoted to the enjoyment of growing chiles and cooking and eating hot & spicy food."
  • Chile-Heads home page - The site is currently off-line (their ISP went out of business) but I'm leaving this here as a placeholder because it's a great site and I'll link to it once it's up again.
  • Chile-Head folks' homepages - Members of the Chile-Heads mailing list, a very nice chile-loving community.
  • Chile-Heads Mailing List - An unmoderated mailing list established for the discussion of chile peppers and related topics.
  • Archives of the Chile-Heads mailing list - Six years of the mailing list archived. Lots of chile pepper information and recipes embedded in the usual mailing list chatter and off-topic discussions. Fun to browse when you've got the time.
  • PepperClicks - "You're a couple clicks from everything from seeds to sauces. Industrial, wholesale, and retail pepper sites are listed in what we hope will be THE ultimate Pepper Directory."
  • Pepper Fool - Recipes, restaurant reviews, hot sauces, and links to lots of chile products.
  • Fiery Foods - "Homepage of the Fiery Foods Industry. Find out about Fiery Foods Magazine and the National Fiery Foods Show, along with lots of information about the industry."
  • Chile Pepper Magazine - "The established world authority on anything hot and spicy."
  • Fiery Foods & Barbecue Magazine - "Fiery Foods & Barbecue Magazine covers the entire realm of fiery-foods and barbecue, including gardening, spicy products, cooking, barbecuing, and travel."
  • Fiery Foods Magazine Industry E-Zine - "News, views, how-to's, and important statistics for people who work in the fiery foods industry." And those who are interested in it.
  • The Online College of Chile Knowledge - "The Fiery Foods & Barbecue Business Super Site presents a series of related articles on industry issues. Whether you're new to the Fiery Foods business and need a jump start, or a pro who needs some specific answers, look no further!"

  • Chile and Chile Products For Sale: It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that zing!

  • Directory of New Mexico Food Producers Online - A directory of New Mexico food producers who sell their products online. Maintained by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.
  • New Mexico Fresh Produce Directory - A directory of producers and processors of fresh produce in New Mexico. It doesn't list any web links, just names and phone numbers. Maintained by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.
  • New Mexico Farmers' Markets - Statewide listing includes clickable map of market locations and a harvest calendar.

  • Bueno Foods - It's no accident that when you click on the Bueno Store link it opens to the frozen chile page. Bueno makes *the best* frozen diced chile (IMHO). Forget roasting and peeling the chiles yourself - these taste just as good and it's a whole lot easier! Every household in New Mexico has at least one tub of Bueno chile in their freezer (It's true, I've checked.). And now you can have one, too.
  • The New Mexican Connection - Great site, great products, great variety, nice people. "We are the chile lover's connection for Hatch Green Chile and New Mexican cuisine. We offer the finest fresh and frozen chile available anywhere."
  • Hatch Chile Lady - "Welcome to The Chile Lady, where our mission is to make Hatch, New Mexico chile accessible to you at a low price. Loera Produce has been serving thousands of customers for twelve years and together we have twenty-one years of experience in the Hatch Valley area and New Mexico."
  • Las Uvas Produce Fresh Green Chile - Minimalist site offering one thing and one thing only: fresh green chile. "Get fresh green chile sent straight to your door! Shipping days are Monday through Friday, August through October, weather and crop availability permitting."
  • Hatch Chile Express - Fresh, frozen, and powdered chile, dried soup and salsa mixes, and ristras..
  • New Mexico Chile Products - Limited selection - they only sell salsas and jars of red and green chile - but what they've got is good. My parents sent us the chile survival kit and in a day and a half we'd eaten all 3 jars. Yummy.
  • New Mexican Chiles - from the Santa Fe School of Cooking
  • Border Foods - "Quality Green Chile and Jalapeño Products." No muss, no fuss, just green chile and jalapeños in bulk, in 5 and 55-gallon containers.
  • The Chile Addict - "The best source for red and green chile products including salsa, frozen chile, ground chile, and even recipes for some of the most popular dishes."
  • Los Chileros de Nuevo Mexico - "Los Chileros de Nuevo Mexico, a small, and quality conscious firm located just outside of Santa Fe, was established in 1981 by Tandy M. Lucero, and is dedicated to providing the needs for any New Mexican cuisine."
  • Pecos Valley Spice Company - "Complete line of pure New Mexican ground, crushed and frozen chiles, as well as, dried chile pods. We take pride in our selection of corn masas...blue, yellow, white and tamale masa, along with blue and white posole, New Mexican grown beans and FDA approved Mexican vanilla."
  • Tia Rita's Authentic New Mexican Dehydrated Food - A local favorite who got her start at the Las Cruces Farmers Market. More about the origins of Tia Rita.
  • Ol' Gringo Chile Products - Gourmet red and green chile sauces
  • Pueblo Harvest - "Native American and gourmet foods produced by the San Juan Agriculture Cooperative." The real deal from people who would know.
  • The Cooking Post - "Delicious foods from Native American Indian tribes." A tribal enterprise of Santa Ana Pueblo, this site offers a selection of salsas, fry bread mixes, blue corn products, posole, coffee, herbal teas, and much more.
  • Superbly Southwestern - "Chili or chile -- for the best New Mexican traditional foods. We offer fresh and frozen Hatch New Mexico green chile, salsas, dips, red chili, pre-packaged spice mixes directly to you."
  • Cibolo Junction Food & Spice Company, Inc. - Big selection of southwestern herbs & spices, preserves, salsa mixes, soup and bread mixes, and more.
  • Da Gift Basket - Chile Products of New Mexico - Kind of confusing site design, but they seem to have tons of chiles and chile stuff for sale.
  • Murphy's Spicy Southwestern Chile and Other Fine Dehydrated Foods - Offers a great assortment of dehydrated foods. Perfect for your next camping trip, ascent up Mt. Everest, space mission, or wherever food weight matters.
  • Chile Mercado Online - "Chile Mercado offers one of the widest selections of native New Mexican chile products anywhere. Offerings include salsas, sauces, honey, stew mixes, posole, dry mixes, goat cheese, rubs, marinades, oils, vinegars, jams, jellies, preserves and marmalades, as well as a wide variety of both fresh and preserved chile ristras....all produced in New Mexico."
  • North Of The Border - Salsas, chile sauce, carne adovada, chile seasonings and rubs, hot sauces, spicy ketchup, soups. "We are dedicated to the use of chile in fun and festive ways, both traditionally and creatively. These are products that one can carry easily to uncivilized places. To us every day has a fiesta in it somewhere. So see what we have to offer and join the party."
  • Monroe's New Mexican Food - "Since 1962, Monroe's has been serving the best in New Mexican cuisine to local residents and their families from a small drive-in near Old Town in Albuquerque." Selling red and green chile sauce, salsa, and red chile honey.
  • 505 Southwestern - "Green Chile Sauce (hot, medium or mild) and Green Chile Salsa (hot, medium or chunky) made with fire-roasted green chile grown in Southern New Mexico. We also make a classic Red Chile Enchilada Sauce and a Fajita Marinade that is perfect for grilling!"
  • Southwest Spirit - "The Little Company with the Big Taste in Basting & Dipping Sauces, Sizzlin' Salsas, Fiery Hot Sauces, and Potent Chile Paste."
  • Apple Canyon - Makers of Holy Chipotle! sauce, Firehouse Salsa, and Orange Sesame dressing and marinade.
  • SweetHots - "Cannon's Sweet Hots, makers of "The Best Sweet Chile in the World", also offers Just Plain Green Chile, Cannon Fire Green Chile Salsa and hot sauces, all made with New Mexico green chile with our famous Flame-Roasted flavor."
  • Muy Cool Pepper Jellies - It's Better Than it Sounds - What a great slogan. "We take the best of New Mexico's harvest and turn it into the finest stuff you've ever tasted. Green Chile Jelly, Raspberry-Chambord Compote, Prickly Pear Cactus Syrup, Chipotle Dip and much more."
  • Little Poncho Chili Pickles - "The Pickle with the PUNCH! On the Zuni Reservation, every year we would can the hot little pickles we called Native Pickles. Now, 3 generations later, I carry on the tradition using our family recipe. So enjoy this taste of the Southwest. Bet you can't eat just one!"

    Chile products supersites
  • The Chile Foundry - This site is huge and as everything! Downside: prices are in British pounds and I'm not sure if they even ship to the U.S. Upside: they're classy enough to list the website of each product's producer, so you can go to the producer's site and order it yourself. But try ordering from these guys first. "The Chile Foundry is a specialist retailer of chile-related products. Our aim is to bring you all the best chile products from around the world, whilst providing education about chiles and their uses."
  • FireGirl - Hundreds of hot sauces, BBQ rubs, salsas, marinades, pickles, and other hot and spicy items.
  • Mo Hotta, Mo Betta - "The World Headquarters of Hot." Hundreds of hot sauces, salsas, sauces, snacks, spices, gifts, and more.
  • PepperClicks - Pretty comprehensive site. "You're just a couple clicks from everything from seeds to salsas. Commercial, wholesale, and retail pepper sites are listed in what we hope will be THE ultimate Pepper Directory."

    Chile stuff you can't eat
  • Chile posters - These are the posters you've seen and coveted in restaurants and friends' kitchens. Includes the Hot Sauce series (I,II, and III), the chile series (fresh and dried), and perennial favorite "How hot is your chile?" thermometer poster.
  • Chile jewelry - "The largest selection of pepper jewelry in the world. We have ristras, jalapeños, serranos, and habaneros in any color and size you can imagine. We also create a full line of solid sterling silver and 14k gold peppers."
  • Red Hot Tees - "Offers the largest line of screen-printed and embroidered apparel catering to the 'Chile Head'."
  • Chile stuff you can't eat - Posters and chile pepper lights (Firegirl)
  • Chile Seeds and Plants For Sale
  • Cross Country Nurseries - "The World's Largest Selection of Chile and Sweet Pepper Plants. In 2003 we have 500 varieties of Chile & Sweet Pepper Plants! * 56 NEW varieties! * 21 NEW Sweet Pepper varieties!!"
  • The Pepper Store at Reimer Seeds - "Visit one of the world's largest collection of hot peppers, with over 1,500 varieties."
  • Chile seeds - From the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University. Include new varieties bred by the Institute.
  • Tough Love Chile Co. - "Chile Pepper And Other Rare and Fancy Seeds For Sale On The Internet."
  • Chile plants and seeds - A broad selection from Plants of the Southwest. Order quickly as they sell out of certain varieties.
  • Chile seeds - Very nice selection, lots of heirloom varieties, good descriptions and growing directions. From Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
  • Seeds for chile peppers - All certified organic seeds. From Seeds of Change.
  • Seeds for chile peppers - "Seeds West Garden Seeds sells only organic or untreated seed and specializes in heirloom and open-pollinated varieties adapted to western gardens."
  • Pepper Joe's Organic Hot Pepper & Tomato Seed Gardening Catalog - 20 hot pepper varieties, all organic.
  • Chile seeds - From Strictly Medicinal Herb Seeds. Slightly annoying site design, but offers some unusual varieties.
  • Chile plants and seeds - Index of seed vendors from the Chile Woman

    New Mexican Cuisine, Cookbooks, & Recipes

    About the Cuisine
    First and most important: New Mexican food is not the same as Mexican food! The primary difference is the featured role of green chile in New Mexican cuisine. The reason that everyone else in the world uses red chile instead of green is that red chile can be dried, lasts a long time, and is easily transported whole or powdered. Green chile, on the other hand, is a fresh vegetable and must be used or frozen immediately upon harvest, and thus tends to remain a regional specialty. (See the How-To section above for how to roast, peel, and freeze chiles.) Note also that green chile sauce is totally different than tomatillo sauce, which is usually the only green sauce option with Mexican food.
  • New Mexican Food Lover's Guide - "Not quite sure what Carne Adovada is? Don't worry, we have included a helpful glossary of terms. It's OK. Not everyone can be from New Mexico." (Abq. Journal)
  • A Definition of New Mexican Foods - The Cibolo Junction site provides this nice glossary defining common southwestern ingredients, dishes, desserts, fruits and vegetables, and beverages.
  • Glossary of New Mexican Foods - To help you appreciate New Mexican foods, the Public Service Company of New Mexico has compiled a glossary of food terms.
  • Newcomer's guide to New Mexican food - from the Las Cruces Bulletin
  • New Mexico Cuisine - by Nancy Gerlach R.D. "The cuisine of New Mexico is a unique blend of three different cultures: Native American, Mexican and European. Because of some common dishes, there is a tendency to lump the cuisines of the Southwest together, but New Mexican food is distinctly different from the foods of Arizona and Texas." Includes recipes for red chile sauce, green chile stew, calabacitas, and more.
  • Border Foods - by June Naylor. "California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas each have a different version of the cuisine to the south."
  • Pepper Profile: New Mexican Varieties - by Dave DeWitt. History, botanical information, and recipes featuring New Mexico's favorite food. "The intense use of chiles as a food rather than just as a spice or condiment is what differentiates New Mexican cuisine from that of Texas or Arizona. In neighboring states, chile powders are used as a seasoning for beef or chicken broth-based "chili gravies," which are thickened with flour or cornstarch before they are added to, say, enchiladas. In New Mexico, the sauces are made from pure chiles and are thickened by reducing the crushed or pureed pods." (Fiery-Foods.com)

