If you like Hatch chile’s, August and September are the only months you’ll find them in stores. And most of the stores have Hatch chile roasting events, so you don’t have to roast them yourselves!
Of course you can roast Hatch chile’s yourself, and that’s a pretty cool thing to do. But, thanks to Melissa’s Produce, there are roasting events around the country that you can go to, and they’ll do the roasting for you. (In their 600 degree roasters, no less!)
Hatch Chile’s are only available for a few months at the end of summer because there is only one place in the world that grows these: the Village of Hatch, in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. If you can’t make it to their annual Hatch Chile Festival during Labor Day weekends, then check out Melissa’s Produce Hatch Roasting schedule to find out when they are roasting in your neighborhood.
We’ve always roasted up our own Hatch’s, but I thought I’d check out one of the events this year, and it was pretty cool to be part of. Everyone was super friendly, had advice on how to freeze and prepare your Hatch’s and it just felt like a small town community event, which I love. Also, you don’t have to have them roast all of your chiles. You can have the roasters pull some out and have them fresh too. The only other thing to tell these guys? Hot or mild!
If you plan on going to a roasting, here’s what to do with your box of Hatch’s when you get home: Let them sit in the plastic bag they are in for awhile, letting the steam naturally loosen the blistered, charred skin. There will be a bunch of liquid at the bottom of your bag from the steam, but that won’t effect anything. Once they have cooled down, you’ll want to separate them out into freezer baggies, about 8-10 in a bag. You have two options at this point: you can peel the charred skin off and de-seed before freezing, or you can freeze them and when you take your individual bags out, you can then remove the skin and seeds once they’re defrosted. And I would suggest wearing some plastic gloves if you have them. The chiles have oils that you really don’t want on your hands if you can help it.
Because these chiles are only available for a short window of time, getting a huge batch and freezing them will allow you to enjoy Hatch’s all year round. Need some ideas on how to use your Hatch chile’s in recipes? Make sure to grab some of the recipe cards they have at the roasting booths. And here are a few of my favorites I’ve made recently: