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Cook: Hatch Chile Salsa Verde

It’s Hatch chile season!  If you’ve never been to New Mexico, let me tell you about Hatch chiles.  Grown in the Hatch valley in New Mexico, they’re a long green pepper that ranges in spice level from very mild to jalapeno-level spice.  In New Mexico they’re a staple–the green chili there, not the pepper but the actual dish, is so good, and so flavorful, and so unique to that area.  Enchiladas smothered with the stuff is pretty much heaven.  However, they’re only available outside of the Southwest for a couple of weeks a year, if at all.  I never did find them in Boston.

So imagine my surprise as I walked into the grocery store last week and saw signs everywhere proclaiming “Hatch chile season” and “three weeks only!”  I knew I wouldn’t leave the store without some, even if I wasn’t sure what to do with them.  My store had some pre-roasted, from a chile roast that I missed the previous weekend, so I grabbed a package of those.  Three weeks only!  How could I resist with that kind of genius marketing?


Once home, I surveyed my pantry for inspiration.  There sat one last lonely can of tomatillos that made the trek to PA all the way from Boston because that stuff is like gold in the Northeast.  I figured what  better way to use my last can than with one other ingredient that is rare to me.  It was totally worth it.

This salsa is spicy, tangy, and extremely fresh tasting.  The roasting of the chiles really deepens the flavor giving the salsa a depth that would be hard to come by in a can.  The tomatillos are tart while the cilantro and lime juice freshens everything up.

Obviously a corn chip is going to be your best mode of delivery.  However, its uses shouldn’t stop there.  Add it to eggs for a twist on huevos rancheros, or turn your favorite enchilada recipe into enchiladas verdes.  I’m going to try to recreate my absolute favorite dish from a great restaurant in Boston that includes shrimp.  Stand by for that.

This makes a lot so you don’t have to choose.  I’ll tell you from experience though, it’s a great to snack on at game night while losing at poker, so I’ve been told.  

Hatch season is the best season.

In other news: Over the next couple of weeks you’ll be seeing some subtle changes to the Two Recipes site that will make it easier to navigate and hopefully a more pleasant experience for you nice people.  Already you’ll notice on the right side of your screen a recipe index that has broken all 270 posts into categories that will make it easier for you to search for recipe inspiration.  Click on the category you want and it will take you to a page that looks like the front page of the site, but instead will only show recipes that are within that category.  You’ll also be able to see more posts per page, with each post giving you brief taste then inviting you to “read more” if you so choose.

I’d like to hear from you, too.  What do you love about the site?  What do you wish was better?  Would you like to see more of something specific, or wish the font was different, or wish I would travel more so I could write more Detours (please say you wish I could travel more, please?)  I’m blown away that so many of you stop by and want to make your experience as good as I possibly can.

Here’s the recipe.

Hatch Chile Salsa Verde

Ingredients

  • 1 28-ounce can of whole tomatillos, drained
  • 8-10 hatch chiles, roasted, skins, stems, and seeds removed*
  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped fresh cilantro, from a large bunch
  • 2 limes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Method
  1. In a blender, combine tomatillos, roasted hatch chiles, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and lime juice.  Blend until combined, then add chopped cilantro, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Blend well, then taste for seasonings.  Adjust if necessary.
  2. Transfer salsa to an air-tight container and refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving.
*If you can only find fresh chiles, you can roast them yourself.  Take chiles and arrange them on a baking dish under your broiler.  Let chiles roast, turning frequently, until very scorched on the outside.  The skins should be charred and black.  Transfer roasted chiles to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and let steam for 30 minutes.  Once the chiles have steamed, the skins should be simple to remove with your fingers or the back of a knife.  Cut the stems off and cut the chiles in half and remove the seeds.  If you have a gas stove you can also roast them on the flame, turning often with tongs.  Obviously this involves fire, so please, please, be careful.

5 thoughts on “Cook: Hatch Chile Salsa Verde

  1. What a fantastic (and familiar) way to use our wonderful green chile! May I ask where you sourced your chile though? We see a lot of “Hatch” that isn't actually grown here in the Hatch Valley.

  2. Thanks! I got my green chiles at my local grocery store, which is usually pretty good about selling produce in season (which can be very frustrating sometimes!) Last summer they had a huge promotion for Hatch chiles, with signs everywhere that said “two weeks only!” They hosted a “Hatch Chile Roast-athon” for their customers, but I missed that unfortunately. I bought the chiles used here pre-roasted, presumably from that event. I'm originally from Texas where they're easiER to find, and they tasted pretty authentic to me! I'm jealous you have them readily available!

  3. HEB buys most of their chile from the MA & Sons (a farm up in Arrey). It's in the Hatch Valley so I'm glad you found authentic chile! Our farm actually ships fresh chile for around 10 weeks and have our frozen available year-round. If you or any of your readers ever miss the boat at HEB, feel free to order from us at http://www.hatch-green-chile.com.

  4. Yes, Preston….you have fabulous chiles. I recently got the roasted frozen whole medium chiles and they would be perfect for this recipe. Had some this morning with eggs!

  5. Pingback: List: 10 Recipes Perfect for Eating Outdoors | See Hatsie

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