Saturday, before work, I made a stop at the H-E-B Plus! on Navarro to pick up a some fresh-roasted Hatch green chiles. I heard that they roasted Hatch chile last year, but missed the opportunity to load up my freezer with bags of the fiery, smoky peppers. So this year, I made sure to mark my calendar.
Every year in the town of Hatch, N.M., during the Labor Day weekend, they host the two-day Hatch Chile Festival. The festival celebrates the Big Jim chile pepper, which the Hatch Valley is known for growing. The festival includes a chile eating, a chile toss, a coronation of the Hatch Valley Queen and Princess and, of course, the constant roasting of green chile.
Tomorrow is the last day to pick up your bag of roasted green chile. They have to fresh variety of Big Jims for purchase too if you want to go that route. You can make some killer stuffed rellenos with them or roast them yourself as needed for whatever recipe you want to give a little kick to.
Roasted green chile can keep in the freezer for months, so long as you keep it sealed and use the bags within a few days of thawing it. I like to throw the chile in chicken quesadillas, breakfast burritos, taco meat – just about everything, really.
You can even roast the fresh chiles at home if you want to add some extra flavor to them. I use my electric burners, set on medium and let them blister a little bit before I rotate them. Make sure you turn on the overhead fan, so as not to smoke out the kitchen. Once they're nice and charred, through them in a plastic bag, close it or seal it and let them sweat in the fridge or on the counter. This will allow the skin to separate from the flesh of the pepper and you can just peel off the outer layer. You can also do this with bell peppers and poblano peppers if you want to impart a smoky or roasted flavor.
So, make a few minutes to pop into H-E-B and grab some bags, or a basketful in my case, for the freezer. Chile is delicious on everything. You can make your own green chile sauce, some green chile beef stew when (and if) it ever gets cold again, add it to some ceviche made with oranges and limes and cilantro.... Yum. You get the idea.
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