Green beans with red chile tomatoes & crispy onions

Is it just me or are stores cranking up the Christmas tunes around Halloween these days? “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” No it isn’t. It’s not even Thanksgiving, although at least that holiday is days away. Note to self: buy a turkey. Speaking of which, why don’t we have Thanksgiving carols? “It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving!” Now that’s a tune you could belt out.

And then there is Black Friday…don’t even get me started…Bah humbug.

Green beans, chile roasted tomatoes and crispy onions. What’s not to like?

I love Christmas as much as the next die-hard Scrooge. I even gave someone a Christmas present back in ’72. It was a tie. But I digress. I’d simply like to celebrate one holiday at a time. I’d like to enjoy New Year’s without feeling like I had to buy a Valentine’s card. Or celebrate Valentine’s Day without feeling like I need to stock up on Easter candy. Do you know what I mean?

On principle, I almost didn’t share this green bean recipe. Why you ask? Is it not delicious? Oh, yes it is. Is it not an excuse to open up a can of crispy onions, eat half of them while no one is looking, sprinkle the rest on the beans and then hide the can so no one knows your dirty little secret? Oh, yes it is.

It’s simply because it’s red and green. There, I said it. It shouts Christmas when all I’m thinking about is how can I wedge a 25-pound turkey, sweet potato casserole and dressing all into the oven at the same time. When I’m wondering why I invited Aunt Rose (again). And how many naps I can fit in post-Thanksgiving meal stupor. These are the things on my mind — not Christmas carols. I’ll deal with that later. Right after Black Friday.

Posole spice blend? Are you mad? Perhaps, but it’s just the ticket to spice up your green beans.

2 cups cherry tomatoes

3 Tbsp olive oil plus a splash more for the green beans

Scant 1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp. New Mexico red chile (Chile Molido)

1 lb. green beans, tops removed

1 Tbsp. Posole spice blend

Store-bought crispy onions — as many as you want, go ahead it’s Thanksgiving!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To make the red chile tomatoes, wash the tomatoes and slice them in half. Pour half the olive oil in the bottom of a casserole dish that is large enough to hold the tomatoes in one layer. Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish and drizzle the rest of the oil on top. Dust with the salt and red chile powder and place in the oven and cook for around 1 1/2 hours — until the tomatoes have shrunken but are still soft and jammy. You can make these ahead of time and store in a container in the fridge.

When you’re ready to get the show on the road, wash the beans, trim the top (stem end). Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil. Add the posole mix and let it boil happily for a few minutes. Add the beans and cook until just tender. This is not the time to go and make a Tik Tok video. Drain the beans and posole spice mix in a fine mesh strainer so you don’t lose any of the chile goodness.

Toss the beans in a bit of olive oil, top with the tomatoes and sprinkle some of the crispy onions on top. And be generous. It is a holiday after all.

Charred Chile-Nut Brussels Sprouts

Spare a thought for Linus Urbanec, who holds the coveted title of most Brussels sprouts eaten in one minute. How many, you ask? Thirty-one sprouts. And before you say, ‘I could do that’, don’t. Just don’t. Urbanec had to spear each sprout with a toothpick, eat and swallow before moving swiftly on to the next. Can you imagine the internal reverb after eating over 30 sprouts in a minute? Ouch. On second thought, forget Urbanec – spare a kind thought for his friends and family.

(Word has it that a truck driver named Wayne Sherlock, topped this record in 2019, by two more sprouts for a total of 33. That might seem like a narrow victory but in life, every sprout counts.) 

Why our collective obsession with eating contest of any sort, where we watch and wonder if the contestant will swallow or spew? And why Brussels sprouts in particular? It’s pretty simple: when it comes sprouts, we hate them, so it’s fun to see someone suffer. Brussels sprouts are reviled, loathed, shunned, demonized and detested. And that’s just by folks who tolerate them once a year at Thanksgiving.

But it’s not fair. It’s criminal. Brussels sprouts are low in calories, a source of protein, and contain loads of Vitamin K and C plus Vitamin A, folate and manganese.  We’re talking super food here folks. And if they sometimes taste like boiled tennis shoes dressed with a jot of eau-de-sulphur, it’s hardly their fault. Far too often they’re overcooked into slimy submission. 

