Green chiles are a delicious staple ingredient of New Mexican cuisine, well-beloved for their inclusion in burritos, burgers, nachos, salsas, and other savory dishes. But did you know that green chiles are enjoying a new limelight in sweet recipes as well? Jump onto this tasty trend by infusing your wedding menu with a taste of the new Southwest.
Green Chile Lemonade
While regular lemonade can be “blah” at a formal gathering, spice up the classic drink with a few green chiles and guests will be waiting in line to have a taste. Make two versions–one tame and one extra-spicy–so guests of all persuasions can have a glass poured to their liking. Add a dash of tequila to make the tingly beverage even more exciting.
For one tall glass of green chile lemonade, boil ¼ cup of white sugar with an equal amount of water, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Let it cool, then add a teaspoon or two of fresh-squeezed lemon juice to taste. Wash two medium-sized green chiles and cut a few slits in them to let the flavors mingle when you immerse them in the lemonade. Stir them and let the whole pot soak. The longer you leave the chiles, the spicier your beverage will be–so keep tasting spoonfuls until it’s how you like it!
If you want to add a little fizz with soda water later, leave the chiles soaking longer and add more lemon juice to keep the flavor strong.
Serve the drinks with slices of lemon and green chile as garnishes. You can also rim glasses with a squeeze of fresh lime and sugar or salt for an extra tangy taste.
Green Chile Pumpkin Pie
Believe it or not, even something as classic as pumpkin pie can be re-envisioned and improved with a little green chile magic. Simply add half a cup of chopped green chiles for every two cups of pumpkin in your favorite pie recipe.
This recipe works best if you roast the chiles first and remove their seeds to mellow some of the spicy taste. Peel the outer skin from the chiles as well so you don’t end up with chewy bits in your pie. This part can actually be done simultaneously with the roasting–if you cook the chiles (by oven or stovetop) until their outer skin blackens, you can peel it off and expose the smooth green flesh beneath.
Green chile also works as a delightful undertone in apple pie. Simply include half a cup of chopped, roasted, skinned green chiles for every four apples or so that you use.
Green Chile Raspberry Sauce
Most fruit sauces can be improved with the addition of a few green chiles, making the resulting concoction perfect for topping grilled meats, fish, rice pilaf, or vegetables with a sweet note. Best of all, making DIY sauce couldn’t be easier.
Boil equal parts raspberries and chopped, roasted, skinned green chiles together on a stovetop with enough water to stir them smoothly. Add a few squeezes of lemon or lime to taste. Boil until the excess water evaporates and the mixture looks like chunky syrup. Let it cool, and it’s ready to be ladled over anything from dinner to ice cream or pie.
If you like your sauce a little sweeter, stir in some sugar, honey, or agave syrup to taste. This mixture also works well as a base for vodka or tequila cocktails; just be sure to strain it to remove the seeds before serving.
Citrus, Green Chile, and Avocado Ice Cream
While you’re welcome to try making your own ice cream from scratch, the easy DIY shortcut involves buying a few gallons ready-made from the nearest grocery. Vanilla ice cream works best because the flavor doesn’t override your other ingredients, but you are welcome to experiment with other flavors (like lemon or pistachio, if you can find them) as a base.
For every pint of ice cream you use, vigorously stir in two cups of blended, roasted, peeled green chiles, ¼ cup of lime juice, ¼ cup of lemon juice, four teaspoons of sugar, and a pinch of lemon salt. Blend it with the flesh of four ripe avocados to give it an even more decadently creamy texture. The resulting, light green cream can be served as a rich and exotic dessert after nearly any type of meal.
Serve in small bowls and garnish with heavy whipping cream and candied lime slices for the perfect touch.
A Delightful New Taste
While green chiles aren’t nearly ready to abandon the main dishes yet, they are being seen more and more frequently on the dessert side of the table. Keep your wedding menu fresh and exciting with a new sweet spin on this spicy ingredient.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.