A local SF market is selling Hatch peppers, so I googled to see what could be made other than the usual stew, sauce, enchiladas, chile rellenos, quesadillas, chili etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m planning a stew.
First of all there are four varieties of Hatch peppers:
Mild: NM 6-4
Medium; Big Jim
Extra hot; Lumbia
The mild and medium are what is usually sold commercially and most recipes are based on those. Use hot the same way, adding heat for your own taste preference.
Be careful with the hot. I had some of those and they are blazing. I can’t even imagine what the extra hot would taste like. They even smelled hot when cut into.
Another warning. Until the pepper is cut, there doesn’t seem to be a way to tell the heat level. One local market mixed the medium and hot together … Hatch roulette.
A Chowhound poster said the hotter the better because it gets more and more complex. Therefore, New Mexico Chiles are absolutely the perfect Chile to use when recipes need a BIG chile.
To be called a: “Hatch" New Mexican pepper it must be grown in the area of Hatch, New Mexico. It is not a variety.
I read that in the late 1800’s a variety of New Mexican pepper was taken to California and that was the start of Anaheim peppers. So recipes that use Anaheims can be used for the same heat-level of Hatch peppers.
Because of the thick skin, the whole peppers are often roasted and the skin removed. The most common methods:
- In the oven or broiler until skins blister … about 7 minutes at 450 degrees
- Grill outdoors until skin blisters
- On the stove, use a heavy pan and on high heat, roasting for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally until skin blisters
From a Chowhound poster:
“Quick way to peel lots of chilis.......we roast them over the gas barbeque when we are cooking other things.........cool, throw in a plastic bag, seal and freeze........to peel, run warm water over chilis...........works every time!:
Peppers last longer in the freezer with the skin protecting them and the skins will come off easily after thawing. Bacteria can grow on the peppers, so they should be frozen within a day of roasting and thawed in the fridge.
Otherwise, put peppers in a plastic or paper bag and wait till they cool then skin and remove seeds.
Affinities: cumin, sour cream, cheese, pork, eggs, chorizo, tomatoes, garlic, onion, corn, potatoes
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