Well, it could be their short season – only 6 weeks during August and September. Or maybe its their wonderful and very unique flavor. Either way, they are definitely all the rage this time of year. And I thought it might be worthwhile to get to the bottom of these popular peppers.
Hatch Chiles are grown exclusively in the village of Hatch, New Mexico. They’ve been around for years, but have become more main stream lately spurring them to become a new favorite in households and restaurants all over the country. The unique flavor of the Hatch is said to be the result of Hatch Valley’s hot days and cool nights. A flavor that has made them so popular that diehard Hatch fans are known to hoard fresh chiles while they’re available, roast them, and then freeze to use year round.
Hatch is most similar to the Anaheim but can also be used in place of jalapeños and poblanos in queso dips, chile rellenos, and salsas. And when roasted, are fantastic in creamy soups, stews, Spanish rice, sandwiches, and salad dressings.
Maybe you’ll catch the Hatch fever!
Look for bright green firm peppers. They should be tight when you squeeze them and have a smooth skin. You might even notice that they feel a little heavy. That’s good. It means the pepper is moist and fresh.
Keep your peppers in the produce bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for a week or two.
To take advantage of your Hatch chiles in their off season simply roast and freeze. This is so easy. Just preheat your oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay your Hatch chiles in a single layer. Pop them in the oven on an upper rack for 5 minutes. Take them out and flip them over with tongs. Put them back into the oven for another 5 minutes. The peppers will be charred in places – which is great! Now, grab a paper sack. Put the peppers in the sack and fold it over. Let them sit and ‘steam’ for at least 15 minutes. When you take them out, remove the stems, peel away the skin, and take out the seeds. Then WASH your hands! The remaining ‘flesh’ can be used immediately, refrigerated for a few days, or frozen until Hatch season arrives again next year!
So, whether you’re new to Hatch Chiles or you’ve been eating them for years, here’s a great (and easy) recipe to make the most of these popular peppers!
HI Stacey! I love your meal plans! They have been great for our family. My kids are eating fresh foods they wouldn’t normally be eating (with our typical family recipes with “cream of” blah blah blah “soup”) and I feel like a better parent because of it! So, thank you!
Please don’t laugh, but I don’t know what the produce bags are you mention in your blog about hatch chilies. Can you please share? Is there a particular brand you like?
Hey! Thanks for the kind words. I should have been more clear. I just mean the produce bags from the grocery store. 😉 Sorry for the confusion!