This seasonal spotlight is all about Hatch Green Chiles. Anyone else addicted to Hatch Chiles? I first discovered these lovely peppers back on my first trip to New Mexico with friends several years ago. In fact, Hatch Chiles are such a delicacy in New Mexico that they have been labeled the state vegetable, and leads to one asking the question of preference- “red or green?”
Hatch Chiles are in season right now, and I couldn’t believe my eyes a week ago when I went into the local Ralphs and saw a display of fresh hatch chiles on display. Most of them were green, but as you can tell in some of the photos, a few were just beginning to ripen and turn red.Needless to say, I immediately purchased a large bag.
A chile cannot be officially called “hatch” unless it is grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico, which is an area stretching along the Rio Grande in New Mexico. The type of soil in this region contributes to the particular flavor of the chile. The chile is a large part of the local economy of this area of the country.
Flavor Profile: I think of the Green Hatch Chile as a chile with a meaty and buttery flavor, and almost smoky. The heat level tends to be on the moderate side. I would compare it to a decent jalepeno, and mellower than a serrano. The heat tends to hit you on the back end and builds as you eat the chiles.
If you want to fully ripen and dry your Hatch Chiles they will turn a deep red color. The flavor tends to be sweeter and mellower than the green chile, with less of the heat.
Season: August and September
How to select: Select green chiles that are smooth, firm, and fresh in appearance. A little redness never hurt anyone either. Just as you would shop for any other chile, avoid ones that are slightly wrinkled and soft as this can indicate that they are old.
How to prepare: Most commonly, Hatch Green Chiles are prepared by roasting in a high heat oven or broiler. This allows that skin to char and blister and be easily removed. The roasted chiles can be used for a variety of recipes, or as a salsa. If roasting, be sure to make extra and freeze or can for later in the year!
Where can I buy? As Hatch Chiles are such a regional-specific food, they can be somewhat hard to find. I was able to find some at Ralphs here in San Diego and many specialty grocers will sell them during their season. However, they can also be ordered online from various local sources. In a pinch there are canned Hatch Chiles that are available at most national grocery chains.
Storage: Hatch chiles should be refrigerated until use. They should keep for about 1 week before starting to wilt. Of course, you could always roast them up and freeze them or can them. They could also be left out to dry like they do in New Mexico.
So, if your appetite is piqued, check out the following blogger’s amazing recipes using Hatch Green Chiles.
Chicken Posole by The Wicked Noodle
Green Chile Mac and Cheese by The Gourmet Gourmand
Green Chile Cornbread Scones by Food Fash
Hatch Chile Sweet Potato Cornbread by Budget Bytes
Slow Cooker Green Chile Verde by Foodie Crush
Green Chile Quiche by The Gourmet Gourmand