New Mexico is the center of the world for green chile production. Hatch, New Mexico in the southern part of the state along the I-25 corridor is synonymous wth the crop, but they are grown throughout the state. One of the respected growers is Sichler Farms which operates in San Antonio, NM which is about 60 miles south of our home in Belen. The harvest is in full mode on Labor Day weekend. Jessica, Joe and Noah drove down to spend the holiday weekend with us. We headed south to the Sichler Farm public farm store Saturday after breakfast to get our year’s supply of green chiles. They freeze really well. Noah just got his drivers license – he drove us down and back in the van – he’s a good driver – at least when his grandfather is in the van – lol.
Darlene and I got a gunny sack full of mild chiles – Jessica and Joe got one of mild and one medium. All of the sales outlets for chiles have propane roasters and they take your gunny sack full and roast them for you which allows them to be easily skinned leaving the meat of the pepper. The skins are tough and do not cook tender. The roaster in the picture has our gunny sack of chiles in it. This is a banner year for chile farmers – the peppers are big and thick meated. We bring them home and bag them in quart freezer bags – six or so chiles to a bag. We eat them cooked in and on everything in New Mexico – burgers, eggs, casseroles, stew, salsa, pasta, burritos – they are good on everything and are a culinary icon in New Mexico.
The little settlement of San Antonio has a bonus going for it – two of the most famous places in the world to get a burger – and specifically a green chile, cheese burger – the Buckhorn Tavern on one side of the highway and the Owl Café on the other. We chose the Buckhorn Tavern this trip. Bobby Flay traveled there a few years back for a green chile, cheese burger throwdown with the owner – the Buckhorn Tavern won. This was the first visit there for Darlene and I.
We waited 45 minutes to get a table this Saturday at 2:00 PM. The owner was sitting out front jaw-boning with customers as we walked up. The wait was worth it – the burgers are big and juicy – the green chiles and cheese and a tomato slice are the perfect addition – the hand cut, crisp French fries are the perfect side. We drove the 60 miles back home full and satisfied with that special, sweet, roasted green chile aroma filling the van.
It’s a great start to this holiday weekend. Tomorrow we’ll go to worship together – grab some lunch and then maybe play a round of golf. We trust in God rather days bring joy or sorrow – this day is one of many with lots of joy.