Tag Archives: bernalillo

Chile Puya

Puya ChileI don’t recall ever finding Chile Puya in Texas or California markets. It’s common in Southern Mexico, where I remember buying it in the market at Tecomán, Colima.

Spicier than New Mexico or Pasillas but not as hot as Chile de Arbol – and almost a cherry-like fruitiness. Delicious find in Albuquerque at Los Altos Ranch Market on Atrisco.    

Taco sauce:

2 cups loose chile puya without seeds or stems
1 Tbs cominos
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tsp kosher salt

Cover the chiles with water in small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Crush cumin seed and add, reduce to simmer for one hour.  Dump all into blender and add garlic, oil and salt.  Puree on high for 30 secs.

Quelites

Ingredients:
10 oz bag New Mexico red chile pods
12 oz bag frozen chopped spinach
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
3/4 cup cooked pinto beans (drained)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil

How to do it:
1. Carefully remove the corazones, or “hearts”, from all of the red chile pods. Throw out the seeds and outside stems for the birds, and save the flesh of the chiles in an airtight container for making enchilada sauce. This is a tedious process, but the flavor of the corazones is wonderful, subtle and unique. I like the hot red chile pods for enchilada sauce, but the corazones are extremely spicy so stick with the mild chile pods for this recipe (consider yourself warned);
2. Saute the onion in a large skillet over medium heat until clear;
3. Add frozen spinach, corazones and pinto beans;
4. Stir until spinach is no longer frozen, then add garlic;
5. Cover and reduce to low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently;
6. Remove to serving dish.

Eat hot with green chile corn muffins or fresh corn tortillas. If you eat pork, then quelites are a sure-fire compliment to grilled pork carnitas.  I don’t cook with salt but a little bit of sea salt will help enhance the subtle flavor of the corazones de chile.

I sound a lot like this when I eat my quelites: