So many chiles, so little time. The annual Hatch Chile Festival is this weekend in Hatch, N.M., meaning the ultra-spicy, Anaheim-style chiles are plentiful.
Homeland stores have gotten in on the annual late-August Hatch chile explosion and carry them at most metro locations. But be aware that their availability isn’t permanent. They will only be in stores another week or two maximum. The green chiles of Mexico look as harmless as the long Anaheims to which you’re accustomed, but don’t be fooled. No, they’re not habanero hot. And they might not even add up to a jalapeno head-to-head. But once you’ve roasted, peeled and cooked these into a sauce, you’ll understand. Hatch chiles offer that rare combination of savory flavor and ferocious afterburn. Making green chile sauce takes a little work, but it goes a long way and can be frozen for months. The versatile sauce can be used to smother burritos, eggs, cheeseburgers, fried potatoes, pasta and anything else that begs for a warm sauce application. The sauce can be used as the base for a stew simply by adding cubes of pork and potatoes and cooking until both fall apart. It can be mixed into browned ground beef for a taco filling or into homemade gravy for biscuits and gravy you won’t soon forget.