Everywhere you go this time of year someone is roasting Green Chiles. You can buy boxes of them at the farmers' markets, every grocery store, and on street corners. They roast the chiles in big metal drums in parking lots all over town, which means that everywhere you go, the delicious smell of roasting chiles is in the air. Albuquerque is the place to be. (Look for Hatch, they're my favorite!)
With the smoky, sweet, pungent smell of roasting chiles wafting across the entire New Mexico desert, it's no wonder everyone around here is eating green chile everything - green chile stew, green chile burritos, green chile eggs . . . even the local McDonalds will serve you green chile on top of your hamburgers. If you're in New Mexico, you can have green chile with anything!
One of my favorite ways to enjoy roasted Green Chile is in Chile and Cheese Rellenos. I haven't, however, mastered the art of great Chile Rellenos at home yet, so this time of year I turn to this Roasted Green Chile Relleno Casserole. It has all the delicious flavors of a Chile and Cheese Relleno, but it is much easier and quicker to make at home than the battered and fried version served at Mexican restaurants.
This vegetarian casserole is cheesy and gooey with a crispy crust that forms over the top as it bakes. Best of all, it is full of roasted green chile flavor, which is what makes it so delicious!
If you aren't so lucky as to be in New Mexico this month and they aren't selling fresh roasted Green Chile on every street corner in your neighborhood, you can easily roast chiles at home on your stovetop (see Katie's Kitchen Tip for instructions), in your oven, or on the backyard grill (Find video instructions here).
This recipe, adapted from Casa del Granjero here in Albuquerque, is one of our favorite New Mexican dishes to make at home. To give this a spicy southwestern kick, use spicy green chiles. When I'm making this for the family, I use mild green chile and then add the spicy green chile as a topping on my own slice of casserole.
Roasting Chiles image by Michael Zysman, all other images by Some the Wiser.