  • Chile Cookbooks
  • Cocinas De New Mexico - "Cocinas De New Mexico is published by the Public Service Company of New Mexico. Proceeds from sales help provide utility supplements to needy residents of New Mexico."
  • Green Chile Bible: Award-Winning New Mexico Recipes - Compiled by the Albuquerque Tribune. All green chile, all the time - what could be better? (Amazon)
  • A Tale of Two Chiles - By Judy Thompson. "Includes mostly recipes using red and green chile, starting with some basics most useful to cooks who are new to cooking with chiles. We've also made a video to go along with the book. It's not only a "how-to" for some of the trickier aspects of dealing with chile peppers, but also introduces you to the heart of New Mexico's chile country."
  • License to Cook New Mexico Style - Compiled by the New Mexico Federation of Business and Professional Women. Over 80 recipes, 164 pages, and only $6.95 at Amazon - what a deal! (Amazon)
  • Red Chile Bible: Southwestern Classic & Gourmet Recipes - By Kathleen Hansel & Audrey Jenkins. (Amazon)
  • The Art of American Indian Cooking - "Over 150 delicious, authentic, and traditional dishes from five North American regions."
  • Too Many Chiles! Recipes for Using and Preserving Your Peppers - By Dave DeWitt, Nancy Gerlach, and Jeff Gerlach. (Amazon)
  • The Whole Chile Pepper Book - By Dave Dewitt & Nancy Gerlach. "The editors of The Whole Chile Pepper magazine present the definitive book on chile peppers--history, lore, and over 150 tongue-tingling, throat-scorching recipes." (Amazon)
  • New Mexican Cookbooks - For sale on the New Mexico Magazine site. "For the best in Southwest style cooking, choose from our fine selection of cookbooks."
  • New Mexican Cookbooks - For sale on the Chile Mercado site. Great set of cookbooks, including The Best from New Mexico Kitchens by Sheila MacNiven Cameron, Historic Cookery by Fabiola C. Gilbert, first published in 1931 and possibly the earliest cookbook of New Mexican foods to be published, Mexican Cookbook by Erna Fergusson, which has sold more copies than any other native cookbook ever printed in the Southwest, and my favorite, Genuine New Mexico Tasty Recipes, by Cleofas M. Jaramillo, which I like just because of the name. And now that you want one of these books, don't just go buy them on Amazon - buy from this site and respect the effort they went to to find these books and keep them in stock.

