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Hatch Chili Peppers (Merged Topic)


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My local chain had two bins of them.  One was labeled "hot" and and the other, 'mild"  Bought some of each and couldn't not tell the difference in either look or taste.  For some reason, the walls seemed very thin this year.  Just not as much meat on them as in years past.  Probably related to a local weather issue.  The first week they were .98 cents per pound.  The following week, $1.49 per pound. 

I wonder if they were truly Hatch chilis?  I got the medium heat--Big Jim variety.  They are on the higher end of medium hot and they are nice and thick.  

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Knowing the rep of the store, I suspect they are the real deal.  They make a big production of them every year;  Stuff chicken breasts with them and make several types of rolls and breads using them.  The only thing they don't do is to roast them and they are missing a great opportunity there.  Maybe those crafty farmers in N.M. think we naive Iowans can't tell the difference. Don't tell them but for the most part, they are correct!  I'll have to check out a couple of the Latino markets that have sprung up recently to see what theirs look like.  And I so agree about the smell.  If Glade had a Hatch room spray, I would buy it in a nano second.

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Now wait a minutes...those crafty farmers are my neighbors - really Hatch is just down the road.  Our rain has been very odd this year so we're finding all the chiles are more mild and smaller.  Its funny seeing the price differences though.  I get a massive bag, roasted, for $17.  Lasts me about 6 months.

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By "crafty" I meant skilled in marketing their product.  They have been so good at creating a brand that people like me and like Shelby are eager buyers.  And I have yet to be disappointed.  If they could find a way to email the odor of roasting peppers, the world would be theirs.

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By "crafty" I meant skilled in marketing their product.  They have been so good at creating a brand that people like me and like Shelby are eager buyers.  And I have yet to be disappointed.  If they could find a way to email the odor of roasting peppers, the world would be theirs.

Oh me too.  The FedEx guy that delivered the box said that his whole truck smelled like peppers.  

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Absolutely do not freeze them with the skins on.  From roaster to pillow case to kitchen counter, peeled, packed in freezer size portions, airtight.  At the restaurant I give them a light oil rub before freezing them.  Then rub your eyes accidentally and your work is done.

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These chiles intrigue me.  I can't say I've consciously noted eating them.

 

So I poked around and at the local "gourmet" grocery store/supermarket close by me they have it at $35/25 lb box stated to be available for pickup on Saturdays (pre-orders appreciated) during this period.  However, they do sell them loose at $1.49/lb - after I called them up.  I just picked up 9 nice ones which, serendipitously, came out at $2.00 even for the lot. :-) 

 

DSCN2601a_800.jpg

 

 

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These chiles intrigue me.  I can't say I've consciously noted eating them.

 

So I poked around and at the local "gourmet" grocery store/supermarket close by me they have it at $35/25 lb box stated to be available for pickup on Saturdays (pre-orders appreciated) during this period.  However, they do sell them loose at $1.49/lb - after I called them up.  I just picked up 9 nice ones which, serendipitously, came out at $2.00 even for the lot. :-) 

 

attachicon.gifDSCN2601a_800.jpg

 

Damn, the Hatch-Chile site wants $121 for 25lbs!

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You would probably faint dead away if you paid what I did for these, but I love them so much, they are worth it :)  

 

On another note, do you freeze yours with the skins on?

 

I think gfron1 wants the optimum fresh-roasted flavour for the restaurant and does all the up-front prep for that, but I bet lots of us just throw a pepper or two in the freezer, skin-on and un-roasted. I freeze peppers whole, diced or roasted, depending on time and availability. It's better to freeze them than leave them too long, I think. 

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You're right FP, but even before the restaurant I would process up front and just pack them in smaller bags for later use.  Just making this up but there is something to to once a year moment and capturing all of that essence and oil in your mind.

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We do something like that except tart it up a bit.  Add  chorizo, sliced black olives, some blobs of salsa and a bit of crumbled queso fresco.  

Usually just put the ingredients out and let everyone assemble their own.  Cool way to get rid of lots of odds and ends of leftovers and no two are ever the same.  Instead of Taco Tuesday, we have Mexican Pizza Tuesday.

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When I lived in NM some people roasted them and then tossed them into freezer bags--whole but not peeled. I used to do all my prep up front: roasting, peeling and chopping coarsely or just packing in strips. I don't remember seeing anyone toss them in the freezer before roasting. Seems like you would end up trying to roast some pretty damp flabby peppers once they were defrosted. Often now I roast my chile, peel it, and then dice it with salt and a little garlic, then freeze in small containers so I don't have to think about prep at all when I want to throw a handful into something.

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When I lived in NM some people roasted them and then tossed them into freezer bags--whole but not peeled. I used to do all my prep up front: roasting, peeling and chopping coarsely or just packing in strips. I don't remember seeing anyone toss them in the freezer before roasting. Seems like you would end up trying to roast some pretty damp flabby peppers once they were defrosted. Often now I roast my chile, peel it, and then dice it with salt and a little garlic, then freeze in small containers so I don't have to think about prep at all when I want to throw a handful into something.

 

If I was going to roast them, I would definitely roast before freezing. But I sometimes throw whole or diced peppers (of all kinds) into the freezer and they get used in cooked salsas, chilis, soups, etc. 

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Most folks in New Mexico roast chiles, then freeze them skin on.  When thawed they remove the skin and then use.  I now live in Texas but we still have an annual Chile Roast.  We roast 300 lbs. and there is no way you could peel and prep them prior to freezing.  We freeze skin on and leave the prep to the back end.   I will say the chiles absolutely have to be roasted prior to freezing.  Raw chiles do not freeze well at all.

