Well, well, well it’s starting to be Fall in Colorado. We know this because THE CHILI”S ARE HERE and regular season football starts on Thursday!!! OMG, my favorite time of year by far! Chili’s in Colorado are like lobster’s in Maine. In Colorado, you eat chili’s, in Maine you eat lobster. The two go hand in hand! You just can’t come here in the Fall and not eat green chili. If you don’t, well then you are just missing out! So just eat the green chili, dammit!
For as long as I can remember, I have been buying Chili’s from the “Chili Man”. I have tried other chili’s from around Denver (off Federal) and no one seems to get or roast chili’s like him. So, in my opinion, just come down to Wilmore Nursery at Broadway and County Line and buy them from him. His prices are way better too! Dave has been roasting chili’s for over 20 years. This guy knows his stuff. Ask him anything chili related and I’m pretty sure he has an answer. No, I know he does! I was his first customer of the year. Really? When all said and done, I wasn’t surprised!
Anyway, here is the chili lowdown. The chili’s that we get in Colorado actually come from Hatch, NM. There is something really special about the soils down there that produce the best chili’s. They are big and super flavorful and oh so addicting. You always want to get your chili’s roasted, period. The roasting process makes it super easy to remove the skins. Because there are so many roasters, you need to pay special attention to how they are done. Make sure that the guy roasting your chili’s is actually turning the barrel. You don’t want to pay for chili’s that are being churned by an “electric arm”. These end up sitting and only cooking on one side which is no good. Hand churned chili’s are the only way to go. Also, when your chili’s are ready, you want them to steam in the bag for a least two hours or longer. The good thing about this, your house will smell so good. I wish I could bottle that smell. I’d wear it like perfume! LOL!
When you get your chili’s home. Clean the one’s that you want to use. The other one’s are perfect for freezing. I just put 10-12 into a quart size bag and freeze for later. You don’t need to take the skins off, just freeze them whole. When you are ready to use your next batch, the skins will come right off after defrosting! My freezer is stocked year round. I end up buying at least three bushels for myself!
The chili’s that are grown in Hatch are actually three different varieties. Mild= Anaheim. Medium (my fav)= Big Jims. Hot= Sandia. You can also purchase, Pueblo (hot), which are Mosco chili’s (grown in Pueblo, CO), Dynamite (grown in Brighton, CO) and are “evil” and Pablano, medium heat beauties. Pick your favorite and I promise you will love them all!
This recipe for Green Chili Enchilada “Lasagna” actually came from The Chili Man. It’s something that I would normally not make but what the hell! It’s so freaking good! Give it a try. You will love it and when you buy your Chili’s from Dave and tell him Heather sent you! 🙂
One final note… I’m entering the chili cook off in Evergreen this weekend. Check it out at BIGCHILI.org. It’s a great event with probably 100 chili’s to taste, bands playing all day, beer, an art festival and much much more! It’s fun and of course come out and vote for my chili. It’s all good and I promise a fun day!
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 16 oz jar 505 brand green chili sauce (or another one that you like)
- 9-12 tostada shells
- 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- 12-15 whole roasted and peeled green chili’s, sliced down the middle to make flat
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large fry pan, add the ground beef and onions. Cook until the beef is cooked through.
- Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook for one minute.
- Add the green chili sauce.
- Cook for about 10 minutes.
- In a 9×13 baking dish, place the tostada shells evenly on the bottom. Cover with the meat mixture, 3-4 green chili’s and cheese.
- Repeat this process until everything is used. Top with more cheese.
- Bake in the oven until the cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Let sit 10 minutes before serving