I know I personally have a bunch of green chile nutritional conjecture taking up space in my brain. Namely, I've heard that it has more vitamin C than citrus fruit and that it's good for your immune system. And lucky for us New Mexicans, all that local trivia is true. One pepper has 170 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. It also contains 80 percent of the RDA for vitamin A, which is essential for your immune system and organs—especially those lined with mucus, like your lungs, intestines and urinary tract. With whopping doses of this phlegm-fighter, chiles clear congestion, aid in digestion (unless, of course, you eat way too many) and prevent infection. But there's more. Peppers in general can kill bacteria in your stomach, preventing ulcers. They can make you feel high because they release endorphins in your brain and, some say, help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism. (Although exercising and not eating lard can also help you lose weight.) Additionally, as we speak, capsaicin, the alkaloid in peppers that makes them hot, is being studied as a pain reliever, topically and internally.
Easy and versatile, this green chile stew recipe lends itself to winging it. I like to make it with John Cage in mind; the outcome is the result of a chance operation and a piece of art unto itself. I never measure anything when I make it, and am constantly using new ingredients and spices. Now, you do have to use a few basic ingredients so it doesn't taste gross or weird, but as long as you follow this recipe at least roughly, you will have a delicious stew to eat. Even those who think they can't cook can accomplish this.
I picked up a bottle of Pepperwood Grove pinot noir for $6 at Wild Oats, but it was so delicious that my companions and I drank it all before we got to the stew. Another good choice is Spanish roija, Marquees de Cascaras. It costs around $10.