Sunday, August 16, 2015

Who can tell me about Hatch peppers?

On our last trip to Sedona (the one before the one we just got back from), we bought cans of Hatch peppers at Costco.  When we got home, I called around and discovered that Costco only sells them in the San Diego region, which sadly doesn't include Oregon. We'd been planning to stock up on our next trip, but it turns out that canned peppers are (maybe) a seasonal item and it's the wrong season. So now we're carefully rationing the last few cans, only using them in recipes that deserve the good peppers. Like white chicken chili and tamales.

Last week, I saw fresh Hatch peppers in the grocery store and did a little happy dance -- until I asked the produce guy and he told me they were local.  I left the store thoroughly confused and without any peppers.

Then Mom gave me a newspaper article that she'd cut out. The store is taking orders for roasted Hatch peppers and the ones they're selling really are from the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. (And they might want to educate their employees that some things are best not local!)

I'm not in the mood to can right now. Could I freeze them? I know I physically can, but is that a good idea?  Do I want to chop them up first or freeze them whole?  Favorite ways to use them?  Because if I've got enough to play with, I want to use them in everything!


Sally said...

I'm lucky and can get fresh Hatch peppers every year since I live in AZ. Getting them roasted fresh at the store is a delight (but I have my own roaster too!) You can either freeze them whole or chopped but you need to roast and peel them first. Be sure to wear gloves when peeling them after roasting so you don't burn your fingers, that hot chili can get you! Hatch chili are just 'Anaheim' style chili, but are hotter due to soil and temperatures. I've been to the Hatch chili festival and really enjoyed the green chili ice cream!

Linda said...

I roast the whole peppers until the skin blackens, remove the skin, cut the peppers in half or quarters - depending in size - and pop them into plastic bags for the freezer. When I want the incredible taste of Hatch peppers, I take out what I need and add to my soup, chili, or whatever I am cooking. Looking forward to seeing this season's peppers at my local grocery store.

BettyK said...

While living in New Mexico and working with lot of natives I found out you can freeze the roasted chilis either peeled or with skins left on. One old man felt they tasted better frozen with the skins on but bagged up smaller plastic bags of peeled and deveined chilis to make fresh salsa. The roasters will make a sandwich of the peeled chilis right while they are working, lol. You ain't had good food without making Green Chili Stew.

Bonnie I said...

I buy fresh hatch peppers at Fred Meyers.

Texas JennyWren said...

I do hatch peppers every year and have a whole carton in my freezer. I purchase them by the case and have them roast them for me. Then I go home and seal them up in my seal a meal or in freezer baggies with the air pushed out. I do NOT take the time to remove the charred skin before freezing. When I want to use them in ANY of my Mexican recipes, I thaw, which is very quick, then I put water running slowly and put the pepper under the running water and rub off the charred skin and take the top off. I open them out flat under the water to wash out the seeds. Then use them as you want in your recipes. Hatch chilis have a wonderful two hit flavor. Not very hot but a bit of a zing when you take a bit of the food with them, then it hits the back of your tongue when you swallow with a warm yummy flavor. They are NOT overly spicey. WE LOVE THEM. If you have any questions, contact me, ok? I have lots of recipes we use.

VickiT said...

I am a pretty good cook with many years experience, BUT, I've never been to New Mexico so that may be why I've never heard of them. They must be good though because you sound like you REALLY want some. LOL

I just did one quick search and found they actually have a very nice website which you might want to check out. They have recipes and all sorts of information there, AND they ship anywhere in the United States FREE with a minimum purchase, which I think said 5 lbs. Because they are the grower and have such a great information on their site, you might want to consider emailing them to ask about freezing. I wouldn't be surprised if they had the exact information you are hoping to find, whether it will work or not.

Here's the site I just found

Good luck!


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