Oh there is nothing quite like a Hatch Chile. If you have never had one, you love peppers or anything vegetable, this is truly a once a year phenomenon that people get quite roasted over! A Hatch Chile offers a special flavor, unlike any other chiles out there. Frieda’s supplies authentic New Mexico Hatch Chiles and these are the real deal. I love cooking and I share this passion with my mother. My kids love visiting with her so much because it is a food party from start to finish of all their favorites and she loves it because she gets to cook for more than just the two of them(her and my dad!). So, this year my mom worked on the prep of our personal Hatch Fever Chile party. My mom took lead, as she loves the smell of these and especially the taste when they cook so Carol was ready to start roasting! Let’s get ready to Cook with Carol today and see how she prepped up this little heaters!
Frieda’s Brings on the Heat! Hatch Chiles: before I show you all the food and preparation here is a little background information for you on Hatch Chiles. A Hatch Chile is larger than the normal green chiles you have seen in a store. The heat level on a Hatch Chile ranges from Mild to Extra Hot, so you have to know what you want. ***Caution, wear gloves when handling the heat level will burn your fingers, eyes, mouth, etc)******
My mom loves these because the flavor of a Hatch Chile is robust, very earthy but best tasted and enjoyed after being roasted on an open flame, not pan fried or baked. Pick a chile that has a deep color, and non-wrinkled skin(fresh please), The care for these is pretty much store in the refrigerator up to 7 days at about 45 degrees, but as soon as these arrived we went to work and roasted, or my mom did this time!
Giant Eagle or Market District roasting events on EVERY Saturday& Sunday in August (that’s right every weekend in August) where cases upon cases of Hatch Chiles tumbled in this impressive, giant metal tumbler, getting roasted by fighter jet-like flames! This is an amazing site, so you might want to head to your local Giant Eagle/Market District and see what is going on with these Giant Eagles/Market Districts so you can enjoy this Once A Year Event.
First my mother washed all the Hatch Chiles and let them dry just a bit. You can see the prep happening here:
How To Roast At Home
Make sure you wear a pair of gloves, because these chiles mean business and they are spicy. We learned this years back and my mom never forgets even if I do! Also, if you happen to touch these little heaters, don’t touch your mouth or eyes or you will feel the sting non stop!
Wash the chiles and pat them dry, we actually just let them drip dry, so same thing.
You want to cut these lengthwise and definitely remove the seeds and you can leave the steam on for turning. (we actually took the stem off and had a great pair of tongs for turning. Ours were split open to really roast and our final intention was a few for stuffing and a few for cutting up and placing in polenta, which we will show you. My mom multi-tasked at the grill, while roasting the Hatch Chiles, she prepared onions and polenta at the same time to prepare an entire meal at once! Go Mom Go! (isn’t she the greatest?)
We grilled these directly on high heat and the flames blistered the skin and we turned them. This makes the skin come off when it sweats in the bag for about 15 minutes(grab a plastic bag or a kitchen towel and cover the bowl, which makes the skin loosens).
That’s it, once you are done, make sure your gloves are still on and you can stuff, chop, saute, puree cook with polenta and onions or throw them in any recipes.
FREEZER OPTION: If you prefer, you can bag them up and freeze them for use later in the year. Just don’t take the skins off, after roasting, leave them on, slide in bag and when the chiles are defrosted the skin will slide off. We alternatively slid the skins off and sliced into pieces and then froze so it was just ready to throw into recipes. It’s however you want it to be.
Now you can see the delicious combinations she created for us to eat. We actually loaded the peppers up and placed the polenta in and ate, and I am sorry but we were so hungry I forgot to snap that photo. I can tell you it is nothing short of amazing.
My mom simply took the polenta and heated it up, and fried up onions inside of olive oil, you know sometimes simplicity is the best. She worked at the grill as I showed you above and this is the dish that come into creation. Since Polenta is often just bland, the bit of heat from the Chiles created a nice robust taste and texture to the final dish.
Now as a side to this beautiful veggie meal that my mom was making for our Hatch Chile Party, she also used other produce items from Frieda’s. Take a look at this beatiful Raddicchio salad.
Get roasting, enjoy the short-lived hatch chile season and get a little bit of heat, out of the kitchen when you taste these awesome chiles. Grab those gloves, and get a big batch of Sangria brewed, because it is Hatch Chile Fever Fest a very special time of year. Grill, Roast, and flame on, while you prepare these larger than life, very robust special chiles. Lavishly live life out loud dining on a specialty from Frieda’s Specialty Produce found in our local Market District stores.