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Keller chefs share Hatch chile recipes and tips

Posted Friday, Aug. 01, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Elote Mexican Kitchen

Justin Loeb, Owner and Chef

Justin keeps things healthy with this easy salsa verde that can be served with chips or atop chicken enchiladas and a Hatch Chickpea Chili recipe (page 26).

Hatch Chickpea Chili

Makes 6 cups

 1 cup dried chickpeas or 3 cups canned (about 32 ounces)

 2 pounds fresh tomatillos, washed and peeled

 2 medium-sized Spanish onions, 1 loosely chopped and 1 diced

 4 garlic cloves

 4 mild Hatch chile peppers, roasted (method follows)

 2 teaspoons kosher salt

 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

 Sour cream for garnish (optional)

1. If using dried chickpeas, place them in a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Allow to soak overnight, about 12 hours. Drain and transfer to a large cooking pot. Cover with water equaling twice the amount of chickpeas and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for approximately one hour. Check for desired tenderness, then drain and cool. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place tomatillos, loosely chopped onions and garlic on a sheet pan and roast in oven until they are soft and lightly browned.

3. Dice two of the roasted chiles and set aside.

4. Place roasted tomatillos, onion, garlic and remaining two whole roasted chiles in a blender and blend until pureed, in batches if needed.

5. In a medium-sized skillet, sauté remaining diced onion until soft and translucent.

6. Through a fine-mesh strainer, pour the pureed chile mixture into a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chickpeas, diced chilies and sautéed onions and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the salt, pepper and cilantro. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with more cilantro.

— 12584 N. Beach St., Keller, 817-741-3600, www.elotemex.com.

Grilled Hatch Salsa Verde

Makes 4 cups

 10 fresh Roma tomatoes

 6 hot Hatch chile peppers, roasted (method follows)

 3-4 garlic cloves, minced

 1 tablespoon kosher salt

 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

 2 bunches fresh cilantro, stems removed

 1 cup water

1. Roast Roma tomatoes over gas oven burner grates or on a sheet pan under a broiler until charred.

2. Place roasted tomatoes, roasted chiles, garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro and water in a food processor and pulse a few times until salsa is thick in consistency. Serve chilled with corn chips or heat and serve over chicken enchiladas.

Roasting Hatch Chiles

1. Turn on gas burner to highest setting. Remove stems from chiles and place one at a time directly on the metal grates over the gas burner, allowing the skin to bubble and turn black, about a minute. Once one side is well-blistered, use tongs to turn to another side. Repeat until each chile is blistered and charred on all sides. If you do not have a gas stove, place chiles on a sheet pan, lightly brush with canola oil and roast in the oven under the broiler. Flip a few times making sure they roast evenly.

2. Place roasted chiles in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. The steam will help the skin peel off more easily.

3. Use fingers to rub off charred skins. Slice chiles open to lay flat and use a knife to remove seeds and membranes.

Hatch Chile Caponata

Makes about 1 quart

1/2 cup olive oil, for sautéing

 1 onion, 1/4-inch dice

 6 celery ribs, 1/4-inch dice

 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

 3 medium eggplants, 1/4-inch dice

 3 small green zucchini, 1/4-inch dice

 3 tomatoes, skinned and seeded, 1/4-inch dice

 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar

 2 tablespoons sugar

 1/2 cup roasted, skinned Hatch chiles, 1/4-inch dice

 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

 1/2 cup capers

 Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch sauté pan over medium to high heat. Sauté onion, celery and garlic until softened.

2. Add diced eggplant and zucchini and sauté until lightly browned, but not mushy. Add tomatoes and additional oil as needed to prevent sticking, otherwise the vegetables may tear. Once cooked, remove all vegetables from heat and set aside in a large bowl.

3. Combine vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and reduce by half over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

4. While vegetables are still warm, stir in Hatch peppers, olives and capers. Pour the vinegar and sugar mixture over the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped parsley just before serving.

5. Serve Caponata at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator. Use as a topping on sandwiches or burgers, or as a bruschetta topping or part of a crudité tray.

— 1100 Bear Creek Parkway, Keller, www.kellerfarmersmarket.com.

4 Leches Cake

Serves 8

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 cup granulated white sugar

5 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups whole milk

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1 12-ounce can evaporated milk

Topping:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.

2. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract; beat well.

3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture 2 tablespoons at a time; mix until blended well. Pour batter into prepared pan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes. Pierce cake several times with a fork and let cool.

5. Combine whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk and pour over top of cooled cake.

6. For the topping, whip whipping cream, sugar and vanilla together until thickened. Spread over the top of cake. Keep cake refrigerated. To serve, place slice of cake on a plate and pipe Lightning Rhubarb Puree over top (recipe follows).

— 201 Town Center Lane, Suite 201, Keller, 817-741-5200, www.fngeats.com.

Lightning Rhubarb Puree

Makes 3 cups

2 vanilla beans, split

4 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and sliced 1-inch thick

2 cups sugar

1 cup red wine

1/2 cup pureed roasted Hatch chiles (roasting method follows)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans and toss to combine with all ingredients in a medium baking dish, including the vanilla bean skins.

2. Roast until rhubarb is tender and juices are syrupy, about 30-40 minutes depending on stalks’ thickness. Let cool. Discard vanilla bean skins.

3. Puree mixture in a food processor until smooth. Keep chilled. When ready to serve, use a squeeze bottle or pastry bag to pipe puree.

Roasting Hatch Chiles

1. Preheat a cast iron skillet to rippling hot. The skillet may be lightly smoky.

2. Lightly coat or brush peppers with olive oil. Place on hot skillet. Once the peppers begin to char, blister and pop, turn them. Evenly char and blister all peppers. If the peppers begin to curl up, use a pair of tongs or a wooden spoon to tap them out and keep them flat.

3. Place charred peppers in heavy-duty freezer bag. Fold the bag over and let the peppers steam.

4. Once the peppers have cooled, remove them from the bag and peel the charred skin with fingers. Cut the stem off with a knife and slide knife down the side to unfold and open the flesh. Scoop out the seeds with fingers or lightly drag a tablespoon through the flesh to remove.

5. Cut the peppers to desired size and use immediately or freeze for later use, once completely cooled.

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