Within about 3 weeks, you will start to see the very special, very delicious Hatch chiles at your local markets. And when you do, I suggest taking advantage of it, because their season is only about 6 weeks long.
A few years ago, Melissa’s Produce introduced me to Hatch Chiles and I’ve loved them ever since. Hatch Chiles are a prized New Mexican chile and are available only in August and September. These favorite Southwestern chiles are grown in the Mesilla Valley, just north of Las Cruces, where the sunlight is intense and and the nights are cool. This climate combination results in a chile that has a wonderful earthy flavor, with a subtle sweetness and kick to it. To be honest they’re not actually very hot — they’re generally more a mild-medium heat pepper, which makes them incredibly versatile in the kitchen.
And if you’re really lucky, there will be a Hatch Chile Roasting near you. At the roastings, you can get a huge box of the chiles and they’ll roast them for you on the spot. This is particularly awesome because the roasted peppers freeze beautifully — so you can eat them all year long. The dates for the 2014 Hatch Chile Roastings in Southern California are here. (When I have more dates in other areas, I’ll let you know.)
By the way, by “best” Hatch chile recipes, I mean my best Hatch chile recipes. (Everyone can call theirs “the best,” I know. So these are mine. 😉 )
Click on the images below for the corresponding recipes.