Hello home cooks! My name is Chef Gabriel Candelaria and I am originally from New Mexico. I am here to introduce you to my state’s prized pepper, the Hatch chile. I love cooking with these peppers because there are so many different ways to prepare them. As most vegetables, Hatch chiles often become an accompaniment to a main dish. Today, I am going to make them THE dish.
The Hatch is unlike any other pepper that you may have tried. It is a sweet pepper with a touch of smokiness as well as a freshness that makes each pepper taste like they have been freshly picked. The Hatch chile is a small, slightly wrinkled green pepper that was developed in New Mexico in the early 1900s by horticulturist Fabián Garciá.
For those of you that are unfamiliar, Hatch chile season is a big thing in the Southwest. It is almost as popular as pumpkin spice season! You can often find grocery stores in the Southwest hosting Hatch chile roasts with large gas-fired roasting drums in their parking lots. It comes around just once a year and I think people appreciate the limited availability that comes with the season.
A little bit of background about this recipe. I developed this recipe for a national cooking contest sponsored by a large produce company. This entry took first place with over a thousand entries from across the country. I feel that it features the beauty and flavor of the Hatch chile pepper and the judges agreed! I am excited to share it with you today.
This recipe is all about complimenting and enhancing the flavor of the Hatch chile. With that in mind, I have included ingredients that will both work with the chiles flavor profile and bring a dash of color and excitement to the dish.
The main challenge when preparing this dish is making sure that you do not overcook the peppers in the oven. It takes a few minutes for each side of the pepper to be ready and new chefs can sometimes overcook the peppers because they are unsure if the peppers are done. My best advice is be vigilant. If you are really concerned, it is better to risk slightly undercooking the pepper because they will steam after they are taken out of the oven. If they are slightly undercooked, it will just make peeling the skin a little more difficult.
As for the stuffing, this is where Litehouse® Hatch Chile Ranch dressing comes into play. The corn puree and vegetables have their flavor enhanced by the dressing and the dressing helps to provide an on-flavor sauce to make sure each bit has that pure Hatch chile goodness.