A “Hatch" New Mexican pepper it must be grown in the area of Hatch, New Mexico. It is not a variety. There are four main types:
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. Be careful with the hot. They are blazing.
Until the pepper is cut, there doesn’t seem to be a way to tell the heat level. Local markets sometimes mix the medium and hot together … Hatch roulette. For safety, ask for peppers from an unopened box. Better yet, buy a whole box. They freeze beautifully.
Choose chiles that are bright green, smooth, symmetrical, heavy for their size, mature and crisp
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
If roasting in a pan or oven, select peppers that are flat and straight to increase surface area exposed to heat. Chiles that curl up tightly are difficult to blacken
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.
Affinities: cumin, sour cream, cheese, pork, eggs, chorizo, tomatoes, garlic, onion, corn, potatoes More info and recipes can be found in this Chowhound topic
Not your usual Hatch New Mexican green chile recipes … Hatch vodka, pie, kugel, mashed potatoes, calabacitas, etc.