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2010: Hatch Chile Peppers are Back

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The Hatch Peppers are back.

I'll get down to the nitty gritty of roasting and freezing the 15 pounds I put up each year later but I need to know who's cooking with Hatch Chiles right now?

What restaurants are running Hatch powered dishes on their menus?

Where are you procuring your Hatch Chiles?

They're in abundance at Fiesta for $1.29 and I figure that price will hold steady for a week or so before it drops.

My initial mini batch of 5 pounds I roasted a couple days ago are almost gone. I know there are 4 main types and I reckon I must have gotten the ones called Sandia as they were good and hot.

Word on the chile pepper forums is that this is the spiciest year for Hatch in some time.

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  1. Chef,
    I picked up 2lbs Friday and roasted them. I hope they get better looking, I really had to pick through the first batch from Central Market.

    I froze them in 1/4lbs bags. I cooked with them Saturday and Today. Today I added to my eggs in tacos, on a burger today for lunch and then diced up with avacado, pineapple, onion and cilantro over tilapia.

    Mine have NOT been hot at all?

    -----
    Central Market
    4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

    1. having just come back from HEB, they have them for the same price as fiesta.
      and, of course, they have lots of hatch related items such as savory scones in the freezer section, etc.
      other than that, they don't have a lot of fresh stuff (bakery items, etc.).

      chuy's is the only place i know that does hatch seasonal dishes but i'm not a fan of chuy's overall.

      1. I think you're coming in kinda late in the season. They've been on sale for about 3 weeks now. Every place in town seems to be selling them for $1.29/lb.

        Chuy's always does a hatch theme around now.
        http://www.chuys.com/documents/gcfinf...

        According to that, the season is going to last another 3 weeks. <shrug> I thought it was almost over. So what do I know.

        -sw

        1. I made a chicken/chile beer-cheese soup last night and was VERY disappointed in the lack of heat and flavor I got from the hatch chiles at HEB Far West. Tasted like bell pepper at best. bummer.

          1. Green chile season is one of the few things that makes August in Austin bearable for me.

            Here are some words from earlier in the season by a Statesman blogger.

            http://www.austin360.com/blogs/conten...

            I've noticed Whole Foods has lowered their prices for the raw chiles to .99/lb (when is the last time Whole Foods is cheaper than HEB or Fiesta?). They also seem them roasted at some high price. I had some from there and the mild were quite hot. Whole Foods has upped their prepared Green Chile game in the last week and I've heard a report the green chile pizza is good. I've not liked their green chile prepared burgers in the past.

            Central Market is the place for green chiles in season. It sounds like they spill some of the products over to HEB. In their meat department alone there are 15-20 choices. Hot and mild burgers with and without cheese (I like the hot burger). Hot and mild marinated chicken breasts (surprisingly good), GC tamale stuffed pork tenderloin (too bland), stuffed pork chops, sausges, etc. You'll also find the GC scones, GC cheddar bread, GC mac & cheese elsewhere in the store. One tempting choice I've been in eying was a GC rotisserie chicken.

            Green Chile Fest at Chuy's is pretty much the only reason to ever go there (it starts today). I usually make it there about 4 times during those three weeks. The past couple of years have been unfortunately lousy with limited green chiles, but this year's abundance augurs well for a resurgence. Often the GC dessert is the most interesting option. I've find memories of the green chile cheesecake and carmalized green chile brownie with ice cream.

            I think Z'Tejas sometimes does a green chile menu but I don't go there often to know.

            I had a green chile, sweet potato, and black bean soup at Braise the other night that was pretty good but nothing spectacular. I also think I remember seeing a green chile dish at a Bess brunch recently but I don't fully remember the details.

            -----
            Central Market
            4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745

            3 Replies
            1. re: Carter B.

              Was it maybe three years ago that Chuy's did this amazing hatch chile sauce they served with the chips? It was so very good and we begged them to add it as a regular, but alas I've never seen it since...

              1. re: amysuehere

                Let's not forget Poodies out in Spicewood. Poodie's gone but this was one of the first places in the region that featured Hatch peppers on the menu. Their website trumpets a 5 dollar burger special right now.

                1. re: amysuehere

                  The blog link above hints at this from Chuy's: You can also buy the spicy Hatch green chile sauce in the stores ($6.39 for 16 ounces, $11.59 for 32 ounces).

                  So perhaps it is back?

              2. Uggh. I was born and raised in texas, but I have no tolerance for spicy stuff. What annoys me is that during hatch season, all the grocery stores have ONLY hatch items. For instance, the other day I went to Central Market to pick up some cranberry orange scones, only to find that the only flavor they had was hatch chile. Why can't they continue to carry there normal products!?

                -----
                Central Market
                4001 N Lamar Blvd # 100, Austin, TX

                2 Replies
                1. re: shalom9

                  Fiesta has the last of this years Hatch harvest at .99 cents a pound right now.

                  1. re: scrumptiouschef

                    They were .89/lb at CM North when I was there the other day.

                2. Got a batch at Whole Foods the other day for .99/lb. Advertised as 'hot', and they are - about as hot as serranos. Advisable to wear gloves during the peeling/seeding process (I didn't and my fingers were burning for hours afterward).

                  On a related note, I usually roast and skin my own peppers, using high heat on the gas grill. This time around I decided to short-cut it, and do them while I was cooking a rack of ribs. So I'm repeating myself when I say that the temperature on the grill was low. They seemed to blacken and blister up pretty well, just took considerably longer than when on high heat. And yes, they do have to blacken and blister pretty much all over, or the skins will not come off. However, this is not recommended: the longer cooking time dries out the flesh way more than a quick charring, to the point where much of it is unusable - just a dried-out bit of flesh that re-adheres to the skin. So Hatches are not ribs, don't cook them the same way.

                  What I did manage to peel and use are delicious, if a bit hotter than the average Hatch.

                  1. We hit Chuy's GCF on Sunday. Disappointing. The Tres Verde enchilidas was more like the macho burritto. There was no green chile salsa. The fish special and the chicken tinga app had no discernable green chiles. No special dessert. What used to be a highlight is no longer worth visiting.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Carter B.

                      and this is why i no longer visit chuy's since the buy-out.
                      the quality of the general menu and the lackluster specials just make it pointless for me.
                      and for the record, the annual hatch chile menu was one of my old faves.

                      1. re: dinaofdoom

                        buy-out?
                        Did i miss something?

                        1. re: TroyTempest

                          oh, chuy's was bought out a while back.
                          late 2007? early 2008? i can't recall exactly.
                          when the management changed, so did the grade of meat and cheese, along w/ other things.
                          the quality was noticeably different to me so i stopped going.