Saturday, September 08, 2012
Hatch Chile Salsa
A bit more of the back story. I saw Hatch Chiles on sale at Whole Foods recently, with a sign suggesting they were good for grilling. So I picked up one up without much of a plan. The chile sat in the fridge for about a week, so I figured I better do something with it. It didn't take long Googling Hatch Chiles to realize there is a cult-like reverence for these peppers. The flavor and the short two week window in late August when they are picked contribute to the chile love. All the articles I saw mentioned the great aroma that comes from the chiles when they are grilled, and it was time for me to try it for myself! I only bought 1 chile this time, but the recipe could--and probably should--be scaled pretty easily. Hatch Chiles come with various degrees of heat, what I got wasn't labelled but I assume it was in the medium range.
1 Hatch Chile (medium spice)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 cup diced tomato--make sure it's nice and ripe!
generous grinds salt & pepper
First, preheat a grill to medium. Spray the chile with cooking oil, and grill on direct heat, turning every few minutes so it gets nicely singed all around. It takes about 10 minutes to grill. I simply set aside to let it cool, though other recipes suggest cooling it in a brown paper bag to make it easier to get the skins off.
When the chile has cooled, remove the outer layer of skin with a sharp knife. Start by cutting a slit down lengthwise, then grab and peel the thin skin. Gloves are suggested for this, or just be careful not to rub your eyes in the process! In prepping the chile, I quickly learned that the articles I'd read hadn't exaggerated about the wonderful smell.
Once the skin is off the chile, cut it open and remove most of the seeds. I kept a bit of the seeds, perhaps 1/4 of them or so. You can adjust the amount of seeds based on the amount of kick you want for your salsa--it's the seeds that pack the heat. After seeding, chop the chile flesh and place it in a small bowl along with any seeds you choose to use.
Stir in the remaining ingredients. Let it sit for an hour or so to let the flavors meld. Then you are ready to enjoy! It's tasty simply eating it with chips, and added great flavor when I served it on some fairly plan leftover baked chicken we had on hand. I plan to use the rest for tacos or burritos soon! This salsa had so much vibrant, fresh flavor, makes me wonder if I'll ever buy salsa in a jar again.