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Help Me with Green Chile

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Help Me with Green Chile

e.d. | Nov 28, 2004 10:50 AM

Since I moved to Southwestern Arizona, I have been amazed and baffled by the varieties of green chile that I have encountered. While red chile seems to be fairly consistent from one restaurant to another, green chile seems to be more a personal expression of the cook or perhaps a reflection of different culinary traditions. The old restaurants here, the ones that have been in town for 40 years or more, use very coarsely ground beef, chunks of green chilies, perhaps ground dried green chilies, and no tomatillos. In fact, flecks of tomato will sometimes show up. It is never spicy hot. The color is greenish to brownish and it is a bit runny. The preferred way of serving it is as a wet burrito with the green chile inside and on top along with some grated cheese. Have any of you ever run across that style of chile or such a burrito elsewhere?

I can also get what I used to think of as green chile when I moved here – pork chunks cooked with fresh green chilies and tomatillos that disintegrate making a mild tangy thick green gravy.

Still other restaurants make something similar with beef chunks.

In other places the green chile, whether made with beef or pork, is spicy hot along with the tomatillo tang.

So help me try to figure things out. What do you expect when you order green chile? Do all the Mexican restaurants in your area make it the same way? How did you family make it? Where were they from? Are these variations personal or regional? Help!

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