Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hatch Chili Season

So August is Hatch Chile Season, and notably the Hatch Chile Festival at HEB and Central Market grocery stores.  They sell pre-roasted hatch chiles (which I buy in bulk) as well as nearly any product you can imagine with hatch chiles incorporated: hatch chocolate truffles, hatch queso dip, hatch tortilla chips, hatch hummus, hatch pesto, hatch infused burgers and meatloaf, etc.  They also post a slew of recipes on their website that are inspiring some of my future hatch chile plans.  Since I'm new to Texas, I only learned about this hatch phenomenon last year, but I decided "while in Rome" and gave a bunch of products a try and now I'm hooked.

By the way, "hatch" is not the type of chile, but rather where it's from, namely the Hatch Valley in New Mexico.  Well August thru September is when these chiles are at their peak and they come pouring into Texas en masse.  The HEB stores roast these in giant roasting tumblers in front of their stores and sell them pre-bagged.  The steam of the hot blistered peppers in the bags helps to release their skins so they're easire to peel.  I also seed mine and then store the flesh from the chiles in ziploc bags in my fridge and freezer (I got about 14 pre-portioned bags to last me through this year)

In addition to the chiles themselves, I also like to give one or two of the premade hatch chile products a try.  This year it was the grilled salmon topped with hatch pesto (smelled heavenly) and the hatch flour tortillas which I plan to use with some beef that's been slow cooking all day in the crock pot to make some shredded beef and avocado tacos for dinner tonight.  My mouth is already watering.  As for the salmon, I put it on a bed of fresh spinach and arugula and topped it off with dill, green onion, some of my roasted hatch chile flesh, and roasted golden beets and baby fennel, with a homemade champagne vinaigrette poured over top.  It was an insanely good dinner. 

Also, headed to two awesome sounding restaurants for Houston Restaurant Weeks this week - RDG Bar Annie on a double date tomorrow and Max's Wine Dive on Friday - SO excited for good deals on yummy food!

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