Green chile is a staple here in NM with the harvest beginning in early August. Around mid September until the first frost, the chiles that are left on the plant will begin to mature and turn the most magnificent color of red. You might think they are used mainly to string chile ristras that will be dried and eventually ground into chile powder. This is true, however some of the local farms will pick the red chiles at their peak and roast them just like green chiles. They tend to have a hint of sweetness but can also taste hotter than the green chiles. As they mature their outer skin becomes thicker which can make them easier to peel or harder depending on who roasts it. I’ve had some bad experiences over the years and it’s worth it to find out who is roasting your chile and how much experience they have. I haven’t had much luck finding recipes using roasted red chiles, however I always wanted to try it with a creamy pasta. Actually it tasted better than I could have imagined. The sweet heat from the chiles compliment the creamy cheese sauce which clings to every strand of pasta. This has become one of our new comfort foods that we can’t get enough of, at least until the chile runs out . . .
If it were summer, I would be outside grilling the chicken but it’s too cold right now so I’m going to stir fry it in my mini wok. It cooks the chicken fast and gives it a little char on the outside that makes it so tasty.
You can make the sauce in cast iron or a non-stick skillet. Either will do, I just prefer my old cast iron. Melt the butter in the skillet and add the diced onion and red chile . Stir over medium heat until the onion becomes soft and translucent. Add the grated garlic and stir a few seconds more until it becomes fragrant.
1/2 pound Pasta, your choice
2 Chicken breast or thighs, sliced into thin pieces
Alfredo Sauce, recipe follows
My Favorite Spice Blend, recipe follows
1 Wedge of Lime
Salt to taste
Garnish with Diced Red Chiles and Cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Roasted Red Chile, peeled, seeded and chopped (plus a tablespoon for garnish)
1/2 cup Onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane hand grater
1 cup Heavy Cream
3 ounces Oaxaca Cheese, approx 3/4 cup grated
2 tablespoons Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 Wedge of Lime
My Favorite Spice Blend
1 teaspoon Ancho Chile, ground
1 teaspoon Guajillo chile, ground
1 teaspoon Green Chile Salt, (1 part Green Chile Powder to 1 part Sea Salt)
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Corriander
1/4 teaspoon Chile de Arbol, ground
Mix all spices together. Store in sealed zip lock bag or glass jar for future use.
To make chicken: Sprinkle chicken generously with spice blend. Stir fry the sliced chicken pieces in a hot skillet or wok, tossing often until chicken is cooked throughout. Continue frying until the chicken begins to char around the edges. Spritz with a wedge of lime and set aside.
Cook 1/2 pound of pasta according to directions
To make Alfredo Sauce: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until soft and translucent. Add diced red chiles and grated garlic. Stir the mix until well combined and garlic becomes fragrant. Add the heavy cream and grated Oaxaca cheese. Stir the sauce as the cheese melts. Salt to taste.
Drain pasta and add to the spicy alfredo sauce. Toss the pasta with tongs until the sauce is coated on all of the pasta. Top with cooked chicken, reserved diced red chile and cilantro. Spritz with lime juice.
Makes 4 servings.