Trust us, you want in on this. Where to find the fabled green chile of New Mexico while supplies last.
If you’ve ever lived in New Mexico, or visited in fall, you know the smell of roasting Hatch chiles. When I was growing up in Albuquerque, semis full of freshly harvested green chiles from the southern half of the state would pull onto dirt lots, set up a mesh barrel roaster over a propane burner and start roasting chiles by the sackful. Dear God, the fragrance was everywhere: smoky, earthy, a hint of acrid char to it.
If you don’t know what they are: New Mexico Hatch chiles (never “chilis,” thank you) are related to Anaheims and poblanos, but better. They’re just more flavorful, even when they’re really hot. In New Mexico people put the roasted and chopped chiles on everything: burgers, eggs, pizza, hash browns, sandwiches, in stews and casseroles. In restaurants, burrito and enchilada platters are smothered in green chile sauce and then topped with melted cheese—unless they’re smothered in red chile sauce (made from the mature chiles) and topped with melted cheese—or, for people who just can’t decide, served “Christmas-style,” with some of both.
Roasted Green Chiles and Where to Find Them
Mollie Stone’s has caught Hatch chile fever, big time. Just today they put up a recipe for green chile S’mores, which sounds a little iffy, although the recipe for green chile grilled cheese sounds right on.
Mollie Stone’s is hosting several chile roasts, where you can buy 10- or 25-pound boxes of roasted chiles, at its Peninsula stores in coming weeks. Roasts are 10am-2pm.
Sunday, Sept. 10 — Burlingame
Saturday, Sept. 16 — San Mateo
Sunday, Sept. 17 — Palo Alto
You can order ahead, and you can buy Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook at the stores to help you figure out what to do with all that goodness.
Learn more about Hatch chile season at Mollie Stone’s.
Roast Them Yourself
This is easy and kind of fun. Nob Hill stores are all carrying fresh Hatch chiles, both mild and hot, this season. Buy a few pounds of them and roast them in your oven using the broiler setting or (better yet) over a gas grill, then let them cool in a bowl covered with a moist towel and a plate. After that, put on a pair of gloves and peel and chop them before placing them in freezer bags for storage. Maybe taste one before chopping; if it’s way, way too hot, remove the white pith and ribs (and seeds, while you’re at it, which are a little bitter but don’t bother me personally).
Here are some pretty good instructions on how to roast green chiles.
Be careful with those Nob Hill hotties! Last year I bought some Hatch chiles at Nob Hill, arrogantly thinking the California chain could not possibly know from its hot Big Jims, and made a blistering pot of green chile stew that was damn near inedible. (Add sour cream and serve bread when your green chile’s too hot. The sour cream should be full-fat, though; no non-fat substitutes.) My advice: buy some of each, mild and hot, and keep them separate so you can combine them at will.
Find fresh Hatch chiles at Nob Hill’s Peninsula locations: at 1250 Grant Road in Mountain View and 270 Redwood Shores Parkway in Redwood City.