Sunday, August 17, 2008

Autumn Asks: Hatch Green Chile Anyone??

Now you get to learn about a strange ritual I brought to my marriage.

My mother's father was career army, but settled in New Mexico. He was originally from Texas and my grandmother was also (or maybe it was New Mexico, can't remember). Anyways, they loved Tex/Mex food. The good stuff...not Taco Bell or whatever. So, my mother grew up with a love of this same food, and passed the love on to my father (who was also career army and stationed at White Sands, where they met). So all growing up, all over the states and such, I remember my parents making trips to the farms in New Mexico for green chile about Labor Day. It didn't happen every year - like when we were in Germany - but it is a childhood memory I have.

So I grew up, and not having learned my lesson, married Air Force. Now I have carried the green chile ritual to even more places. I remember the commissary in Iceland getting a batch, which I snatched up and spent an entire day roasting and freezing. We lived in apartments and no one could figure out what that smell was and where it was coming from. Also, living in Nebraska, I would call the Ruiz farm in New Mexico and they would ship me 40 pounds. I'd then spend 2 days roasting, peeling and freezing. It is a labor of love.

My parents have moved on to Arkansas now, and we are back in Texas. Our local grocery store gets Hatch Chile so my parents are on their way over to put up 5 cases. Saved a two day trip to New Mexico!

I picked up our chile yesterday and have begun the process. Uh, the hot is HOT this year...DH is bringing me home a mask to wear so I don't burn any deeper into my sinus'. I found gloves also as my hands were on fire all night...and taking out my contacts was not a pleasant experience.

At the store I was asked by several people what I do with that chile? Everyone was interested as they roast it for you there and the smell is heavenly. My answer: Green Chile Dip (the bestest), green chile cucumbers, green chile stew, green chile salsa, green chile and cheddar bread, green enchalada's, added to eggs, hamburgers and sandwiches and several other mexican dishes. I love it. I even made up my own creation of a green chile sandwich - just add chile and sour cream to so thick bread and eat it!

So the process looks like this:

Buy Your chile:

If your store has a roaster - have them do it!! It saves hours and hours! If not, take it home and roast it yourself. This means getting out cookie sheets (I have specific ones just for this because they get black and ugly) and putting a single layer of chile on it. Have the broiler on and put the rack all the way to the top and stick the pan underneath it. You want to burn the skin so it turns black and bubbles. Then take the chile out and turn it. Repeat until you have burned the surface the best you can.

When the chile it cool enough to handle, peel and seed. Pull out the veins the seeds are on also as they contain lots of heat. We are more about the chile flavor than the heat around here.

Now you can cook with the chile or put them in freezer bags to freeze. Not a hard job...but very time consuming when you buy 40 pounds!

And the first use of this batch? Green Chile dip! Man was it good. Bones, my mom and I pretty much wiped it out!

4-5 green chile
large sour cream
dried or fresh onion, finely grated, 1-2 tbs
garlic salt, to taste
white or black pepper, to taste
Worchestershire sauce, to taste (1-3 tsp)
Vinegar, to taste ( we use a combination of spicy and rice)

Cut up chile, add all ingredients and chill for an hour to let flavors blend.

THE BEST. Tastes just as good with pretzels as with chips (thanks Christie).


  1. YUUUUUUMMMMMM! What a neat thing to do! And what a great history it has!

  2. That was such a neat story, and YUM! Now I wish I could get some green chiles to roast, but unfortunately, I doubt that I'll be able to find them where I live!

  3. I saw the post title and thought I knew what you were talking about--I was wrong. =) My mom created one of our favorite recipes, Santa Fe Enchiladas (you can find it on my blog), and she uses Hatch brand green chile sauce in the dish. So yummy!