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How I Got Kicked Out Of The Chile Heads

We just returned from the Fiery Foods Show, held again in Albuquerque, New Mexico and I had a lot of people asking for the hottest chile pepper we offered. I smiled, not at their extreme passion for scoville units, but because I couldn't supply them with anything hotter than our Coyote Trail Green Chile Sauce. Sure, the Green Chile Sauce has some heat, but nothing like what these guys were looking for. I thought back to our departure from a sound business plan-the time we were also in search of the heat. We embarked on the path to heat with fury.

Could we also create the world's hottest sauce? Habanero chiles flooded my desk. The test kitchen had the chile cloud hanging low, enough to cause sneezing and coughing through cloth masks. People wanted the heat and by golly we were going to give it to them. Perhaps I would be like my buddy, Dave Hirschkop, creator of Dave's Insanity Sauce, who is rumored to have once been banned from the Fiery Foods Show because his sauces were so deadly hot. We were on the road and my stomach was converting intestine cells into a mamma would be proud, chile pepper cast iron vault. I tasted a dozen or so formulas.

Raspberry chipotle habanero relish. And then there was a peach zinger with enough firepower to launch a missile. Roy, our product analyst was especially proud of a tomatillo and jolokia chile spread that was supposed to be spread gently on toast. The morning bite, like fishing I guess. With all the options, two stood out, but still I was uneasy.

Not just my stomach lining, but my instincts. The market is full of hot sauces with appropriate names referring to body parts and functions. Where did we fit? When I started New Mexico Chile Company, I wanted to provide gourmet cooking sauces and our tag line was immediately established-Coyote Trail Sauces-Making Everyday Gourmet. I was adamant about the fact that every sauce had to marry well with food and wine. If the sauce was too hot or overpowering it wouldn't compliment food.

Now, here I was branching off into the hot sauce business. Very soon, I'd have to have some intestine work done so the deadline was approaching. I came to my decision one day while flying to California and appropriately enough I was reading Herb Kelleher's story describing how he had started Southwest Airlines.

The book is titled Nuts and in this business classic he tells the story of staying the path to success. Despite the distractions, he put on the corporate blinders and ventured forth with a plan set in stone. Southwest, he wrote, did not fly international because it wasn't what they did well.

Their airline was a short distance carrier catering to business people. The five hundred mile journey is their expertise. And for years, at board meetings, he fought the urge to expand and conquer airwaves beyond what they did well. It seems that other airlines disagreed and once they solidified their local position, they opened international routes. If they could fly around California, surely they could set their wings toward Europe. Many tried and most filed bankruptcy and all eventually lost money.

This struck me las profound and about that time the flight attendant walked by, inquired about beverages and dropped two packages of roasted nuts onto my tray. I decided then that the morning bite wasn't for us. We would stay the course of prosperity, watch the Chile Heads delve into the insanity that concentrated levels of capsicum will deliver. Dave could rest easy. I kicked myself out of the Chile Heads society. We'll continue to make the world's best enchilada sauce and we truly do understand the world is a better place because of our Green Chile Sauce.

It may not be the morning bite, but Santa Fe Chicken is a staple among many of our customers and that's good enough for me. Santa Fe Chicken An Easy Chicken Recipe Ingredients 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts 1 cup br onion 2 cloves garlic 2 tsp olive oil 16 oz Coyote Trail Green Chile Sauce 8 oz grated cheddar cheese cilantro or parsley to garnish Optional garnish: sour cream (save for table-do not cook), sliced black olives,nchopped roma tomatoes In a large skillet Saute chicken, Chop onion & garlic, Brown chicken, drain important. Add Coyote Trail Green Chile Sauce. Top with cheese and if needed other optional ingredients. Transfer to 350 degree oven.

Bake until it bubbles-about 12 minutes Garnish with remaining toppings. Serve with tortillas, beans, salad.

Coyote Trail Cooking Sauces, have won many awards most notably for the BEST RED CHILE in the state of New Mexico. Today, they can be purchased at retail stores throughout the Southwest or on line through their web site where unique recipes can also be found


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