Although Denver diners are obsessed with green chile, red chile has its fans, too. As Gretchen Kurtz notes, "Red chile has an even deeper, more intriguing flavor, as fruits and vegetables left to reach their fully ripe potential tend to do." She couldn't get the Curtis Park Creamery, which she recently reviewed, to part with its recipe (and, yes, despite its name, the Creamery serves Mexican food), but did get one from Charlotte Saenz, longtime instructor of Mexican cooking at the City of Aurora's Kitchen on the Green.
And that put readers on red alert....
Says Denver Dave:
I love New Mexico red (grew up there) -- it bears no resemblance to what most folks in El Norte consider to be chili. It can also be ferociously hot. If you can't handle green you won't be able to handle the "real deal". I make my New Mexico red pretty much the same as Charlotte's but why use shortening when you can use lard? I also cook the lard flour combination until it is a golden brown roux before adding the blended chile mixture. Cook until thicken and then I cool it and pour it over pork shoulder chunks and marinate it overnight. Bake it off the next day until the pork is tender and voila - the perfect carne adovada. That's red chile to me. Or, you can just use the sauce for enchiladas and burritos. I'm giving away too many secrets here.
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What's your favorite spot for red chile? (We're looking for metro Denver, but fans of New Mexico chile are welcome to weigh in.) Post your nominations below.