It’s that time again! The New Mexico Hatch Chiles have arrived! There should be a drumroll inserted here or some sort of fan-fare! This is exciting, friends! These gorgeous green chiles are grown in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico and are around for a very short season each year. From the beginning of August until about the middle of September they make an appearance and tease us with their intoxicating aroma and unique, robust flavor!
If you love chile peppers, Hatch Chiles are well worth the effort of seeking out! One of the fun things about Hatch Chiles, is often, grocery stores will have roasting events where you can find some divine inspiration (and a few extra pounds of chiles!) The Chiles are roasted right on-site and then you can take them home to freeze in order to use for the rest of the year! Thankfully, my friends at Melissa’s Produce share my love of Hatch Chiles. They, in conjunction with their grocery store partners, host national roasting events! You can find this years listing here: Hatch Chile Roasting Dates and Locations for 2015. Since I’d never been to a roasting event myself, I was excited to see an event being held not too far away from my house. Last weekend, together with my Inland Empire Food Blogging Buddies, we made the trip to Bristol Farms in Palm Dessert, CA to experience the amazing adventure that is a Melissa’s Hatch Chile Roasting Event!
This was the view as we drove up to the store! They had a large area roped off and two giant roasters were spinning away! The Bristol Farms staff was hard at work roasting cases and cases of delicious Hatch Chiles! You can’t tell from the picture, but inside that tent, stacked nearly to the top all the way around, were even more cases of Hatch Chiles!
Roasting Hatch Chiles 25 pounds at a time, takes just 5-7 minutes and the aroma that spread across the parking lot and in to the grocery store was tantalizingly delicious! Hatch chiles are unique in that they come in a variety of different heat levels. They are available in mild, medium, hot or extra hot! When shopping for Hatch Chiles, make sure you check which heat level you’re purchasing. Another unique and interesting fact about Hatch Chiles, they get hotter over time, even when they’re frozen, so choose carefully! For me, it’s mild, all the way!
Mmmmmm! Hot, fresh and ready to go! My friends and I bought a case to share, so we each came home with about five pounds of freshly roasted Hatch Chiles to freeze or use for recipes. P.S. I drove and it’s a week later, my car still smells like Hatch chiles! I love it!
Once inside the store, we were greeted with a plethora of delectable Hatch Chile food items to taste, cook books to look through, as well as gift baskets and even floral arrangements, all made with Hatch Chiles!
Kinda cool, right? Or hot. Depending on how you look at it! A little bit of Hatch humor here. Please tell me you laughed?
My blogging buddies and I had a grand time exploring the store, as each department had a featured Hatch Chile section. From meat, seafood, and cheese, to the deli and bakery, we saw so many delicious items to taste and buy!
We may have purchased a few other Hatch Chile items while we were there. It’s hard to resist! Everything looked so good! Are you inspired to attend a Hatch Roasting event yet? I know you might not have a roasting event in your area, but maybe you’d like to try cooking or baking with Hatch Chiles and want some great ideas? Well, I’ve got you covered friends! My food blogging buddies and I are giving away not one, not two, but FOUR Hatch Chile Cookbooks! To make it even hotter (More Hatch humor! You see what I’m doing here?) these cookbooks have been signed by the authors! While we were at the roasting event, we ran into our friend Chef Ida from Melissa’s Produce, who graciously agreed to sign the copies we had in our car! Thank you Chef Ida!!
The Hatch Chile Cookbook has great recipes, plus essential tips and tricks on storage, roasting and peeling of your Hatch Chiles! It’s one of my most used cookbooks this time of year! I came home from the roasting event inspired to share, not only this incredible cookbook with you, I came up with my own recipe too! This is what great produce can do for you! Inspiration and motivation to eat better, eat seasonally and make sure you have only the best in your kitchen for your family and friends!
Hatch Chile and Chicken Puff Pastry Pockets
- 1 1/2 cups fully cooked roasted chicken, diced
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 Hatch Chiles roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1 teaspoon Melissa's Hatch Chile Powder I used mild, but feel free to use Hot if you prefer!
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup Cojita Cheese crumbled
- 1 package 5" by 5" frozen puff pastry squares thawed
- 1 egg beaten
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm vegetable oil till it begins to shimmer. Add diced onions and cook until translucent, but not brown, about 4 -5 minutes.
- Add minced garlic to the pan and cook 30 seconds or until garlic is fragrant.
- Add cooked chicken, Hatch Chiles, Hatch chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and continue cooking an additional 1-2 minutes until mixture is warmed through.
- Lay puff pastry squares out on prepared baking sheets. Mine fit 5 squares to one baking sheet.
- Place one heaping tablespoon chicken chile mix in the center of each puff pastry square, being careful not to get too close to the edges. Add 1 teaspoon crumbled Cojita Cheese on top of the chicken.
- Lightly brush the edges of the pastry squares with the beaten egg. Fold the square in half over the filling to make a triangle. Crimp the edges of each triangle with a fork to seal. Brush the tops of each pastry triangle with the rest of the beaten egg. Bake in 400 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and very puffy.
For more chances to win those cookbooks and to check out other great Hatch Chile recipes, go visit the following blogs:
Good luck on winning a cookbook my friends! And enjoy Hatch Season!
*DisclaimerMelissa’s Produce furnished me with Hatch Chile products. They sponsored the giveaway by furnishing the Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbooks. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.