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Raw chiles do not freeze well at all.

 

I'm not sure how you mean this. They do freeze well, but perhaps you don't like the change in texture or the inability to roast after?

 

I'm not saying it's the ideal way to preserve them, but if they can be quickly frozen, they lose less of their texture. They are still very useful, though they may not be used the same was as a pre-roasted chile. When I have extra peppers of any kind and don't have time to blanch or roast them, I find freezing raw still preserves them very well.

 

The University Extension food departments usually agree that this is a good method for preservation (though some do recommend pre-roasting, but I think this is when you really want to try and preserve some of the roasted flavour and not just the pepper) :

 

http://food.unl.edu/preservation/freezing-peppers

 

http://university.uog.edu/cals/people/PUBS/Food/L-5309.pdf

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of the problems with those claiming the chiles are bland (and please note in New Mexico it is "chile" for the peppers not "chili"), is that the commercial stores selling the chiles in August are getting an earlier crop that has not developed.  Traditionally in New Mexico, you would not really see chile season in effect until after labor day.  Central Market and Whole Foods bring in an earlier crop that is too young to have developed flavors.  Mid September is ideal. You want to see some of the chiles starting to turn red and that is when the flavor and heat is developed.  That crop tends to stay in New Mexico for local consumption.  My family is from New Mexico and, although now in Texas, we do a chile roast every year.  We have 275 pounds of chiles arriving for an October 4 roast.  It is a big event that requires weeks of prep with tamales, chicos (a rare traditional Native New Mexico corn dish with green chiles), posole, and all kinds of other dishes with red and green New Mexico chile.  We also do brisket and pork shoulder on the smoker as we are now in Texas with a New Mexico twist.  As we are late in the season, part of the chiles will be 50 lbs of fresh red chiles (fresh chiles that have turned red, but are not yet dried), a true New Mexico delicacy that is only available for about two weeks every year.  In New Mexico, you roast the chiles and then freeze.  Whether you are crazy enough to peel them all before freezing is a matter of motivation.  With 275 pounds, we roast and freeze with skin on.  When thawed we remove the stem and skin.  If interested, I can try to post about our preparation for chile roast over the next couple of weeks.

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Bobag87, I would love to see and hear about your big feast!!!  275 lbs.  wow!  That makes my measly 25 lb. box look very small lol.

 

Don't tell my husband, but I'm kind of debating whether to order another box......he will say we don't have the room in the freezer.....but they are sooooooo good.  I'm enjoying having fresh ones when ever I want.

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I lived in NM for years, and still go back often (maybe back soon too!). Shelby, I would never buy raw chiles.  The roasting part is difficult and they do it better.  For what you paid - I would expect them roasted, peeled and frozen shipped overnight!

 

Here's a recent Great Article

 

Anyway, Hatch has made a reputation on their chiles.  However they are not that special, except they grow a lot of them. In no way am I saying they are not good.  I stop there to get chiles when I'm near (though usually for red chile - green is easier to get at local farm stands or even supermarkets with a roaster outside).  Some of the best roasted green chiles I've ever had were from Colorado - the Animas River Valley. I've also had excellent ones from Central and Northern New Mexico.  Chimayo has famous red chile, but it's wonderful green too.

 

Also, there really is not a variety called Hatch, it's like Idaho potatoes, there really is not a variety, but most people think it's a Russet Burbank, but in reality it's any potato that is grown in Idaho, and uses the Idaho Potato Commission's trademark.  And I do go up (only 15-35 miles or so) nearly every year and get 50lb bags of Idaho potatoes, but usually yellow-fleshed varieties and reds (various varieties), as I like those better than mealy russets.

 

There are people claiming Hatch origins.  Even a company out of GA that has some sort of trademark called Hatch (which may get their chiles from anywhere).  So do get ones from known sources - and in this case local is easier to 'know'.

 

And you DO NOT freeze then roast: won't work.  Well, you might get the flavor, and it's probably OK for stew and such, but you won't get rellenos easily from that method.  I used to get them roasted, whole and freeze them. It's easier and they peel easily upon thawing.  But lately I've bought them peeled and chopped (no rellenos except a sort of erzatz version) and frozen, as they take up so much less room.  There is some debate whether the whole freezing with the burnt bit on them add more flavor - you could alway keep some of the larger peelings and put them in with the peeled peppers.

 

I would search out locally grown chiles and try them.  Encourage them to grow NM types!  I grow some here (Utah) and they are great. Just made rellenos too! But since I like to grow many other things, I don't grow enough to satisfy my needs, but I can get roasted ones fairly close now (from NM, CA, or TX).

 

The varieties I like are Barker,  Sandia, and Espanola. I might have Isleta Long in my freezer now - I bought them a the Isleta Pueblo store (hot and extra hot - they did not know the actual variety the day I was there). To me Big Jim is too mild; I consider it on the really mild side myself. I'm surprised they were listed as medium?  Well, some years are different, and peppers really vary in heat from year to year - so maybe they were adjusting for that. There are other varieties too, and new ones being developed.

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I kinda like roasting them myself.  I must be a glutton for punishment?  

 

This is the fourth year that I've bought the Big Jim's from this company and I'm tellin' ya, this year they are HOT.  I promise we are not weenies....my husband can eat the heck out of hot stuff and he had tears in his eyes after a huge bite lol.

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Have you tried growing them there Shelby?

 

NuMex Heritage 6-4: #41 may be a good one to try, it's bred for extra flavor, but there are others offered by the Chile Pepper Institute as well as other vendors.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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