Chiles – better for you than you might think |

Chiles – better for you than you might think

The chile plays a key role in many of the world’s cuisines to the delight of both diners and doctors.Chiles are excellent sources of vitamins A and C. They increase metabolism, preserve foods, don’t add fat and can aid health issues such as heart diseases, cancer, asthma and allergies.Scientists are even working with chiles to create new pain drugs.A common misconception is that chiles are hard on one’s stomach – this isn’t true. Chiles actually aid gastrointestinal health. The chemical that gives chiles both their punch and healthful qualities is Capsaicin (kap-say-ee-zin), and the majority is found in the internal veins and seeds.Here in the American southwest, green chiles rule in Mexican inspired dishes. Different varieties of green chiles have different levels or heat, if you like your chiles mild, ask for Anaheim.Green chiles are roasted over an open flame, and then closed in a bag to steam. This adds a rustic and roasted flavor, and makes skin removal a snap. You can do this at home on your grill, but commercial roasters do a much better job, faster.Sure you can get chiles in a can, but fresh roasted local chiles are far superior. The next few weeks is your only chance to buy fresh roasted green chiles until the fall of 2005. Stop at a roadside stand and order up a bushel. Bring the warm chiles home, pack in Ziploc bags and stack them neatly in your freezer. If wrapped well, they’ll easily last a year in your freezer. Chef Michaelangelo (Mick) Rosacci and family own and operate Tony’s Meats & Specialty Foods and Tony Rosacci’s Fine Catering in Littleton and Centennial. Find more recipes at Rellenos8 roasted chiles, peeled1/2 pound cheddar or Jack cheesevegetable oil1 cup flour1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon sugarpinch baking soda1 egg

1/2 teaspoon oil1 cup ice cold waterEarlier in the day: Cut cheese into fingers to fit into each chile. Make a small slit on the side of each chile that is just big enough to slip cheese into and carefully remove seeds and veins. Carefully insert cheese fingers into each chile, pat dry and place on paper towels in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.When ready to cook: Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or at least 1/2 inch deep in a frying pan or wok. Ideal temperature is 375 degrees – shimmering and almost smoking. Combine flour, salt, sugar and baking soda. In a cup, beat egg, add oil and cold water and beat to combine well. Combine with flour mixture and mix gently (do not overmix), a few lumps are fine. For a thicker batter, increase flour. Masa flour may be substituted for some or all of the flour as desired.Immediately after mixing, dip chiles into batter, allowing excess to drip off. Carefully slide coated chile into hot oil, frying until golden brown on each side. Serve with green chile gravy. Recipe follows.Quick Green Chile Gravy2 tablespoons vegetable oil2-3 tablespoons flour or masa2 cups chicken stock1 clove pressed garlic2 tablespoons minced onion8-12 roasted chiles, peeled, seeded and choppeddashes of oregano and cumin – to taste1 small can chopped tomatoesIn a skillet over medium-high heat brown flour and oil, stirring constantly, cook to produce a golden roux. Whisk in stock and remaining ingredients and simmer over medium to low heat to marry flavors and reduce to taste, adjust seasoning. Serve on anything and everything that needs a green chile zing. – Chef Mick RosacciTony’s Meats & Specialty Foods

Classic Pork Green Chile3 pounds pork, cubed1 tablespoon oil3/4 cup flour or Masa1/3 teaspoon salt*3 cups chicken stock5 cups fresh roasted green chiles1 tablespoon fresh oregano1-2 jalapeños or chipotles (optional)1 tablespoon minced garlic14 ounces can tomatoes, choppedIn a Dutch oven, brown pork cubes in oil (in batches if necessary). Add spices and flour and mix well. Slowly add chicken stock, stirring well to avoid lumps. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and let simmer until meat is tender and sauce is thick (about 2 hours). Adjust seasoning as desired. *Careful with the salt, some stocks are salty. – Chef Mick RosacciTony’s Meats & Specialty FoodsPueblo Green Chile Stew2 pounds boneless pork sirloin or shoulder, cubed1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 12-ounce cans corn kernels, drained2 stalks celery, without leaves, diced2 medium potatoes, diced2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped12 ounces roasted, peeled and diced green chiles4 cups chicken broth2 teaspoons ground cumin1 teaspoon dried oreganosalt, to tasteIn large Dutch oven or deep skillet with lid, brown pork cubes in oil over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add rest of ingredients to pot, cover and simmer for one hour. Serve hot with fresh corn or flour tortillas. Serves 8.Quick Green Chile Sauce2 cups chopped green chiles1 fresh zucchini, cut into half coins2 ears of fresh corn, or 1 can kernel cornup to 1 cup chicken stock or waterSauté corn and zucchini in a stick free pan for 3-5 minutes. Add 1/2 to 1 cup chicken stock and simmer approximately 15 minutes. Add green chiles and simmer 10-15 minutes more. Adjusting to desired thickness with chicken stock. Serve on everything from eggs to steak.

Grilled Green Chile SalsaGreat for chips or as a condiment1 sweet onion, sliced2 ripe tomatoes, sliced2-3 tablespoons olive oil sea salt and freshly ground pepper5-10 roasted green chilesjuice and zest of 1/2 lime1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced1/2 teaspoon cumin1-2 cloves garlic, pressed2 tablespoons chopped cilantrominced jalapeño (optional)pinches of sugarBrush onion and tomato with some of the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onions over medium high heat until soft and brown, and tomatoes to mark and lightly char. (If chiles are not roasted, grill to blacken, place in a bag to cool – peel and seed.) Chop onion, tomato and chiles and combine with remaining olive oil, lime, herbs, jalapeño and garlic, as well as salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Cover and rest in refrigerator for several hours – serve at room temperature with chips, over grilled meats or as a condiment. – Chef Mick RosacciTony’s Meats & Specialty Foods

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