With cooler weather on the horizon, I’m taking full advantage of one of the late summer’s fresh harvests by cooking with the beautiful Hatch Chile Peppers I picked up at Heinen’s Grocery this week. Pick up more peppers during Heinen’s last Hatch Chile Roasts of the season!
Located right in the middle of the Rio Grande agricultural territory, Hatch, New Mexico, declared itself to be the Chile Capital of the World. “Hatch Chiles” refers to the five or six main cultivated varieties of New Mexico chiles. The most common is the NuMex 6-4 Heritage. It comes from a long line developed by New Mexico State University. New Mexican chiles have a short growing period. They’re planted in April and harvested in August and September. Because of their short season, I recommend roasting and peeling them to store in your freezer throughout the year.
Just a few minutes on high heat on each side will char these peppers. After charring the flesh, put them in a pan and cover with foil to seal them while they cool. Once cool enough to handle, you can peel them and prepare them for your favorite recipe.
To give you a side-by-side visual, I photographed hatch peppers roasted, peeled, opened, seeded and sliced. From here, the flavorful Hatch chile recipes you can try are endless.
Our 4PM Panic recipe this week is a quick and easy quiche featuring Hatch peppers and pancetta accompanied by a salad with a Hatch chile dressing.
Hatch Chile & Pancetta Quiche
- 1 chilled pie crust
- 1/2 pound pancetta cubed
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled and chopped
- 4 green onions chopped
- 1 1/4 cup Half and half
- 5 eggs
- pinch salt and pepper
- Prepare your favorite pie crust. Here is my favorite.
- Unfold pie crust and repair any tears with wet fingertips. Press crust into 9-inch deep-dish plate.
- Bake 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 400°F.
- Cook pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crispy, then pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle pancetta, Hatch chiles and green onions over crust.
- Combine Monterey jack and cheddar cheese and sprinkle over bacon, chiles and onions.
- Beat together half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
- Once mixed, pour the mixture into the crust.
- Bake quiche for 45 minutes, or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let quiche stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.
Romaine & Bibb Lettuce with Hatch Chile Dressing
- 1 cup Mexican Crema Fresca or Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup Hellman’s Mayonaise
- 2 roasted mild Hatch Chiles
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley (I like parsley)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 head romaine and bib lettuce, torn
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels, roasted or toasted in a skillet
- 1 cup assorted cherry tomatoes
- 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or Vitamix and process until the chiles, garlic and cilantro are finely minced.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Combine the romaine, corn, cherry tomatoes and avocado.
- Gently toss salad and drizzle with the dressing.
This dressing is packed with flavor. It is also great as a dip!
But WAIT! What about dessert? When time is an issue, don’t skip dessert. Just visit Heinen’s bakeshop. This week I tried their chocolate chip coffee cake. To make even better I added caramel sauce and a sprinkling of fleur de sel ( a sea salt from France that has a distinct mild flavor that makes chocolate and caramel sing.)