How to Preserve Your Hatch Green Chiles

There are a ton of vegetables in-season right now: eggplant, green beans, okra… but our favorite by far is Hatch green chiles. Named for the region of New Mexico that they’re grown in, these peppers lend their signature heat-meets-sweet flavor to summertime meals.

 

Here at The Austin Artisan, we love using Hatch chiles in all kinds of dishes. Have you tried them in your grilled cheese? Incorporated them into lasagna? Or grilled up some spicy burgers? There are so many options, it feels wrong to only enjoy them for a few months every year.

 

If you love kicking up your dishes, or just want to have the option of enjoying good-quality ingredients all year round, then you should be preserving your Hatch chiles.

 

Heres how:

 

  1. Order a case of Hatch chiles—most grocery stores will take your order. Alternatively, look to warehouse stores, like Costco or Sam’s Club.
  2. Heat up the grill. In small batches, roast the chiles until the skin starts to blister and char. Charring is GOOD!
  3. Immediately upon removal from the grill, place the charred chiles in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Transfer the cooled batch into half-gallon freezer bags. (If you have a vacuum sealer, even better! It’s a favorite gadget of mine. )
  5. Freeze in small batches. (Use your judgment and freeze in amounts you would use in a meal. You don’t want to freeze a large block; because once you defrost the chiles you have a limited amount of time to use them.)
  6. When you’re ready to get cooking, place the frozen bag in a bowl in the sink. Run COLD water over the chiles until they are thawed. This should take about 30 minutes, depending on size of batch.
  7. Once completely thawed, peel the charred skin and remove the seeds. Toss or compost.

 

What is left will surely make any dish a knockout!
Some ideas:

  • Super Bowl chili with Hatch chiles
  • Thanksgiving stuffing with Hatch chiles
  • Anytime scrambled eggs with a little Hatch chile heat

 

Your turn: Let us know your favorite way to incorporate them into your meals, or better yet, tag us in a picture on Facebook! We’re waiting to hear from you…

My Latest Obsession

You know you bought a vacuum sealer; you just don’t know where you put it. That happens! A vacuum sealer is the type of gadget you put on your wedding registry or buy at 3am because you just watched an infomercial, but it’s not something you actually use.

We equate vacuum sealers with keeping food fresh, so it’s really no wonder why it’s seldom put to work. There are hundreds of other storage solutions from glass containers to Ziploc bags. But what if I told you vacuum sealers serve lots of other culinary purposes? Would you consider dusting it off and giving it a spin?

Lately, I’ve been using my vacuum sealer weekly—if not more. I’m kind of obsessed! Especially with summer on its way, I’m finding more and more reasons to break it out and create something unique and delicious. I’d love to help you make the most out of your sealer. If you don’t have one, might I suggest a little shopping trip? Trust me, you won’t regret it…

Marinades:

Vacuum sealers offer the perfect solution for marinating. Because the flavors are locked in, you don’t need to use as much marinade as you normally would. It’s also cleaner, as there’s no risk of it opening and spilling all over your fridge.

Compressed Fruit:

This serves as an awesome conversation piece at dinner parties and BBQs. Compressed fruit is visually stunning, plus you can infuse it with mint and other fresh herbs to intensify the flavors. Check out this compressed Melon Terrine. Your friends will be impressed!

Sous Vide:

Ah, one of my favorite cooking methods. To sous vide is to place a meat or vegetable in an airtight plastic bag and cook it slowly in steam or a water bath. This offers a healthy, even, elegant result. Vacuum sealing your food before heating it ensures that it doesn’t rip or open during the cooking process.

Are you as excited as I am to use your vacuum sealer? Let us know about your vacuum sealing adventures in the comments below or share a picture on Facebook.

PS: I wasn’t paid to write this. I’m just a big fan!

 

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