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Friday, August 21, 2009

Foodie Friday: Hatch Green Chiles

Late summer here in the southwest part of the United States means one thing. It’s time for Hatch Green Chiles.

Hatch, New Mexico has become somewhat of a “Mecca” of chiles in recent years. If you look at a map, just draw your finger due west from Dallas, Texas on over into New Mexico. Hatch is just a little north of Las Cruces.

This site about the Hatch Chile Fest has a lot of information about them and a good video to give you some visual references for some things I’m going to talk about.

The chiles from Hatch that I have been buying at my local produce market, The Bedford Farmer’s Market, I believe are Anaheim green chiles. I bought them on a Wednesday morning and then began to plan several meals around them.

The best way to experience these chiles is to fire roast them. It’s so incredibly easy. I have an indoor grill which I find works great for roasting peppers and chiles. Turn the heat up as to the top setting and set those bad boys right on the grill grates. Leave them to get nice and charred and allow the skin to get blistered up. Turn them periodically to char all sides.

Or if you don't have a grill available to you, just put them on straight on the grates of your oven.

Once all sides are well charred, remove from heat and put the in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (or seal in a large zip top bag). Once they have sweated in their own little sauna for a few minutes, you can remove them and that outer layer of skin will peel right off. You can then slice into the chile and remove the seeds.

There is a good tutorial about roasting peppers on The Pioneer Woman Cooks here (using red bell peppers, but the same principles apply).

Or, you can buy your chiles already roasted. The Bedford Farmers Market has a big roaster like the ones seen in the video on the site listed above. And I tell you what, they are right about the smell. I was leaving the market the other day when he started roasting a fresh batch of them. Holy Moly. The smell was incredible.

So once your chiles are roasted, peeled and seeded, you can do a myriad of things with them. They really don’t have a lot of serious heat to them, so don’t be afraid to put them on just about anything.

Green Chile Cheeseburgers
Dice them up, reheat the diced chiles in a skillet or on a griddle with some salt and pepper and put them on your hamburger/cheeseburger. I like mine with a nice smooth cheese like Havarti. But be careful about adding a lot of other condiments. Lettuce and tomato are fine, but pickles and other sauces might over-power the chile flavor.

Green Chile Eggs
Dice the peeled green chilled and reheat them in a skillet or on a griddle with some salt and pepper. Assemble as follows: toast or toasted English muffin, top with cheese, fried egg and diced green chile on top.

Stuff those bad boys
Peel the green chile but do not diced. Keep it as whole as possible while cutting a lengthwise slit and removing the seeds. Add some chicken and grated Monterrey Jack or Colby Jack cheese. Bake for a few minutes until cheese is melted.

(Sorry there are no pictures of these dishes. When you're cooking in the real world for a hungry family, they don't always want to wait for the food blogger to take pretty pictures before being served. Sorry y'all. The family comes first.)

One thing I will say is that the chiles that we ate that were stuffed had a little more heat than the ones that were diced. I honestly don’t know if it was a function of not dicing and leaving them whole or what. But it was a pleasant flavor heat and not too much.

I enjoyed our week of Hatch Green Chile eating around here and will definitely be buying some more. I hope that you do, also.


Susieqtpie said...

Very yummy. I do the same thing with all my peppers now when I make salsa. I love the flavor!

Beckypdj said...

Oh my that sounds so good. I have acquired a slight addiction to green chiles...........and cilantro!!

Anonymous said...

Yum! I'm going to give it a try. I love chiles!

Anonymous said...

Yum! I'm going to give it a try. I love chiles!