I have successfully burned through nearly all of the hatch chiles I was going to “save.” [shrugs] Oh well, the canned version will do until next August.
But before I give in to apples – and then pumpkin and then Christmas lights (because it is a slippery slope) – I have one last recipe using the mountain of hatch chiles that sat on my counter.
Hatch chile tortillas. [swwwooooon]
If you’ve ever eaten a fresh tortilla, whether your made it yourself or picked up a still-warm pack from the grocery store (I hope you all have this option one day!), you know they are so much softer and flavorful than the assembly line version.
And if you’ve never eaten a fresh tortilla? Well, let’s fix that now.
My HEB sells made-in-store flour tortillas studded with chunks of roasted hatch chiles but you can only get them during their Hatch Chile Fest, which is 2-3 weeks a year. They’re actually already gone and won’t be back until next August.
No worries, though. I’ve got you (mostly me) covered.
I took my favorite tortilla recipe (it’s the only one you & I will ever need) and infused it with roasted, smokey hatch chiles. And unlike the ones I buy, the smokey flavor – and heat, if you purposely (or not) picked up the hot hatches – is distributed throughout the entire tortilla.
Hatch Chile Tortillas
Homemade flour tortillas flavored with roasted hatch green chiles.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 heaping tsp salt
5 Tbsp softened butter, oil or shortening (I usually use olive oil)
4 roasted hatch chiles, seeds removed, or ~2 cans (1/2 cup) diced chiles, drained really well
1/3-1/2 cup warm water
Pulse the flour, baking powder, and salt a few times in your food processor fitted with the dough blade.
Add the fat and process until the mixture is uniformly-ish crumbly.
Add the chiles and then slowly stream in the water, just until the dry ingredients form a ball and starts traveling around the bowl (you might not use all of the water or you might need a little more).
Let the dough knead for ~30 seconds. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl, be soft and not overly sticky. (You can most certainly do this by hand with a pastry cutter, a wooden spoon, and your hands - but it will be easier to mince/puree the chiles first.)
Turn out onto a flour-dusted surface and divide dough into golf-ball sized portions (I weighed mine out to 2 oz each).
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
Heat a large, dry saute pan over medium high heat.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough balls into thin rounds, dusting the top with just enough flour to keep the tortilla from sticking to the rolling pin.
(You may have a few larger pieces of hatch chiles in the dough that interfere with rolling - just press those back into the tortilla dough before cooking.)
Lay tortilla flat in the heated pan and cook on each side for ~20 seconds, until the bubbled areas brown.
Keep covered with a kitchen towel to keep warm and pliable. Eat warm.
I made hatch chile ranch dressing. And then nearly had to cage-fight my 4-year-old for the last spoonful in the jar.
This is probably where most “normals” would back up and explain a back story that makes them sound more normal and less dramatic – and definitely less violent. But I have no back story. And quite possibly am farther away from the “normal” label than most of you guys think.
Because the over-dramatic 4-year-old mushroom-cloud meltdown that ensued left me with very few options, with cage fighting being closer to the top than I should probably publicly admit.
But enough already about my crappy parenting skills, right? I tweaked the world’s greatest jalapeno ranch dressing and subbed in hatch chiles for what turned out to be a pretty amazing green chile dip and dressing. One over which tears were literally shed.
So go roast those green chiles. Throw them in a blender with a handful of other things that we both know that you already have on-hand. Push a button. And then grab that bag of chipsbowl of salad bowl of chips.
Hatch Chile Ranch Dressing
A tangy, creamy homemade ranch dressing (or dip) flavored with Hatch green chiles.
3/4 cup sour cream or fat-free greek yogurt
3/4 cup mayo (I use light)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 small bunch of chives or 2 dark green onion tops (equal to ~2 Tbsp) chopped
Add sour cream/yogurt, mayo, lime, chives, half of the chiles, salt, pepper, and garlic to the blender.
Blend for 10 seconds, add the remaining chiles and chilantro and pulse a couple of times.
Check consistency and blend in milk if desired. (I almost never do this anymore but especially if you're using full-fat mayo and sour cream - the dressing will get pretty thick after being stored the fridge - you can always whisk milk in later.
The onset of hatch chile season means that the pot of beans I make for the 2-3 TexMex nights that are always on the menu get a green chile makeover.
Where I come from, you usually have three options for beans on taco night: refried beans, charro beans, and borracho beans.
Refried beans are easy, especially when your two-ingredient recipe calls for a can opener and a can. Charro beans take a little bit of planning and a whole lot of bacon.
Borracho beans? They also need a little bit of planning. But most of all? They need beer.
In addition to being spiked with beer, these beans are also spiked with green chile salsa verde and a hatch chile pico de gallo.
Here in Texas, Shiner has always been the popular choice for borracho beans. There are very few rules, but there is one thing to remember: Pick out an amber-or-darker brew from your fridge because, just like in all other aspects of real life, light beer won’t do much for you.
Hatch Chile Borracho Beans
Your favorite taco night side infused with green chiles and beer.
For the beans:
1 lb dry pinto beans, rinsed and soaked*
12 oz beer (medium/amber is best; I used a locally brewed jalapeno ale this time)
If you’ve spent any time poking around the blog at any point over the last 8 (!) years in late summer, you know you can guarantee three things:
1) Somewhere, I’m bitching about the oppressive Texas heat and humidity.
2) I’m hoarding stocking up on hatch chiles.
3) I’m planning my next margarita, usually with the current margarita in hand.
Never change, Shawnda.
So while your grocery store is boasting $.67/lb fresh hatch chiles, make sure you get in on the action. You need no special equipment – a pan, some foil, an oven, and something to protect your hands.
My seafood counter guy will gladly hand over a free pair of the food-service gloves that they use behind the counter. But when I forget to ask, or assume I had an extra pair when I actually didn’t, I can MacGyver some freezer bags and rubber bands into a clunky – but effective, considering the alternative – substitute.
2 lengths of foil, slightly longer than your baking pan
Gloves/Protection for your hands when peeling the cooled peppers (see above)
Sandwich- or snack-sized baggies
Turn on broiler and put your oven rack in the top 1/4th of the oven.
Line a large baking pan with one sheet of foil.
Place washed chiles on the pan in a single layer.
Roast under the broiler for 6-8 minutes, until blistered.
Flip, repeat (the second side usually takes less time).
Make the pepper is mostly blistered (larger sections of unblistered pepper will be hard to peel).
Remove from the oven, condense the peppers into the center of the pan and cover with the second sheet of foil (it won't be air-tight but it will hold the steam and heat in that makes it possible to peel the peppers easily).
Allow peppers to cool to room temp.
Peel each pepper, remove the stem, and slice open.
Use your knife to scrape out the seeds.
Dice peppers, transfer to a bowl for use within 7 days, and then proceed to put peppers in and on everything that doesn't move.
For longer storage, place in freezer bags (I use 1 cup portions) and freeze.