Cooking with Hatch Chiles
So a few weeks ago you may have noticed a post on my Instagram about roasting 60lbs of Hatch Chiles. My good friend Loren from Chile Monster and I got together and roasted hatch chiles on a Friday Night. I know, we are some bad ass chicas.
60 lbs is a lot. We had 1 BBQ grill, and 2 bottles of wine and a new snack (I was playing with a Gluten Free Granola Bar that day). Loren had an early flight the next day, so I unexpectedly became the lucky recipient of a 60lbs roasted hatch chiles! (my boyfriend was about to have a mini WTH moment!).
I was asked to collaborate and come up with dishes using New Mexico's seasonal chile. As a chef, its always awesome to have someone want you to use their product. I knew that I wanted to do a traditional stew, a spin on my favorite Mexican dish, and a staple in my house for when I don't feel like "cooking".
So I came up with the following dishes:
Loren knows that I usually cook very healthy and use a lot of local and sustainable ingredients whenever I am making a dish. We both were excited to see how her customers and her Social Media followers responded to my dishes.
She told me that in New Mexico, some like to store their roasted chiles in the freezer with the roasted skins on until they are ready for use. So I went with that; something different than what I am used to. In all honesty, I was kind of happy she suggested that- because I wasn't' in the mood to peel 60 lbs of chiles all by myself.
So I came home and peeled 3 bags, The Hot, the Extra Hots, and the Extra, Extra Hots. (hey- that could be a fun 80's band tribute band name).
All these dishes were so fun to create. Primarily because I already had the hard part complete: the roasted chiles. The next steps were to make sure that I had the hatch chile base ready to go for the 3 dishes above. So I rolled up my sleeves, (funny, because if you ever seen me, you know I am always in cut off shorts and a tank top- NO sleeves on me what-so-ever!) put my hair up and went to work!
Check out the fun steps for the Pork en Salsa Verde:
This recipe came together nicely. It's like any stew, protein first, then veggies, the base, the stock, and the seasonings and cook low and slow for hours.
OMG, The smells in our kitchen that day was enough for us to be smiling as it was cooking. I knew, this was going to be a staple in our house from now on.
The first thing one must always do when making a stew, is to sear the protein. This ensures that the protein stays moist, and will become more succulent as it breaks down. To get a nice sear, (brown food is tasty- don't be scared) heat your pot on high and then add your oil.
Don't crowd the pan or else your protein will steam versus sear. This is the step that you can't ignore, ever. So hang out, and pour yourself a glass of wine, iced tea, or any libation you choose. Its only a few minutes. Once your pork is seared, remove the protein to rest onto a plate. From this point, you can add the rest and when its cooking low and slow, move onto the other fun dishes below.
In our home, we have pizza dough in our freezer pretty often. It's always homemade, sometimes I have a regular Gluten Crust, sometimes its a Yucca Crust. But either way, I always have it ready for those nights in which you just don't feel like cooking. I have plenty of those each week. (the downside of cooking for others- I am too tired to cook a grand meal for us- lol!)
What I like best about this dish, is a flatbread can be so versatile. I wanted to showcase the hatch chiles in a way that was subtle in a familiar dish. Fruit on a flatbread sounds funny, but BELIEVE me, it works on this dish. It's so good. I could of eaten the whole pie by myself (note: make TWO flatbreads).
Now this last dish is an ode to my mother. Growing up, my mother always made chiles rellenos for us. I remember how excited I got each morning when she would tell me that she'd be making it for dinner. It's my favorite (oh man my mouth waters just thinking about this dish). I don't cook much Mexican cuisine, so when Loren asked me to collaborate- I couldn't think of a better dish to make to pay homage to my roots, then the Chile Relleno. This by far was my favorite dish to make for Chile Monster. The dish speaks for itself, each and every time.
Whew! What a fun week I had eating these dishes. I hope you get a chance to make these. I promise they aren't too difficult to make.
Like what a wrote? Feel free to leave a comment below.
Until next time!