Down the hatch – Cooking with New Mexico green chiles

–By Jennifer Ruple

It’s green chile harvest time in New Mexico! Even though we are halfway across the country, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the celebration of these delightful fruits here in the Midwest. The most famous is the Hatch chile, which is only grown in Hatch, New Mexico. The small town, located in the southern half of the state, lies along the Rio Grande where its soil and proximity to water make the perfect combination for growing chiles. Fresh chile peppers come in many varieties and degrees of hotness. Roasting will bring out the depth of their flavor and tame some of their heat. The end result is a more mild, smoky and bold-flavored food that can be used in sauces, incorporated into stews and casseroles, or simply as a topping for burgers and breakfast burritos. If you have trouble locating fresh chiles in these parts, you can order some from The Hatch Green Chile Store, Or, if you must, canned green chiles are available in most grocery stores. Trust me though, there is nothing in the world like the aroma of fresh chiles roasting…absolutely addictive!