Toasting the seeds, nuts and chile brings out the flavor!

But give them a quick blanch in boiling water, then roast them and you’re golden. Top with some nuts, seeds and chile and you’re in love. And suddenly, you find yourself googling ‘Brussels sprout eating competition’. I mean, how difficult can it be to each 34 sprouts in a minute? Hold on, don’t answer that.

Blanch the Brussels sprouts for a few minutes then finish them off in a hot oven.

Serves 4 or 1 if you happen to be Linus Urbanec or Wayne Sherlock

1 lb. Brussels sprouts

2 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup hazelnuts

New Mexico Red chile pod

½ tsp ground turmeric

Zest of half a lime


To garnish (optional)

Cilantro leaves

Sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 425°F

Place the pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts in a small frying pan. Break up the dried chile, discard the stem and add to the seeds and nuts. Place over medium heat and toast the mixture for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool. When cool, place in a blender with the turmeric and half a teaspoon of salt and the lime zest. Blitz until the mixture is the consistency of rough breadcrumbs.  

Trim the Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Blanch them in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Pat them dry with a paper towel, place in a roasting pan, coat with the olive oil and season generously with salt. Place in the pre-heated oven and roast for around 15-20 minutes or until nicely charred on all sides.

Place the charred Brussels sprouts in a serving dish, generously top with some of the chile-nut mixture and top with an extra drizzle of olive oil, if you like. Add the cilantro leaves and sesame seeds, if using, and serve warm. 

Chile-miso eggplant ‘steaks’ with orange-COYO drizzle

Thanksgiving used to be so easy. You’d cook like a mad thing, burn a few dishes, fall asleep during a bowl game and wake up at two in the morning with a glass of merlot clutched in your hand and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome blaring on the television. Ah, those were the good old days.

Now it’s a whole lot more complicated. You’ve got someone coming who is lactose intolerant. Somebody else who can’t eat gluten and another who is vegan. Suddenly trad turkey and trimmings just doesn’t cut it.

But fear not. Make a showstopper ‘free from’ dish – no meat, no dairy, no gluten and you’re sorted. Forget some sorry, last minute pasta with tomato sauce – that’s not “Thanks” giving it’s “I-couldn’t-be-bothered” giving. Meat eaters can tuck into turkey while your plant-based buddies smile smugly. It’s a win-win.

And when it’s all over, you can take your glass of wine, find a comfy spot on the sofa, and have a well deserved snooze. Just don’t forget to wake up before the credits roll.

Serves 2-3

2 medium eggplants, about 1.5 lbs total

Olive oil – about ¼ cup

2 Tbsp. yellow miso

1 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. mirin

½ tsp chile molido powder (mild)

1-5.3oz tub of COYO coconut yogurt alternative natural flavor

1 Orange

Handful of cilantro, about 5 oz., chopped

Chile pequin flakes

Preheat oven to 425ºF

Slice the eggplants lengthwise into ½-¾” slices. Place on a non-stick baking pan (you may need to use two pans). Lightly score each side of the slices with a knife in a diamond pattern. Brush liberally with olive oil on both sides, sprinkle with salt and place in the oven for around 15 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through.

While the eggplant is cooking, whisk together the miso, rice wine vinegar, mirin and chile molido powder. When the eggplant is golden brown, brush on the miso glaze and cook for another 5 minutes. Then flip the slices over and baste the miso glaze on the other side. Cook for another five minutes – the eggplant should be browned and thoroughly cooked through.

Remove from the oven. Whisk together the COYO with 2 teaspoons of orange zest and 2-3 tablespoons of orange juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable.
Place the eggplant slices on a platter, drizzle with the orange-COYO sauce, scatter the cilantro on top and finish with a sprinkle of chile pequin flakes.

Sun-dried tomato, walnut and chipotle chile paste

Congratulations. You did it. You survived Thanksgiving and aunt Vera’s creamed onions. You sat through endless bowl games and bowls of food. No one died of food poisoning and no blood was spilt over the scrabble board. All in all, I’d call that a success.

Now you’ve only got Christmas and New Year’s before you can crawl off into your man/woman/person cave and hibernate until Spring. Imagine all those seconds of stuffing and turkey and gravy providing you with the perfect padding to keep you going until the daffodils are in bloom. Go ahead, eat that extra slice of pie because you’re going to need it.

