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It’s that time of year here in Central Texas. That time of year that the smell of roasted chiles fills the parking lot of specialty food stores. YUM. Hatch Chiles are at the peak of season, and if you haven’t tried them.. you must make note of my recommendation and hop to it. They resemble a banana pepper- you know- one of those yellow peppers with a twist of tang rather than heat that is typically piled with the other pepper varieties in the produce section. I counseled a client a couple weeks back and made mention of the Hatch chiles and he simply replied- “I’m from New Mexico. We have those all the time..”
Well, alright then.
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Originally I was going to create my meal aroung these seasonal peppers, but when I actually got to the grocery and realized they were a tad too small- my Fireman would have to get a portion of 4 or 5 pepper halves to get his fill at our dinner meal. I’m afraid I would have to do the same- even though these two babies- now accounting for 1 whole pound each- prevent me from eating a normal sized portion of much of anything these days. I am stuffed to the brim just looking at my food let alone actually consuming it.
So, I decided on stuffing my other favorite pepper besides the Hatch- the poblano. Love these ones. I throw them into everything, making for an easy way to add spice and flavor without the actual pepper getting lost in translation (read; minced jalapeno). Salads, pasta, dips, bread- they go well in most anything you can think of- same goes for the Hatch chiles. I made Jalapeno Popper Chicken last week, and instead of jalapeno, I used hatch chiles. I made a few other changes (low fat cheeses, egg whites, and homemade taco seasoning blend) but it turned out amazing! My Fireman was super belly pleased.
I roasted off my tomatoes, onion, garlic, and chiles together while I waited on my quinoa to cook, so it wasn’t a serious addition in cook time for this meal- and I think the roasted tomatoes add such a depth to flavor to the dish. The peppers cook in a bath of tomato juice, softening the pepper shell and making for and easy way to get a bite of the pepper and the stuffing- because they go so well together, here.
Have you tried the Hatch chiles, yet? You should. They are awesome- and make your way to a store that hosts a festival in honor of the pepper- you’ll get a taste of all the wonderful things that can come of this pepper- plus, you know what this time of year means? It is almost fall. Fall is my favorite time of year. Love it!