The chiles are definitely delicious, and I love them in our house-made scones and in High Road's Hatch Chile Chocolate Chip Ice Cream. Hatch chiles also do amazing things to brownies, not to mention tamales, sausage, and salsa. So basically, I've got the Hatch thing down in all the major Texas Food Groups.
But beyond how they taste, I don't know much about Hatch chiles. Thank goodness for the Red or Green Chile Bible.
Here are some fun facts fellow Hatch First-Timers might appreciate:
- Chiles are legally classified as vegetables in the United States, but botantically speaking they're fruits.
- Scientific studies have shown that eating and preparing chiles releases your body's natural endorphins, which make you feel good. So your Hatch addiction is actually a good thing!
- Chiles also have properties that ward off viruses, promote blood cirulation, and weight loss. (Hmm, it might be okay, or at least less bad, if I eat my weight in chiles once a year? That's how I'm interpreting that anway.)
- Cooking with chiles—chile cuisine—goes back thousands of years to the civilizations of the Aztecs, Mayans, and Native Americans, making it one of the oldest cuisines on the planet.
- Green chiles are the fruit of the vine in its freshest state. They're young, juicy, fruity, and ready for anything you can throw at them!
Puts a whole new layer on why our Hatch and Cheese Corn Rolls are awesome, doesn't it?
My first foray into Hatch Chiles on my own was… well, grabbing a package of store-roasted peppers and calling it a day, to be honest. But then I tried my hand at two simple things, oven-roasting and sautéing.
The Bible says:
Oven-roasted Chile is as close to flame-roasted as you can get. Preheat your oven to 425°. Place chiles in oven for 15-20 minutes until soft. Then peel the skin and serve, or add to your favorite recipe.
Sautéed Chile is super easy. Slice fresh chiles in strips or chop them. Add 2-4 tbsp. of oil into a sauté pan. Sauté on high heat till your chiles reach the texture you want. You can add sweetener, spices, onions, beans, or rice for endless possibilities. I added chicken and more veggies for instant Hatch fajitas, wrapped in our Hatch tortillas, of course.
And now I can say I am in on the whole Hatch thing. Being late to the party is better than not showing up at all, right? The only remaining question is what else should I make? Luckily, we've got 100 Hatch recipes to choose from!