Oh, if only we were more bears. Wouldn’t hibernation be a great solution for short days and long nights? But alas, you’ve got the day job. And the kids and the bowling team (whose idea was that?). So snap out of it. At best, you can sneak in some mini weekend hibernations – aka naps. Close the doors, ignore your phone and be a solitary curmudgeon for half an hour.

Of course you must keep your strength up, so whip up a batch of sun-dried tomato, walnut and chipotle chile paste. Slather it on a slice of bread or spoon it onto a baked potato. Heck, eat it out of the jar as far as we’re concerned. Before you know it, spring will be here. You’ll search for your sunglasses and put the snow shovel away. You’ll stretch, smile and realize there’s suddenly more than 2 hours of daylight. You’ll look in the mirror and your smile will fade, as you ask yourself why you ate those last five slices of pie.

Sun-dried tomato, walnut & chipotle chile paste

3 oz sun-dried tomatoes

2 oz walnuts (or other nut)

1 lemon, finely zested

1 whole chipotle chile

½ clove garlic.

4 oz olive oil

Place the chipotle chile in a small bowl and cover with almost boiling water. Allow it to sit and hydrate for 10-15 minutes. When it’s softened, remove it from the water, slice it open and remove the seeds. Coarsely chop.

Toast the nuts in a frying pan or in the oven until lightly golden. Watch them like a hawk though, as they’ll quickly burn if you’re not alert.

Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts. Place them in the small bowl of a food processor or mini blender. Add the lemon zest, garlic, chopped chipotle chile and about 1/3 of the oil. Blitz. Stop and stir and then add the remaining oil so you have a thick, spoonable paste.

Store in a jar and cover with olive oil.



Slow cooked lamb with chipotle, lime & honey


Plated lamb

Turkey is a lot like house guests. The first day, you’re thrilled to see them and can’t believe it’s been so long since their last visit. Day two, you’re cordial. Day three, you offer to help them pack and call a taxi.

Don’t get me wrong – turkey at Thanksgiving is a treat, a tradition and literally the gift that keeps on giving. But that’s where the problem lies; at some point you get tired of leftovers. You’ve made turkey pie, tetrazzini, tacos and of course endless sandwiches. Eventually, you’re ready to see the back of turkey and can barely muster the energy to dump the carcass in a pot to make stock.

It’s exacerbated by the fact that many of us are going to whip up another bird in less than a month’s time. You do a frantic google search for ‘turkey leftover recipes’ and sigh deeply.

So what’s the answer? It’s time for something new. Pop the rest of the bird in the freezer and change culinary directions. At Los Chileros HQ, we fancy a slow cooked lamb shoulder with a spiky, zesty lime, honey, chipotle marinade. It’s the perfect way to wake up dulled taste buds and ideal for winter weather.

You marinade the lamb overnight then cook it at high heat for about 20 minutes before turning the temperature right down and letting it go nice and slow until the meat falls off the bone. It’s even better if you eat it the next day when the flavors have really had a change to mingle and marry.

Eat it on its own, wrapped up in tortillas or on a bun – the choice is yours. It’s heaven with a bit of slaw and some dill pickles. It will make loads but invite some turkey-fatigued friends over or stash some in the freezer to have on hand at Christmas when you’re wishing the leftover turkey would scram. Go ahead and make it, you’ll thank me in a few week’s time.


Slow cooked lamb shoulder with chipotle, lime & honey

If you can’t find lamb shoulder or don’t like it (heaven forbid), then you can opt for pork or beef – just go for a cut that likes it low and slow. The good news? These are usually cheaper too so you’ll get more taste and keep a bit of cash in your pocket, handy when you’ve got all those Christmas credit card bills to pay. But let’s not dwell on that thought…

Serves 8+

1 lamb shoulder, bone-in about 7lbs

2 Tbsp Los Chileros Chipotle rub & mix

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp honey


Place the lamb in a roasting pan. Mix the marinade ingredients together and rub over the lamb. Refrigerate overnight if possible. The next day, remove the pan from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 400°F Generously sprinkle some sea salt on the lamb. Place the lamb in the hot oven for 20 minutes.

