Chile confidential…

Every spring/early summer, the New Mexico State University experimental garden just down the street from our house sells various plants that they have perfected/raised from seed and put in planting containers for sale to the public. This year, I bought three medium heat chile plants and two Big Jim chile plants to put in our raised garden at the side of the house.

We were able to grow corn, basil, cucumbers onions and chile this year in our garden, and it’s has been very successful. Well okay, the corn looked better than last year’s crop, but it wasn’t as “super sweet” as the seed packet said it would be. My Nebraska farm wife says it tasted like “field corn” — that’s the stuff that’s fed to those legendary cattle that sacrifice themselves to make yummy Omaha Steaks. 

But back to the chile. I thought I would only get a few pods from my five chile plants. Boy was I wrong on that. I’ve been harvesting five to six nice pods every day in the last three weeks from the plants. Most have been much smaller than the stuff you buy at chile stands around town, but they’ve all been tasty.

Earlier in August, I purchased several large sacks of mild and Big Jim Heritage chile from our good friends, David and Linda Taylor, to roast in my back yard with my hand-cranked chile roaster. 

Hand cranked fire roasted chiles, powered by Corona Beer

I filled up two drawers of our freezer with the chiles I roasted, thinking I was set for the year. Then my NMSU Ag Research Station plants began exploding and I’ve had to figure out how to cram even more of them in my freezer. 

I’ve been roasting all of these on my regular outdoor barbeque grill. It’s a lot more labor intensive, but somehow more satisfying. Here’s some of the most recent pods I picked and roasted. 


One day’s harvest roasting on the grill. Red ones are good for color in your green chile chicken stew and they add a little sweetness.

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