How to Roast Hatch Chiles
Hatch, a town of about 1,000 in southern New Mexico, calls itself the chile capital of the world and produces varieties of Hatch Chiles from mild to triple-X, or tongue-blasting hot.
Most often, Hatch chiles are roasted and peeled before being used as an ingredient.
The following is a guide for roasting the chiles:
- Because touching fresh chiles can sting the skin, it's best to wear disposable gloves when handling. Select chiles that are firm to the touch and devoid of puckering, a sign the chiles are beginning to deteriorate. Wash well and dry.
- Place chiles on a grill and roast about 3 minutes until the skin begins to blister. The key is blistering the skin without cooking the chile. Alternatively, place the chiles on a flat cast iron skillet (comal) on the stove top.
- When chiles are blistered on one side, use long tongs to turn them. Continue until the chiles are generously blistered on all sides.
- Place in a plastic bag, seal and allow to sweat for about 5 minutes. Sweating loosens the blistered skin.
- Place chiles under running water and gently "pop" or pull off the stem. Use your fingers to remove the skin.
- When done, the chiles will be ready to chop and use in your favorite dish. Or wrap well in freezer-proof bags, and the chiles will keep for up to a year, or until next year's fresh harvest.