Turn the oven down to 225°F. Take the lamb out of the oven, cover the roasting pan with a lid or with aluminium foil – you want to make sure you’re keeping the moisture locked inside. Return to the oven and cook at the low temperature for 3-4 hours then check the lamb – it should be falling off the bone – if not cook longer.

When the lamb is done, take it out of the pan and place on a cutting board and cover with aluminium foil. Strain the cooking juices from the pan into a measuring cup or container and place it in the fridge. This will encourage the fat to rise to the top and solidify. Remove the fat and discard then return the juices to the pan. Shred the meat and put it in the pan with the juices. Give a toss to make sure all the meat is coated. Return to the oven to warm before serving with flat bread, rolls, over couscous or rice.

Gobble, gobble

My nominee for the next new Olympic sport is Thanksgiving. You got it – the whole darn tooting day. Think about it – you wake up, race to the kitchen, get a cup of joe and start cooking. Don’t sleep in, don’t pass go and definitely don’t collect $200. You are a man/woman/child/elderly person on a mission.


Because face it, Thanksgiving doesn’t cook itself. While everyone else is watching a bowl game or getting in a fight, you’re cooking. And we’re not talking about meat and 2 veg, we’re talking about a spread that would make a grown man/woman/child/elderly person cry.

It takes planning, it takes energy and it takes courage. Ask me – and this is borderline blasphemy here – it’s the sides that get me excited. Don’t get me wrong, I love a slice or 10 of turkey but it’s the side dishes that get me all hot and bothered. And numero uno on my list is stuffing. It’s not hard to figure out why. We’re basically talking about bread and fat bound with eggs (actually it doesn’t sound great when I put it that way, but you know what I mean).

Plus, stuffing is a carrier for gravy and that’s got to be a good thing. This stuffing is made with cornbread (doesn’t that make it gluten free and therefore good for you???) and laced with a healthy dose of chile and sausage. You can make the cornbread the day before – even sauté the celery and onion (pop them in the fridge overnight) – then just assemble. Stuff it in the bird if you want, although I’m a stuffing out-of-the-bird kind of guy – I find you get a nicer, crispier crust.

Best of all, if you haven’t invited over your whole extended family, you’ll have leftovers. And at the end of the day while you may not get an Olympic gold medal, l.o.’s are a pretty good consolation prize.


Chile Cornbread Stuffing

Serves around 8

I’ve included a cornbread recipe inspired by one I love from Cast Your Bread Upon the Water by Sister Schubert but use your own, if you want. You’ll want a 9” pan of cornbread. When you’re making the cornbread, add the chile to the other dry ingredients.


5 oz. butter, melted
1 cup sour cream or crème fraiche
¾ buttermilk
2 Tbsp water
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups cornmeal
1 Tbsp green chile caribe
1 Tbsp red chile pequin

Preheat oven to 400º. Brush your baking pan with some of the melted butter. Mix the wet ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry and stir to mix, being careful not to overwork. Pour into the baking pan and put in the oven. Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.



1 cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
2 Tbsp butter
8 oz sausage meat
1 pan cornbread, crumbled
5 Tbsp chopped parsley or cilantro
½ cup butter, melted
2 cups turkey or chicken broth
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350º.

Melt the 2 Tbsp butter in a pan and sauté the celery and onion until soft but not brown. Remove and place in a large mixing bowl. Crumble up the sausage and cook in the pan until just cooked through. Add the sausage meat (drain if necessary), cornbread, butter, broth, parsley, and eggs to the bowl. Mix and place into a greased casserole dish.  Bake for approximately an hour until a skewer comes out clean.


The Chile Trail Thanksgiving Survival Guide: 6 Tips for a Less-Stress Thanksgiving

You’ve tried everything.

1. You’ve brined it. You’ve deep-fried it. You’ve even tried (and failed) the infamous turkducken. So this year I want you to repeat after me, “It’s just a super-sized chicken. It’s just a super-sized chicken…”. Give it a chile spice rub, slather it in butter and wack it in the oven. Set the timer, watch the parade, and chill. Okay?