  • Chile Recipes
  • Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed Green Chiles) - To understand how New Mexican food differs from Mexican food, start with New Mexican chiles rellenos. These chiles rellenos are nothing at all like what you've had in restaurants outside of New Mexico. In the outside world the dish is usually made with some hard round ancho chile that's just there as a vessel to hold the filling. In New Mexico the focus of the dish is the chile itself, tender and fragrant. In early fall during harvest time when the chiles are fresh out of the fields there is nothing more delicious in this world. Everybody has their own secret recipe for rellenos, and when you find a restaurant that makes them the way you like them, you never order them anywhere else.
  • Green Chile Stew - Green chile stew is to New Mexican mothers what chicken soup is to Jewish mothers: the great cure-all, and a family recipe passed down through the generation. There are as many variations on the recipe as there are people cooking it.
  • Green Chile Chicken Stew - Yummmm. Serve with grated cheese and chopped cilantro.
  • Green Chile Stew with Pork
  • Zuni Green Chile Stew - with lamb, juniper berries, and posole (hominy).
  • Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas - Another regional comparison: what tuna casserole is to the Midwest, enchilada casseroles are to New Mexico. Quick, easy, always delicious, with an infinite number of variations, and everybody likes their mother's recipe the best. Note that in New Mexico, enchiladas are stacked, not rolled. This recipe is similar to mine. I make mine with 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of broth, and 8 oz. of sour cream (technically the sour cream makes them Enchiladas Suizas).
  • Green Chile Enchiladas - Fast, easy, and delicious.
  • New Mexico Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Green Chile Stew - from the Casa de las Chimeneas Bed and Breakfast in Taos
  • Posole Stew - By Barbara Agte and Carla DeMarco. A New Mexico holiday tradition.
  • Bizcochitos - "These anise flavored cookies are served for special occasions in New Mexico." (Great SouthWest Cookery)
  • Sopaipillas - "These fried gems are my favorite of all breads. They look like three-cornered pillows. I have had them with honey/butter, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and stuffed with anything from green chili and Monteray Jack cheese to hamburger chili." (Great SouthWest Cookery)
  • How to roast and peel fresh green chile - by Nancy Gerlach, Fiery-Foods.com Food Editor. How to roast and peel fresh green chile and what to do with it afterwards: recipes for Chiles Rellenos, Green Chile Sauce, and the queen of the New Mexican winter table, Green Chile Stew. (see below for more chile recipes)

    Collections of Recipes
  • Traditional Native American Recipes - From The Cooking Post, a Native American foods store sponsored by Santa Ana Pueblo
  • The Great SouthWest Cookery Online Cookbook - "These recipes have been collected over the years from various restaurants and cooks in Northern New Mexico." Published by Pueblo Graphics.
  • Recipes from Cocinas De New Mexico - A large selection of recipes from this wonderful collection of authentic New Mexican recipes.
  • Authentic New Mexican cuisine - Just what it says - a great collection of authentic New Mexican recipes. Includes recipes for green chile sauce, green chile stew, carne adovada, home-made pinto beans, and calabazitas, a traditional dish of squash with corn and green chile. (ChileAddict)
  • New Mexico Tech Library's Potluck Cookbook
  • New Mexico Recipes collected by the Pojoaque Middle School
  • Boise and Michelle's Southwestern Kitchen - "It can't be called anything but New Mexican cooking. It's not Mexican food, or Tex-Mex, or even southwestern cuisine. It's unique to New Mexico, based on Pueblo, Navajo, and Apache food staples, added to by the Spanish and Mexicans, then influenced by 19th century US settlers and reservation commodities."
  • New Mexico Family Recipes - from Ol' Gringo
  • Green chile recipes - from AllRecipes, my favorite recipe archive
  • Green chile recipes - from SOAR (now RecipeSource)
  • Recipes from Chile Pepper Magazine
  • Pepper Fool's Hot & Spicy Recipe Pages - With over a thousand recipes.
  • Fiery-Foods.com RecipeBase - "Hot & Spicy Recipes from around the World just a Mouseclick away."
  • The Chile-Heads Recipe Collection - includes most of the recipes posted to the Chile-Heads list
  • A huge list of salsa recipes - "293 salsa recipes and growing!"
  • Pickled pepper recipes - by Dave DeWitt, Nancy Gerlach, and Jeff Gerlach. 10 great recipes with good directions and pretty pictures.

  • Pecan recipes - from Mountain States Pecans
  • Pecan recipes - from Stahmanns

  • Recipes for the other kind of chili
  • Chili Recipes - 20+ recipes for Tex-Mex chili (meat and beans)
  • International Chili Society World Championship Chili recipes
  • Chili! Recipes - "Everyone thinks their chili is the best, and I think that's what makes it special."
  • A mammoth list of chili recipes - From SOAR (now RecipeSource). 946 at last count.
  • Chili recipe database - Another huge list - over 800 recipes at last count.

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