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Aug 28, 2008 10:22 AM

How to use Hatch chilies?

I've never used/cooked these? Do they have to be roasted first before using? Do you freeze the raw pepper, or roast before freezing? Can you eat them raw like a green pepper? Can you smoke them, like a jalapeno?

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  1. You'd rarely if ever see a New Mexican using a Hatch chile that hasn't been roasted: raw, they have a kind of harsh taste that's not particularly nice. They're much, much better roasted.

    The way to roast them if you only have a few is just like you would roast a bell pepper: put it over an open flame on your stovetop, turning every few minutes, until the whole thing is charred. Then put it into a bowl with plastic wrap, or a closed zip-top bag, or a tightly closed paper bag, and let it steam for a few minutes before stripping off the charred skin and removing the stem and all or part of the seeds.

    If you have more than a few chiles, or you don't have a gas range, head out to the backyard and fire up the grill, doing the same thing over the hottest fire you can get.

    You can leave them whole for rellenos or other stuffed applications, but what I do with them once they're roasted and cleaned is pulse them in the food processor into a sort of thick, chunky slurry, which I then freeze in one-cup and half-cup increments for use in various recipes. Mostly, I make green chile stew with them, which is one of the main things Allstonian and I live on in the winter months. Half a bushel of green chile gets us through most of a year, usually.

    23 Replies
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      That begs the question BFP, is this your preferred green chile for your winter warmer of a stew or is it just a case of it will do?


      1. re: Harp00n

        There is rivalry in NM between Hatch and Chimayo chile lovers. Like hard shell or new shell lobsters, I love them both! I got my master's at Univ. of New Mex on 100 lb of pintos and 4 (four) bushels of Corrales chiles. I dried the red in ristras (braided strings) and dried them and roasted the green on my grill, put in baggies and filled the freezer. Hatch is excellent. Super markets in Cal. will set up grills and roast the Hatch green chilies you buy for free. The Hatch chile is the predecessor of the Anaheim chile. I am so jealous. I wish I had access to a Whole Foods, $1.99/ lb is such a good deal. P00nman wanna put me up and I'll teach you how to roast chiles and cook 'em? You supply the beer. (Just joking.)
        Marco el chile verde hombre

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Why do I have red, ground "Hatch" hot and mild chile powder? You (and others), talk of it being green!

          1. re: Scargod

            Two reasons:

            1) Hatch is a town in NM known for its chiles. They grow multiple kinds of chiles there, including several types of green, as well as red. That said, they're most famous for their green, so the term "Hatch chile" is more or less synonymous with "green chile". To my knowledge, there is technically no actual "Hatch chile" variety (like habanero or Anaheim); it's more of a catchall of a small set of green chile varieties grown on the farms from the area.

            2) Hatch is also a brand name, known primarily for chile products. This is presumably what you have on your spice rack.

            1. re: finlero

              These are from (, in Tucson, Arizona and it says it is from Hatch, NM. This place has some great products. I've bought peppers, blue corn meal and posole, among other things. One thing that is great is that you can buy four ounce bags (at a good price)!
              They don't sell anything that is green Hatch.

              1. re: finlero

                Right on, Finlero. Here's where I get my frozen chiles from. You can see the different varieties, none of which are called "Hatch".


                It looks like they've started the roasting, which goes like this:


                Give them another few days and they'll have frozen roasted green chiles in all the varieties. It ain't cheap, but there is simply no substitute for the real stuff.

              2. re: Scargod

                The key distinction is one of fresh vs. dried chile. Fresh NM chiles are typically sold while still green (regardless of their place of origin), but almost all dried chile sold, whether in whole-pod or powder form, is from fully ripened (red) pods. The fresh chiles, being more perishable and time-limited in their availability, are the ones that people go crazy about at this time of year.

                Powdered green chile is somewhat rare, but in the not-too-distant past NS/S actually carried a green NM chile powder (and flakes too, I think). Unfortunately, I can't remember if that green chile powder was from Hatch chiles or if the growing location was even specified.

                1. re: hohokam

                  Great explanation.
                  I haven't researched this yet but some chili competition competitors use powdered green chiles. Not sure where they are getting it.

                  1. re: Scargod

                    No problem. I thought I saw a powdered or flaked NM green chile in the hard copy 2008 NS/S Seedlisting, but I could be mistaken. I'll try to remember to look when I get home later this week.

                    I've never really sought out dried green chile (until now). Looks like this place sells powder, flakes, and whole pods:


                    1. re: Scargod

                      I finally remembered to look at the 2008 seed listing this evening. Looks like NS/S is (was?) offering green chile flakes this year. They are listed as being from NM-grown, but not specifically Hatch-grown, chiles (see p. 10 of the linked .pdf file).


                      We have been big fans of the chipotle flakes as a pizza sprinkle; I could imagine the green chile flakes being great sprinkled on pizza, eggs, or grits.

                2. re: Passadumkeg

                  BMP & Mark,
                  Although they're probably a lot hotter, how do you think green Serranos would work as a substitute in this dish. I haven't grown them in a couple of years but when I did they had pride of place in the sunniest spot of my raised bed garden and grown in black mulch. These puppies make for a great chile. They are as flavorsome as they are hot.


                  1. re: Harp00n

                    Honestly, I don't know: I've never really worked with serranos. I'm sure it would be tasty, though.

