Quite by accident, I now have six pounds of roasted green chiles in the freezer. I say by accident because frozen yogurt for my hubby was the reason for stopping by the store.
Walking through the parking lot, piquant whiffs called to me like sirens (a beautiful, dangerous creature) luring sailors. Big tumbling rollers filled with blistering chiles turned slowly over the flame. I crashed into chile bliss.
In the world of roasted chiles, where spice and zest have a meet-up, Hatch is what every other chile wants to be when they grow up. They’re cultivated in the desert southwest, a place near and dear to my heart. Specifically, Hatch, New Mexico, where soil and sun and water from the Rio Grande beautifully collide to produce the captivating chiles. Sitting at about 4000 feet, the Hatch Valley has hot days and cool nights; perfect for developing the uniquely deep-flavored chiles.
Urban legend, or more accurately, farming legend, says the hotter the climate, the hotter the pepper. I just took what was available, and wow, I have some mighty toasty peppers. I’m not a heat index wimp, but oh my!
My son-in-law’s family buys them by the gunny sack full; I didn’t need quite that much. My six pounds will do me quite well, since a little dab goes a long way.
Last week I chopped one and added it to a mixed bean soup, along with onions and sweet potatoes. Minced chiles and roasted corn were stirred into scrambled eggs. I’m toying with the idea of mac and cheese with green chile and garlic. And while I love chile rellenos, this batch would sizzle in my mouth.
Yesterday, we had a family BBQ. I had vegetables from the garden that needed to be cooked up, so an invigorating side dish came together. Corn, zucchini, yellow crook-neck squash, onions and yes, Hatch chiles were tossed into a pan and charred in some olive oil. I finished it with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lime juice. Talk about urban legends and sirens luring.
I’m so glad we needed frozen yogurt!