Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A last word on Hatch Chilis

Just like the summer slow and busy life is over, the Hatch Chilis are just about gone. 

When last we met we were talking about tasty Hatch Chilis, weren't we?  Before we break out the pumpkin soup and the chai lattes, here are a few things we learned on our Hatch Chili adventure first: they are chilis. I've learned to think of Hatch Chili season as the season of Chili opportunity, not the harvest season for one species of chili pepper. Here we go:
  • These long green chilis are all grown in one place, Hatch New Mexico. Hatch is not really the name of a specific variety of chili, more a range within a type of chili  (that would be long green)
  • When I talked to one of my friends, she shared that she buys and roasts four pounds of Hatch Chilis each year, freezes them and uses them in all the recipes that call for chili
  • Then I talked to another friend and: well, ditto
  • Because they aren't all from the same chili variety, they're going to range in heat level - taste and divide as appropriate if you're using now or freezing
  • And apparently, the variation in heat is just part of being a chili (my brilliant fruits and veggies officiando friend tells me the variation has much to do with the stress a plant endures as the chilis are forming. Hmmmm. The become hotheads when they're stressed? I love these chilis all the more.)
  • When you roast, you can freeze them with skin on. The skin slides off more easily from the frozen state
  • You'll never have to buy a can of Ortega Chili again. (Fresh is my favorite! And Fresh/Frozen is the next best.) This should bring me to a great recipe for chili rice and it very likely will in the week to come. 
Now I'm waiting for August like it's Chili Christmas!

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