                    1. re: Harp00n

                      The hatches are a more mellow heat. Serranos tend to pop with bright heat. If you can take it, go for it. I'd assume it will be much hotter and a tad harsher (not harsh from the heat, but from the flavor of the chile) than the standard green chile that NM/Tex/Col/Cal folks would be referring to when they refer to "green chile." But again, go for it if it sounds good to you.

                      1. re: gordeaux

                        Thanks gordeaux,
                        The reason I like Serrano so much is that they have more flavor. IMO, than the few chiles that surpass them on the heat index. As we all know, except for the completely testosterone driven, taste is equally important as heat to true Chiliheads. So I guess I'll be buying some Hatch as well and doing a straight "control batch" followed by a little experimenting.


                        1. re: Harp00n

                          I do like serrano a lot as well, but, it may not work as well in this application. The mellowness of the roasted hatches suits this cooked sauce well. I may be thinking of a different sauce than others, but in NM, and Denver, the best green chile was almost buttery with a backbone of mellow heat - never an overpowering burst of heat like a serrano can deliver. Please do update when you can conduct your test. I'm highly interested in what you think of the comparisons.

                          1. re: gordeaux

                            Thanks for all your comments and suggestions, gordeaux.
                            I will definitely get back to you on this at some point.


                  2. re: Harp00n

                    I'm a Hatch guy all the way. It's the only chile for green chile stew, as far as I'm concerned.

                  3. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    barmy, i make a mean chilaquiles with these Hatchers. maybe we could barter?!!

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      Hey BFP, can you post the recipe for your stew on the Home Cooking board? i would love to give it a try.

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          ha allst. and bfp,
                          thanks to the OP and your response, i've picked up 2 lb of hatches today, for chilaquiles.
                          I read your recipe. LOVE that word foofy. GREAT word.
                          th you!.

                        2. re: Snowflake

                          Here's my "chili verde":
                          and you can add potatoes later if you desire.

                          1. re: Scargod

                            Very good (and fairly typical) chile verde con puerco recipe. I'd reduce the amount of tomatillos and onions, but that's only my preference. BTW you should update your recipe to specify the variety of chiles (hot = Hatch, mild = Anaheim ??). I've had too much bad chile verde here recently made with mostly (cheaper) jalapenos.

                            By all means Please Roast and Peel the chiles first!! If you have a lot of chiles to roast, try this goodie:

                            I've just made a batch and like it best served with poached eggs on top of corn tortillas.

                            IIRC this wierd powdered green chile stuff was brought up in another topic. It must be a chili cookoff thing, never have seen it in California (fortunately). Go fresh or canned or frozen.

                      1. Roast and peel. I made a simple salsa the other day consisting of one mild and one hot Hatch pepper, seeds left in (I guess you could take them out if you wanted it less picante); one Roma tomato; two green onions; salt (to taste). Whiz all together in a food processor or blender. Delicious on ANYTHING. I'm planning to make a much larger batch tonight.

                        1. Good to see so many Hatch fans.

                          For bulk preservation/processing for winter supply, consider freezing the whole chili, rather than pureeing before freezing.

                          After blistering, stack four of them on a piece of plastic wrap, alternating stem to tail, roll gently to compress. No need to peel the char or de-seed; both are easier after thawing. Freeze these rolls, then place the wrapped bundles in the Master Ziploc gallon bag for labeled storage.

                          When it's time to hit the stash of Hatch, cleaning the char is a quick swipe with a paper towel over the four thawed chilis, and de-seeding is easy. Then you have the options of whole-chili applications, or chunked or diced or pureed.


                          1. Thanks for the loads of info! I'll have to go and buy a huge amount of Hatch. I'm told they'll only be at my local WF for another week or so (still at $1.99/lb-yeah!)... my neighbors are going to be wondering what's up with all the roasted chili aroma coming from my grill.

                            Would love that recipe for chilaquiles. I haven't had those since my trip to the Yucatan! Delicioso!

                            Gracias a todos!

                            1. I made my frist batch of Green chile stew last night. I had guest over for a casual dinner so decided to go ahead and make a batch. I usually like to wait until it gets a little cool but Fall is in the air so I decided to go for it. I did it in my dutch oven with center cut pork chops that I stewed for about 4 hours. It was soooo good. I made a big batch so I sent lunch home with my guest and have to big containers that I will freeze. I got my Hatch chiles fresh at Kroger's for $1.00 per lb. I had to roast them myself .

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Analisas mom

                                $1 per pound at Krogers.
                                Be still my beating heart.

                                I won't tell you how far I plan to drive to get them from Whole Foods.

                                1. re: shallots

                                  Where do you live ? We live in Dallas and they had them just a few days ago for $1.00 per lb.

                                  1. re: Analisas mom

                                    Analisas mom, I had checked your member page and saw your Dallas location, and sighed deeply.
                                    I'm talking to a Whole Foods a six hour drive away about buying a burlap bag full, when we are in the neighborhood mid week. Their price will have to beat the over a hundred dollars a box price for cooled airfreight from Hatch.
                                    And I really like the folks who own Hatch, we first met them when they were left without a market when the major name that used to buy their chilis told them that they were no longer interested.
                                    It's a long way for chilis to fly to east Tennessee. But, maybe by burlap bag....

                                2. re: Analisas mom

                                  Arrggh. Only upscale Whole Paycheck and Bristol Farms have carried them in my part of Los Angeles. Still a few available at $1.99/lb, Anaheims are the same price. Just bought my last batch.
                                  Hmmm, I'm smelling a fuel surcharge here. Now back to topic.

                                  Roasted chiles are always good on beef and turkey burgers, surrounded with melted Sharp cheddar.