It’s time to celebrate Hatch chile season! It officially began this week and you’ll start finding them in stores today!
Hatch chiles are a prized New Mexican chile and are only available in August and September. These Southwestern chiles are grown in the Mesilla Valley, where the sunlight is intense and and the nights are cool. It’s this climate combination that creates wonderful earthy flavored, subtly sweet, delicious mild or hot Hatch chiles.
(FYI, Hatch chiles are one of the few chiles where hot and mild can be determined, even though they all look the same. They should be labeled as such in stores — if they’re not, I’d ask the produce department if they know, and if they don’t, ask them to cut into one for you. They can be very, very hot — or not at all.)
Dozens of stores across the U.S. are celebrating with Hatch chile roastings. You can go to one of these super fun events and purchase a box of Hatch chiles, and have them roasted right then and there! Super cool to watch, and delicious and ready to use when get home.
Click on the “Get Your Fix” arrow and it will lead you to a list of Hatch roasting dates and locations!
- 4 roasted, large Hatch Chiles, seeds removed (Learn how to roast chiles here.)
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 1 large ear of corn)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 6 chicken tenders
- ¼ cup good quality Tequila
- 4 small corn tortillas
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- 2 cups finely chopped butter lettuce
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
- 1 cup diced tomatoes, seeds removed
- ½ cup diced avocado
- ⅛ teaspoon Hatch Chile powder
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Add the chiles and corn to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Blend until it's about ¾ puréed and ¼ chunky. (No, it doesn't have to be exact.) Mix in the oil, garlic and agave, and add the mixture to a shallow dish large enough to hold 6 chicken tenders. (This is a thick marinade.)
- Add the chicken to the marinade and be sure all of it is well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours, and ideally overnight. At some point during the marinating process, move the chicken around a bit, to be sure it marinates evenly.
- Coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with grape seed oil, and place it over medium-high heat.
- Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Once the pan is very hot, add the chicken with all of the marinade. Sauté until the chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken, but leave the marinade in the pan. Add the chicken to a plate and set it aside. Continue to sauté the marinade until it begins to brown.
- Deglaze the pan with the tequila. Use a wooden spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan as the tequila simmers. Cook just until the alcohol flavor has burned off, about 4 minutes. Then add this to the plate with the chicken.
- Once the chicken is cool enough to touch, either chop it into bite-sized pieces, or shred it with your hands. (I prefer shredded chicken in the tostada.)
- Add a bit more oil to the pan, place it over medium-high heat, and add as many of the tortillas as will fit. Sauté until the tortillas become slightly crisp, a couple minutes per side. (Repeat until all of the tortillas are done.)
- Place one tortilla in the center of four serving plates.
- Divide all of the remaining ingredients between the tortillas. (Start with the rice, and then add the greens, followed by the tomatoes and avocado.)
- Top with a pinch of the Hatch Chile powder.
My foodie friends are writing about, and cooking with Hatch chiles, too:
The Stage is Set: Hatch Chile Season Opens from Lana of Bibberche
Hatch Chile Pesto Potatoes from Nancy of A Communal Table
Preserving Hatch Chiles from Nicole of Presley’s Pantry
This is not a sponsored post. I love Hatch chiles and Melissa’s Produce, and all opinions are my own.
Book photo is from MelissasProduce.com.