Warning: super concentrated Hatch flavor lies ahead!
Yes, it's that time of year so keep an eye out for fresh Hatch chiles in your local markets. If you're new to them here's what a few pounds worth looks like:
They look similar to Anaheims, but Hatch chiles have a unique flavor that's generated in the Hatch valley of New Mexico. So yes, to officially be a Hatch you must be hatched in Hatch.
Once roasted they'll have a sweet, rustic, almost buttery flavor that has made them quite popular amongst chiliheads.
Note that Hatch chiles are known more for their flavor than their heat. Here's where they stack up in the Scoville Scale:
The two Hatch varieties in the above pic are the ones you'll frequently come across in grocery stores: Big Jim and Sandia. They have similar flavor but the Sandia variety is usually hotter.
I'm using the Big Jim Hatch variety for today's Salsa and since these are relatively tame chiles we'll be using 4-5 of them as the base. Here's what they look like after roasting for 25 minutes.
Sure, you can roast these on the grill or over open flame, but the oven is the easiest and that's what I usually do -- 400F for 20-30 minutes. Not pictured is the delightful smell of roasted Hatch chiles filling up your home.
See how the skins are puffing up?
You can peel off and discard the skin if it comes off readily, but don't worry about getting rid of every last bit as it won't affect the flavor too much.
You can also get rid of the stems and seeds at this point. Some tips on handling hot chili peppers.
We'll add the chile pieces to a blender along with:
1-2 roasted plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
6-8 sprigs cilantro (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
splash of water
I usually start with one tomato, blend, and then do some taste testing.
To keep the Hatch flavor at the forefront we're adding the absolute minimum of additional ingredients. I only used one tomato for this batch as I am a sucker for a big, bold roasted chile flavor.
And even though these chiles are relatively mild you'll still get some zip because we are using so many of them. If you prefer things on the milder side then consider roasting all of them but only adding in 2-3 to start with -- then blend together, taste test, and add more if you want.
You'll get a bowl full of roasted chile goodness and it's a great introduction to Hatch chiles.
It'll be warm out of the blender and I definitely prefer it that way, so if you are re-using some leftovers I would consider giving them a simmer before serving.
Okay, keep an eye out for some Hatch chiles in your local markets over the next few weeks. Yes, you can usually find frozen, roasted Hatch chiles in today's freezer aisles, but it's definitely worth roasting your own if the opportunity arises.
I'll put up a Hatch Enchilada recipe over the next couple weeks so keep an eye out for that one. Happy Hatch hunting!
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Roasted Hatch Chile Salsa
- 4-5 Hatch green chiles
- 1-2 plum tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 onion
- 5-6 sprigs cilantro (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- splash of water
- Start by giving the Hatch chiles and tomatoes a good rinse. Roast the tomatoes and chiles in a 400F oven for 20-30 minutes.
- De-stem and de-seed the roasted chiles. You can also pull off and discard any loose bits of skin from the chiles. De-stem the tomatoes as well.
- Add the chile pieces and one of the tomatoes to a blender along with 2 peeled garlic cloves, 1/4 onion (I used white onion), 5-6 sprigs of cilantro (optional), 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a splash of water. Combine well. You can optionally add the second roasted tomato, I only used one for this batch to keep the Hatch flavor at the forefront.
- Take a final taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. You can also add another splash of water if you want it a bit thinner.
- Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Got more Hatch chiles on hand? How about making a batch Hatch Enchiladas?
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I believe you can pressure can most salsas -- not waterbath, though, unless you use a *specifically approved recipe* containing the right amount of acid/vinegar for a shelf stable product (I suggest Ball or Amish canning books for some ideas). Do some research on pressure canning salsas; I have personally only water-bathed specific recipes but would love to try pressure canning some of this myself! Going to be making a batch for fresh eating today! Hope that helped...
Thanks for the tips Amanda! Cheers.
Is it possible to can this salsa!?! I love making salsa in the summer to ear in the Fall and Winter! HEB will carry the Hatch peppers.
Hi Barbara! Sorry I can't give a better answer but I haven't tried any long term preserving with this Salsa yet. Cheers.
Just made my first batch of hatch chili salsa and will have to make more now that we are all done sampling . . . it is soooooo full of flavor and delicious no one could stop sampling it! I threw the garlic and onions in the broiler also, just to keep everything together, taking the pieces out as they finished. I did not add the extra water because my tomatoes were very juicy. I can't wait to have some on my eggs next time . . . I am a salsa fanatic and would eat it with everything if I could, just like some people use ketchup --- yuk! Thanks Patrick! Keep the recipes coming, I love making them!
Ahh that's good news! Thanks much for mentioning your adjustments Melody. Cheers.
No chile I've tasted can match the flavor of Hatch's wonderful chiles. I've been freezing about 100 pounds of them for year round enjoyment for years.
100 pounds that's no joke! Six months down the road is their flavor similar or close enough to fresh ones?
Yesterday I roasted an froze 5 pounds. Making the salsa today.
Went to several stores even a Mexican Supermarket and no hatch chilies. I found some Anehiem so I bought those and I used red onion. Also added a quarter jalapeno. It was really good but I did order some Hatch chilies online so can't wait to see the difference.
Local Trader Joe's in Santa Cruz, Ca, has Hatch chiles at this time of year! Not a bad price, either.
Anyway, made this salsa a couple days ago. It is absolutely great. Thanks, Patrick for the wonderful website.
My mexican cooking game is improving!
Ahh thanks for mentioning that Ken, good to know. Cheers.
We always stop in Hatch NM on the way to (or from) AZ from Colorado and load up on Big Jim's for Rellenos and Green Chili stew etc.
I roasted chili's this weekend and froze them for later and will give your salsa a try!
By the way, if you're ever in Hatch NM you must go to The Pepper Pot restaurant, muy delicioso!
Ahh good to know Al, will give that place a try. Cheers.
I love Hatch Chilis but its been my experience that they only come from the Hatch company and they are very expensive. Do you have any other sites to go to for less expensive?
Hi Vicki! Yeah to be a Hatch they need to come from the Hatch region of New Mexico. There are a few companies in that area that ship fresh Hatch chiles but the ones I'm familiar with are quite spendy. If I find anything more economical I will add it to this post. Cheers.
If you put in a request with your local produce retailer they will get them for you. Might be a bit spendy but what you save on shipping is a major savings. Roast your own on the BBQ then freeze in bags, whole, un peeled for the rest of the year.
Hey Elayne! Thanks for mentioning this, I'd be curious to see what they would charge.
Oh my gosh; I can already taste this salsa! Will be making it this weekend, for sure!
My brother just bought a 25# bag of Hatch chiles, so will spend my weekend roasting chiles while the football games are on.
After roasting the chiles, I use my vacuum sealer, then freeze in 1# bags. Hatch chiles year round!
25 pounds of Hatch chiles Esther, so awesome! Will probably try that at some point. Cheers.