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Hatch by the Batch: Buy your green chiles in bulk and store heat for the winter

The Food Dude shares ideas and recipes for seasonal green chiles from Hatch, N.M.
by Dave Cathey Published: August 22, 2012
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To do it at home, I like to toss the chiles with a little olive oil, which helps the chiles roast in a more uniform manner. You can roast oiled chiles either under the broiler, over hot coals or on your propane-fueled grill. Simply blister the chiles on each side, and store in resealable bags for at least 20 minutes. Skins peel off easily, then flip the chile and scrape away seeds. The membrane the seeds tangle within can stay as that is where the chile's heat resides. If you want the chiles at a lower octane, remove seeds and membrane.

These chiles will keep in the refrigerator overnight. You can also freeze them for up to six months if you store them in an airtight container.

Those leftover red chiles can be placed on baking sheets and dried in the oven. Simply set the oven to its lowest temperature and let the chiles bake until they've dried out and darkened. Hot days in Oklahoma don't offer enough consistently dry heat to efficiently sun-dry chiles. Dried red chiles can be stored in a jar or bag for months.

To make green chile sauce, I decided to borrow a technique I use to make Italian-style tomato sauce. It's a simple little procedure of sweating onions, garlic and grated carrot then adding the roasted chiles and blending. Since chiles don't have as much residual water as tomatoes and their heat requires a dilution for palatability, we add chicken stock to this slow-cooked mixture and allow it to cook low and slow as long as we can stand.

I've included recipes for a huge batch of chiles plus one for those who just want to make enough for dinner.

Thanks to our westward neighbors for growing these beauties, you can find them at Homeland, Crest, Sprouts and Whole Foods Market.

by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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