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More About Melissa



I used to live in Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico; on the mountain, a short walk from the chair lift. I worked at the Hotel St. Bernard, which is the heart and soul of the Ski Valley. No where do you feel the magic of Taos more than at the St. Bernard. Jean Mayer, owner, host, entertainer, and consummate French charmer, opened the hotel in the early days of the Ski Valley and he and the hotel have remained the touchstone of the mountain for all these years. Jean is also the technical director of the ski school and his passion for skiing is matched only by his passion for life in general.

I love New Mexico – it truly is the land of enchantment, and for a variety of reasons. September is green chile season and you can smell it roasting wherever you are. The smell alone brings back wonderful memories for me. I just spent my Labor Day weekend peeling and freezing green chile for the winter. Nothing’s better than a crackling fire and green chile stew on a cold, snowy, winter’s day.

The first photo is of the chiles after they’ve been fire roasted. This morning my yoga mat, which I leave in my car half the time, smelled like green chile. I’d get a good whiff from down dog to chaturanga to up dog. I carried a couple of bushels of just-roasted chiles home in my car on Sunday and the smell still lingers. It’s heaven.

The photo below is after I peeled them before bagging them and sticking them in the freezer for later. This is just a small portion of what I bought. I took these pictures looking straight down on my kitchen floor. The dog prints you see are part of the charm of Mexican Saltillo tile floors. The platter with the chiles on it is from my favorite potter, Steven Kilborn, of Taos. I have a whole collection of his pottery. You’ll be seeing it in most of my food photos.


I’ll be posting several green chile recipes during the next month, but for now, this is what I had for dinner last night while peeling and freezing chiles. I took one chile (still hot from roasting) and laid it out on a plate. Then put some roasted chicken pieces on it and topped with a little grated Monterey Jack cheese, then topped it with another chile and popped it in the oven for a few minutes. I garnished it with tomatoes from my neighbors garden and a fresh avocado. Simple, but absolutely delightful!

Here’s to fall! Enjoy!

 

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