September means peak season for New Mexico's favorite crop.
From mid-August until the end of September you may notice some unfamiliar bright green chiles at the supermarket. This unusual chile variety is New Mexico's famous Hatch chile, and we can't wait to celebrate the harvest all September long.
Hatch chiles have a meaty flesh, and can vary from mild to medium in spice level. They tend to pop up in abundance just for a few weeks every September, but these exotic veggies aren't so new to the Southwest. Hatch chiles are actually so popular, New Mexico has an annual Hatch Chile Festival every September to celebrate the harvest.
These chiles are a heartier, more flavorful replacement for poblano peppers or Anaheim chiles, and can be prepared in a similar manner. They are especially delicious in traditional dishes such as chile rellenos, chile verde, and chile con queso, but they can also add tons of flavor to salads, stews, soups, and spicy dishes.
The mysterious chiles sparked a buzz on our Cooking Light Diet Community Facebook page where members commented on their favorite ways to prepare the chiles. Community member Mary Martini shared that she loves to roast the peppers off when they are most delicious, and freeze them to save for a hearty winter stew or chili dish.
Here are our favorite recipes to enjoy Hatch chiles this season.
Our favorite way to enjoy the chiles is in a fresh salsa, perfect for topping grilled fish or with classic tortilla chips.
This decadent dish takes Hatch chiles three ways for the ultimate indulgence.
Swap Hatch chiles for Anaheim for your new go-to pork dinner.
Corn, shiitakes, and creamy cheese give a perfect backdrop to this chile centric dish. Be sure to swap in Hatch for Anaheim.
Toss Hatch chiles in this salad dish in place of Anaheim for a bright, Mexican style lunch.
Warm up this winter with a meaty green chili. Replace the Anaheim chiles with Hatch.
Poblanos are classic in stuffed pepper dishes, but give Hatch a try for a meatier bite.
If you’d like to learn more about the meals found on the Cooking Light Diet, visit CookingLightDiet.com, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.