If you’re still not satisfied, try Turkey Mole on for size. We’ve adapted a recipe from Chef Douglas Rodriguez and our own John Vollerston from Las Cosas Cooking School here in Santa Fe. They have reduced the time and preparation by creating a mole-inspired dry rub you can massage into ole Tom before he hits the oven. Hint: Make a double batch of the rub-it’s addictive-then use it to season Chicken and Pork.

Mole Rub
(Makes about 11/3 cups)

¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup salt
2 tbsp sesame seeds toasted
2 tbsp corn Masa (available in the flour section of most grocery stores)
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp ground mild New Mexican red chile powder
1 tbsp Ancho chile powder
1 tbsp Chipotle chile powder
1 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp ground star anise
1 tsp toasted and ground cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
1½ tsp toasted and ground coriander seeds
½ tsp Mexican Oregano

Mix together all the ingredients. Use at once or store in an airtight jar at room temperature for up to 3 months. For the Turkey1 (18-20-pound) turkey; neck, heart, and gizzard removed 5 ½ cups chicken stock 2 tbsp vegetable oil.
Place thawed turkey on rack set in large roasting pan; tuck wings under. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon mole rub in main cavity of turkey and ½ cup spice mixture all over and under turkey skin; tie legs together to hold shape. Refrigerate uncovered overnight. Let turkey stand 1 hour at room temperature. Set rack at lowest position in oven and preheat to 450º. Brush turkey with vegetable oil and sprinkle with an additional ¼ cup of the mole rub. Pour 1½ cups chicken stock into pan with turkey. Reduce heat to 350º; place pan in oven and roast turkey 2 hours. Add 2 cups broth to pan; roast 1 hour. Pour 2 cups broth over turkey; cover turkey loosely with foil. Continue roasting until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 175º, about 1 hour longer. Transfer turkey to platter, tent loosely with foil and kitchen towel, and let stand 30 minutes (internal temperature of turkey will rise 5 to 10 degrees). Skim fat from the pan reserving juices. Carve and serve with mole broth that is left in the pan after skimming. Enjoy!

2. While you’re giving that bad-boy-bird a spice rub with one hand, make a bloody mary with the other. Make it easy with Los C’s mix (hide the packet and say you made it yourself. We won’t tell). If you want to get all Martha Stewart, then wet the rim of your glass and dip it in a mixture of kosher salt and chile powder. Won’t you be popular!

3. Everything at Thanksgiving tastes better with chile. That includes mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and candied yams. We’ve even tossed a pinch in the ‘ole pumpkin pie when grandma wasn’t watching. Cranberry sauce? Maybe not. But come to think of it…

Red Chile Scalloped Potatoes
Serves 6-8

3 medium potatoes, washed, peeled and sliced very thin
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon hot New Mexico red chile powder
1/4 cup mild New Mexico red chile powder
1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper

Spread potatoes on paper towels and dry well. In a medium bowl, whisk together yolks, cream, milk, sour cream, cheese, red chiles, cumin, and salt. Butter a 4 qt. casserole dish. Place potatoes in a large bowl and pour milk/cream mixture over them. Stir to completely coat potatoes. Place potatoes in casserole dish and crack fresh ground pepper over potatoes. Cover and bake at 400º for 30 minutes, uncover and continue baking until potatoes are tender and casserole is bubbling and nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

4. You made it through the Thanksgiving meal. You’ve ingested 3,500 calories. Now you’re hanging out watching a bowl game and you realize – OH NO! – I haven’t eaten in at least 20 minutes. Don’t panic! Have a batch (or 2) of these on hand when you get those post-turkey munchies.

Sweet & Spicy Pecans
Makes 2 cups

2 cups pecan halves
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp chipotle powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp rosemary, finely chopped

Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toss them gently so they’re lightly browned but make sure they don’t burn. Remove the pecans from the pan. Add the butter and melt, then stir in the remaining ingredients. When the sugar has dissolved, add the pecans back to the pan. Stir for a few minutes until the pecans are well-coated. Remove from the pan and place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Separate the nuts with a fork (no fingers – they’re very hot!) and allow to cool until the sugar mixture has hardened onto the pecans.

5. Leftovers. You knew it was going to happen. Whip up some Turkey Enchiladas and feel the turkey glow.

6. If all else fails, forget the turkey. Order a pizza and top it with some green chile. Go on. You know you want to.