We´re planning yet another trip to the USA (leaving September 6 for a 3-week trip around the East and South.. woohoo!), and as I do a little bit of research about the food that will wait us there (grits, biscuits, barbecue..) my thoughts also drift to the incredible food we had on our last trip to the US. And as my thoughts drift, my eyes do the same, and spot the little can of Hatch green chiles that I brought back last September. It still stands on the shelf as a nice little souvenir, waiting for the Very Special day that would be Special enough to open it. But on closer examination I find that day has to come soon because the expiration date is actually August 2009...
When we were in New Mexico, I ate as many green chiles as I could, knowing very well that I would probably never taste them again. Burgers with green chiles, green chile sauce, green chile grilled cheese sandwiches, and, on one of the final days of our trip, my friend Rob´s green chile corn chowder. (You can see the recipe here, though it won´t be much help unless you have access to New Mexican green chiles!)
When I saw reasonably fresh and sweet corn at the market last week, I knew that this soup was just the thing to make for my Southwestern themed dinner. And although it doesn´t really look very interesting in the picture, I can assure it was delicious - sweet and creamy with just a hint of warm heat from the chiles. The chiles did not taste as good as the ones I´d had in New Mexico - ofcourse they didn´t, they were canned, and a long way from home - but it was still a great soup.
The rest of the dinner was pretty good too: guacamole and smoked salmon in endive leaves, something sacriligiously called chile masa cobbler (basically a batch of this chili topped with grated cheese, little masa harina cakes and baked) and little chocolate cupcakes with whipped cream and strawberries.
I find, these days, that Southwestern or somewhat authentic Mexican food like chile, pozole, mole and quesadilla´s is perfect for Dutch food-loving friends who think they´ve eaten it all. After making ravioli from scratch for them and elaborate French stews that you cook and degrease and deglaze for days, after baking them bread and churning them ice cream and stuffing them chickens, this is the kind of food them makes them say ´wow, I´ve never tasted anything like this before´. My friend thought the masa topping on the chili was polenta, but when he tasted it he knew it wasn´t, and he loved it. Too bad it´s just a matter of time before all my Dutch friends know about chile and masa.. I guess I´ll have to find a new cuisine to explore then, but for now, I´ll fry them quesadilla´s and make them happy!