Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fire Eaters' Chile

A Century ago, horticulturalist Fabian Garcia planted the seeds that grew into New Mexico's $400 million chile-pepper industry. He created a pod that growers and consumers could depend on, both in terms of size and in terms of consistent, predictable heat. Today, more than 16,000 acres of New Mexico chiles are under cultivation in the land of enchantment, and and the result is tons of red and green chile peppers.

New Mexico’s favorite foods have one common ingredient: The New Mexico Chile, spelled C-H-I-L-E. This spelling is the subject of some debate. I explain this while I firing rounds from a Vaquero single action revolver in my latest show. Please watch it so you understand, once and for all, that Chili with an “I” is a Texas soup.

The chile is very much a part of New Mexican culture. The ristras that decorate homes in the fall -- strings of red chiles -- are being sun-dried for preservation. Some are used for decoration; most are later roasted and used to make chile powder and sauces.

Who says guns and cooking don't mix? Part cooking show, part redneck games, watch me prepare chile powder from roasted New Mexico chile peppers, and then I share my world famous recipe for Fire Eaters’ Chile.