Tag Archives: Alamogordo

New Mexico Red Chile Pistachio Chocolate Ice Cream

On the road between Alamogordo and Tularosa, New Mexico, stands the world’s largest pistachio. It’s one of those roadside oddities devised and created to get people to just pull over to look, then hopefully come on inside and sample some treats and buy some bags of pistachios.

Giant Pistachio
Giant pistachio roadside attraction near Alamogordo, NM.

McGinn’s PistachioLand Pistachio Tree Ranch has more than just a giant nut, though. You can hop on a quick guided tour of the pistachio farms for a few bucks, sample about 20 different kinds of brittle (pistachio and otherwise), and browse the large store for pistachios, jellies, honeys, gift baskets, cookbooks, coffees, candies, and more.

My favorite honey in the universe comes from here too… it’s the Prickly Pear Honey, and it tastes just like fruit punch.

Prickly Pear Honey
Prickly Pear Honey at PistachioLand

So when a recent road trip took us down the Tulie Road, heading toward Las Cruces, we stopped at the Giant Pistachio for some snacks and a tour. I ended up with the aforementioned prickly pear honey (which is sadly long gone at the time of the writing of this post), plus a bag of green chile pistachios and a bag of red chile pistachios.

And that is why I’m making this ice cream. I love pistachio ice cream, but wanted to try it with the red chile pistachios, and figured red chile and chocolate is kind of a THING, so there’s no way this won’t be great.

On to the ice cream!


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup McGinn’s Red Chile Pistachios, shelled and chopped into approx halves
  • 1/4 cup McGinn’s Red Chile Pistachios, shelled and chopped very fine


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine cream, milk, and cocoa powder. Simmer, whisking to combine. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Whisk until melted.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks for a couple of minutes until they turn pale.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking to temper the eggs (so they don’t cook). Repeat 3-4 more times, 1/2 cup at a time, then return this mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine with the remaining milk mixture.
  4. Add FINE chopped pistachios, return the saucepan to low-medium heat, and bring back just to a simmer. Simmer and stir a couple of minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly and will coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove pan from heat. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing through the sieve with a rubber spatula to save as much of the liquid as possible.
  6. Place this bowl in an ice bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking process, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for several hours, until completely cooled.
  7. Freeze the ice cream in your ice cream maker according to your maker’s directions. In the last few minutes of freezing (when you’ve reached soft serve consistency), add the 1/2 cup chopped pistachios and allow to mix in.
  8. Enjoy ice cream now for soft serve, or freeze overnight in a freezable container for a harder/scoopable consistency.
New Mexico Red Chile Pistachio Chocolate Ice Cream
New Mexico Red Chile Pistachio Chocolate Ice Cream

Here’s my favorite ice cream maker. It’s so easy!
They are a little spicy, so just be prepared.

On Rattlesnake Road

by [beenthere]

It was a dark and stormy night. Just before midnight, glared the dash clock in the ‘64 station wagon. This highway I had already seen twice today: going south, then back north, and now south again. The earlier two trips were in bright friendly sunlight. Now I was driving south in the darkest of darks. Behind me two miles was Corona, and ahead of me just 44 miles was Carrizozo. Then on to Alamogordo, my final destination where I would rid the car of my guest and guests: the one in the front seat, asleep for the past hour and to stay same until we reach his driveway, and the rowdies caged in back who were about to awake.

I was a first year rookie with NM Game and Fish and in assignment to Jack, a seasoned wildlife information officer who also hosted the weekly Game and Fish PBS television show in Albuquerque. As we prepped for this week’s show, he said, “Tomorrow drive to Alamogordo and pick up our guest and his props, drive him up for the show, then drive him back to his home tomorrow night. It will be an easy and fun day and you will be entertained during your drive,” Jack, the Prankster, said.

I learned some things in my first 16 years in New Mexico when we never lived closer than 15 miles to a town.

Don’t waste water, ice is a heavenly gift, take a flashlight to the outhouse, never go barefoot outside, always shake your shoes in the morning to empty of critters, and many other helpful tidbits to well serve during a full life.

And the most important: You will — from time to time and without a doubt — hear a rattlesnake rattle. The rattle is the signal that it is near. You must first determine its location. Then your options are: (1) remain perfectly still, or (2) leap high and far in the opposite direction, and (3) scream because you cannot contain a good scream. In my youth I practiced all three many times. To this day the sound of rattles rattle me. And did that night south of Corona.

Early that day when I gathered the guest for the night TV show, he brought his props all right: two boxes of rattlesnakes that he promised were boxed tightly with secure lids. He placed the boxes in the back of the very long ’64 wagon. The trip to Albuquerque was pleasant. Not a sound from the back. Occasionally I breathed. I could see the boxes in the rearview mirror. Lids were secured. We did the TV show and the guest allowed the snakes to crawl around on stage. All of us bystanders were watchful and ready to run.

Show is over, boxes of snakes are placed in the back of the station wagon, and off we go into the dark of the night on the two lane to Alamogordo. All is well until Corona. The guest in the passenger seat goes to sleep. The 46 miles to Carrizozo is a much rougher road at night and the shocks on the wagon have hardened since the trip up earlier in the day.

Now, with each bump in the road, a snake rattles. The more bumps, the more rattles.

I turn on the dome light and can just make out that the lids appear to be on the boxes. “Will the lids hold?” I ask myself. I am now looking at the front floor board to see if I am still alone. Did I see a wiggle? A slither? More bumps; more rattles. I now have one leg and foot under me and the remaining foot has increased our speed to 75 which has increased the number of bumps in a short period and increased the rattles until we are a speeding lights-on missile in the dark of night near out of control rattling and screaming as we pass the turns to Ancho and White Oaks and finally arrive at the old Texaco in Carrizozo where I brake to a sliding stop and abandon the idling vehicle. Leap high and far and scream.

An hour later we finally arrive in Alamogordo and as the guest opens the back to get his boxes he says, “That was sure a nice and quiet trip; glad my little friends did not bother you.”