Slideshow: Snapshots from New Mexico: Obsessed with Green Chile

Green chile Geography
Green chile Geography
Green chile (centered) is grown all over New Mexico. Down south, Hatch green chile is the major crop, but some green chili connoisseurs prefer the sweetness of green chile from Chimayó in Northern New Mexico.
Roasting
Roasting
The roasters are usually cylindrical, and can be turned mechanically or by hand.
Done Roasting
Done Roasting
They're done roasting when the skin is blackened and peeling off. The flesh will be soft and juicy, almost dripping with pepper juice.
Chile Relleno
Chile Relleno
This is a classic usage of green chile. A whole green chile is stuffed with cheese, battered, and deep-fried, then smothered with green chile sauce and more cheese. The repeat exposures to both green chile and cheese are genius.
The Best Chile Relleno in Albuquerque?
The Best Chile Relleno in Albuquerque?
This is one of the better chile rellenos I've ever had, from La Placita Dining Rooms in Old Town Albuquerque. The batter was light and still crispy, smothered by a green chile sauce that tasted fresh and sweet.

La Placita Dining Rooms: 206 San Felipe Street Northwest Albuquerque, NM 87104; 505-247-2204

Green Chile Enchiladas
Green Chile Enchiladas
A big tray of beef and cheese enchiladas with red and green chile, from El Pinto in Albuquerque. Red chili is simply the chile pod, allowed to mature on the vine, then dried and ground into a powder. The usage of red and green chili together is called "Christmas." If you go to El Pinto, the rack of baby back ribs marinated in red chile is not to be missed either.

El Pinto New Mexican Restaurant and Salsa Company: 10500 4th St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87114; 505-898-1771

Dried and ground
Dried and ground
Dried and ground green chile isn't as commonly found as dried red chile. Farmers' markets are a good source, though. These bags were from the Grower's Market in downtown Albuquerque at Robinson Park.
Green Chile and Cheese Bread
Green Chile and Cheese Bread
Loaf from Golden Crown Bakery in Albuquerque. The kick from the green chile comes in at the very end.

Golden Crown Bakery: 1103 Mountain Road Northwest Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-243-2424

Green Chile with Polenta
Green Chile with Polenta
Flecks of green chile mixed in with polenta, fried, topped with an egg, swimming in red chile sauce and sautéed corn. Yeah, this was a very good dish.

Cafe Pasqual’s: 121 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Green Chile Mac and Cheese
Green Chile Mac and Cheese
Yet another great combo. This one came with flecks of smoked salmon, which were good but maybe unnecessary. The real draw was the green chile and the cheese.

Standard Diner: 320 Central SE, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-243-1440

Fudge
Fudge
This fudge contained both green and red chile.

The Candy Lady: 524 Romero Street NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104; 505-243-6239

Green Chile Apple Pie
Green Chile Apple Pie
This was pretty good. I thought the green chile wouldn't taste right in a such a sweet application, but it made the apples taste even sweeter by contrast.

Cecelia's Cafe: 230 6th Street Southwest, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-243-7070