Hatch Green Chile Season

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I can’t even begin to describe that first whiff Hatch chiles roasting on an open fire. But, it’s that time of the year again.  Not to be confused with other chile peppers, like jalapeños, serranos or poblanos that that are also green in color, Hatch chiles are a specific variety of green chile grown in the Hatch Valleys of New Mexico. For those of us fortunate to live in the Southwest, we can purchase them fresh in the store and many stores roast them on the spot. I prefer to buy fresh and roast them at home myself. I also will buy them in bulk in order to vacuum seal and freeze for other times of the year. For those without access to fresh varieties, you can find them canned. These usually are very acceptable substitutes in most recipes.

The benefits…

Green chiles are naturally packed with Vitamin A (essential for maintenance of teeth, bones, mucous membranes, eyes and skin) as well as Vitamin C (as a vitamin helps body maintain and repair the body and as an antioxidant helps the body fight infections.) The chemical compound capsaicin , that gives them the spice, also releases endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are naturally occurring “pleasure” neurotransmitters. They are produced by the hypothalamus in response to excitement, exercise, pain (for relief of), love, orgasm and in this case, eating spicy foods. Recent studies by the American Association for Cancer Research, also points to the ability of capsacin to help manage the spread of certain cancers.

The recipes…

Whether you pick some up for the health benefit or just because you love the burn, be sure to grab some chiles on your next trip to the farmers market or store and check out these great recipes!!!

How to Roast Hatch Green Chiles

Hatch Chile Vinaigrette

Coffee Rubbed Ribs with Hatch Green Chile BBQ

Coffee Rubbed Ribs with Hatch Green Chile BBQ Sauce

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Coffee Rub Ingredients:

3 T Ground Coffee
1 T coarse salt (kosher or sea)
1 T Organic Local Honey
2 t sweet paprika
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t unsweetened cocoa powder

Sauce Ingredients: 

5 Hatch Chiles, roasted and chopped

2 T Coconut Oil

1 Yellow Onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 c Fish Sauce

1/2 c Beer (Not paleo, I know. If this an issue, substitute chicken stock.)

1/8 c Organic Local Honey

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 29 ounce can tomatillo sauce (Tomato sauce may be substituted if tomatillo not available. The sauces will be distinctly different from each other, but both equally tasty.)

Sauce Method:

1. In large sauce pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

2. Add green chiles and remaining ingredients and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before continuing.

3. In blender, puree sauce until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.  Sealed refrigerated sauce will keep 1-2 weeks.

Ribs Method:

This method may be used for one slab or as many as your grill will hold. Using the recipe above, you will have a generous amount of sauce for leftovers.

1. Season ribs with coffee rub.

2. Place ribs on foil (with sides and ends folded up forming a “boat.” Pour about 1/2 cup of water under ribs.

3. Cook in 300 degree BBQ for about 2 hours. Do NOT lift lid during this time to allow steam and smoke to remain trapped inside the BBQ.

4. After 2 hours, remove ribs from foil, place directly onto grill and brush with sauce.

Hatch Chile Vinaigrette

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Ingredients:

1 Garlic Clove

2 Hatch Chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 T Apple Cider Vinegar

2 T Lime Juice

1t Kosher Salt

Black Pepper, to taste

Organic Local Honey, to manage heat of chiles

Method:

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and process until smooth and emulsified. May be stored for 4-5 days.

 

How to Roast Hatch Green Chiles

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There are many methods that may be used for roasting chiles. An open flame is hands down the best method, preferably outdoors on a grill. Many times, however, if a grill is not available, I will use a plumbers torch (available at any hardware store for around $15-$20. Do not try this with smaller kitchen style torches meant for caramelizing creme brûlée or other smaller jobs. You need a stronger, wider flame spread to do the job and you most likely will run out of fuel before you finish your peppers using a smaller torch.) If neither of these are available, the same techniques below may be used using the broiler setting of your oven and placing the chiles on a sheet pan and turning with tongs when needed.

Method:

1. If available, wear disposable gloves to prevent capsacin containing oils from getting on the hands and burning more sensitive areas when touched.

2. Place chiles on a grill and roast about 3 minutes until skin begins to blister. Blistering the skin is essential, however you do not want to cook the flesh of the chile underneath.

3. Once blistered, turn with tongs. Repeat as necessary until all sides are blistered. Place in plastic bag or tupperware and allow to sweat for about 5 minutes. This will loosen the skin.

4. With dry paper towel, gently wipe the skin off of the flesh of the peppers. Note: Do NOT run them under water as this will also rinse essential oils from the flesh. If you wish a milder flavor in your dish, the seeds and inner pith (white fleshy ribs inside the chile may be removed to decrease the heat.

5. At this point, the roasted chiles are ready for use in your favorite recipe, or  to seal and store in the freezer for later use. If kept airtight, they will keep for about year.