Have you ever had a Hatch Chile Pepper? If you have, you know that they’re grown and harvested only in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. They have a rich, earthy flavor, are perfect for roasting or grilling and they’re available only a few weeks per year, in August and September.
If you haven’t tried Hatch Chile Peppers or you’re a big fan and want to indulge in a few samples, come to Strack & Van Til for our Hatch Chile Roasting Events the next few weeks. Visit the store at 19851 Broadway, Crown Point, Aug. 15; the Schererville location at 1515 U.S. Hwy. 41, Aug. 22; the Valparaiso South store at 2168 W. U.S. Hwy. 30, Aug. 29; and the Highland location at 9632 Cline Ave., Sept. 5. All roasting events begin at 11 a.m. and last until 3 p.m.
“Hatch Chile Peppers are great for any dish that calls for any variety of peppers and are perfect for stuffing. Because of their limited availability, it’s a good idea to roast and peel them and then can them or freeze them for use throughout the year,” said Director of Produce Bob Hylka. “You can even pre-order them by the 25-pound case in the Produce Department.”
In the heart of the Rio Grande, Hatch, N.M., is often called the Chili Capital of the World. Hatch Chile Peppers were developed in 1894. when New Mexico State University researcher Fabian Garcia, seeking larger and smoother peppers that were better for canning, crossed several local pepper pods.
“Come and try the rich, earthy flavor of Hatch Chile Peppers at select Strack & Van Til stores,” Hylka said. “It’s another example of fresh, delicious produce made easy.”
Enjoy this recipe using Hatch Chile Peppers from thewickednoodle.com:
Roasted Hatch Chile Queso Dip
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium white onion, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
1 large pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups Mexican-blend shredded cheese
1/4-1/2 cup half & half
3 Hatch Chiles, roasted, stemmed and seeded, minced
Heat olive oil in a medium-size saucepan. Add onion and garlic; sauté for approximately 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Sprinkle flour over onion mixture, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk and continue to cook until thickened and heated through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add a large pinch of salt (a pinch is three fingers and a thumb) and freshly ground black pepper.
Add cheese and stir until incorporated (mixture will be very thick). Add half & half a few tablespoons at a time, stirring to incorporate, until you reach desired consistency. Stir in minced Hatch Chiles and stir until very hot. Serve immediately with bread cubes or tortilla chips.
Yields 6 servings. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 12 minutes.