green chile chowder, lightened up

While catching up with my favorite food blogs one lazy afternoon, I ran smack-dab into the middle of one of the most awe-inspiring, delicious-sounding, I-must-make-this-now recipes I’ve seen in quite some time.

I read the recipe at 3:00, was at the store by 4:00, and had this chowder in my stomach by 6:00. When a recipe turns an afternoon of web surfing and Judge Judy into a mad cooking dash, you know it has to be a great one.

But being me—never quite satisfied, unabashedly restless, and with a compulsive need to alter every recipe attempted—I changed it a bit. I substituted sweet potatoes for savory ones, added corn, switched roasted garlic for the raw variety, and cut the fat. What ensued was a crazy-delicious, smoky/spicy, slightly sweet and completely yummy chowder. I was in love.

Anything New Mexican-inspired makes my skirt fly up. Literally. If you haven’t seen my undies, you haven’t been around me very long. I’m a sucker for green chiles, cilantro, roasted corn—these are all foods that make me flash my neighbors.

Luckily, I’ve invested in the full-coverage granny panties, lest they should accuse me of indecent exposure.

What I loved most about this particular Santa Fe-style dish was the combination of the smoky spice (provided by roasted jalapenos and anaheim chiles) and the tinge of sweetness from the yams and corn.

Here’s an equation:

Corn chowder + spice – fat + a helluva lot of flavor = green chile chowder.

Got it? The quiz begins at 9.

I suggest that you make this today. Preferably for lunch. Or dinner. Or a snack. Or for that potluck tomorrow. Or because your neighbors haven’t seen your panties in a while.


Green Chile Chowder, Lightened Up

  • 4 Anaheim or Poblano peppers
  • 2 Jalapeno peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 3-4 yams or sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
  • 5-6 cloves roasted garlic
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: (optional) lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, dollops of sour cream

Preheat oven to broil and move oven rack to highest possible position. Place jalapenos and green chiles on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Place under the broiler for 5-10 minutes on each side, or until skin of peppers is thoroughly blackened. Remove from oven and fold aluminum foil around peppers to keep warm.

Dice onion and peel and dice potatoes. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and add onion. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is translucent. Remove peppers from foil packet, peel, remove seeds, and dice (either wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after this step). Add peppers, potatoes, roasted garlic, corn, cilantro, chicken stock, cumin, and salt and pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes until potatoes are cooked and mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.

In a blender or food processor, puree half to three-quarters of the chowder, depending on how chunky you would like it. Pour pureed mixture back into pot, add milk and half and half and stir. Place chowder back on stove to bring it up to serving temperature. Garnish with lime wedges, cilantro and sour cream if desired. Serves 8.


  1. Oh my gosh, I love this! Every time I have a hankerin’ for something spicy, I turn to my “heavy” chicken chili recipe, but this looks much easier on the waistline with just as much flavor. Great recipe, Jenny!

  2. Thank you for this recipe! I’ve made it twice now and it blows up my skirt too! I love, love, love it! I live in NM and bought 30 lbs of roasted green chiles this year. I peeled, seeded, chopped, and froze them all at once so I used about 2 cups chopped green chile and haven’t used corn, just because I haven’t had it. I use vegetable broth and olive oil and my immersion blender makes it even more of a convenient meal. Thanks Jenny!

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