If you’ve been on the internet in the past couple of weeks and you follow at least two food bloggers on any form of social media, you are well aware that it’s hatch chile season. And lots of people, mostly on the West coast from what I’m seeing, are losing their ish over it. Don’t get me wrong…I love hatch chile peppers and grab all I can get, but maybe you’re wondering what to do with them. Well call me Mrs. Helpful (for a change) cuz this week is all hatch chile recipes.
Hatch chiles look and are very similar to Anaheim chiles, which you can get all year round. But only the chiles (and yes, they’re actually a particular kind of chile) that are grown in Hatch, New Mexico can be called hatch chiles. It’s kind of like the champagne region in France. Only bottles of bubbly produced in Champagne can legally be called Champagne.
Hatch chiles come in 2 speeds: mild and hot and yes, they look exactly alike so you can’t tell just by looking at them. I have it on good authority that this years batch of hot hatch chiles are EXTRA hot. I’ve had them, and they do seem to have quite the kick.
What’s the big draw for these peppers? It’s the roasting. Sure, you can eat them raw, but roasting the peppers brings out their great flavors. You’ve basically got two options at this point – find a local store doing a hatch chile roasting (which is kind of cool to watch the barrels of peppers spin with basically a small rocket engine roasting them) or roast them yourself (which is ridiculously easy).
How to Roast Hatch Chile Peppers
Grill: Fire up your grill until it’s good and hot. Toss the peppers onto the grill grates, in a single layer, and close the lid. Every few minutes rotate the peppers so that the outsides get good and charred. Once charred, Drop the peppers into a bowl and either seal with the lid or cover with plastic wrap. Let the peppers steam them themselves and cool enough for you to handle them. Once cool, the skins will peel right off. Pull off the stems and remove the seeds too. Now use them however you like (the recipe below is a great one – hint hint).
Oven: Get that broiler red hot and make sure that your your baking rack is within 5″ of the broiler. Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet (I use a rimmed sheet just in case the peppers open up an start to leak juices) in a single layer. Now slide them under the broiler and keep an eye on them. Give the peppers a turn every couple of minutes so that all sides get good and charred. Once evenly charred, drop them in a bowl just like the directions above.
If you want to freeze your chiles (which I highly recommend so you have them when they’re out of season) things get even easier. Follow the directions above, but drop the roasted peppers into freezer bags. Let them cool then remove as much air as possible from the bags, seal and drop into the freezer. Once thawed you can easily slip the skins off the peppers and remove the tops and seeds. No need to peel them before freezing.
So now that you know how to roast hatch chile peppers, there’s no reason for you not to load up on them and get cooking. This hatch chile summer saute recipe I have for you is a fantastic side dish or you can use it as a base for chicken or seafood. I made up some crab cakes and nestled them on top of a big pile of this.
Now get roasting!
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Grated
- ½ of Large Sweet Onion (diced)
- 2 Ears Fresh Corn (cut off the cob)
- 2 Handfuls Cherry Tomatoes
- 4 Roasted Hatch Chile Peppers (chopped)
- ¼ Cup Flat Leaf Parsley (chopped)
- ¼ Teaspoon Ground Coriander
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Add oil and garlic to pan and heat over medium heat.
- Once garlic begins to sizzle, add onion and cook just until softened.
- Add corn, tomatoes and peppers to pan and season with salt and pepper.
- Continue to stir and cook vegetables until the corn and tomatoes just begin to soften.
- Toss parsley and coriander into the pan and give everything a good stir.
- Remove from heat and serve.
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