It's been hot the last few days. Like, so hot that the idea of even moving makes me want to cry a little. And yet, in the midst of all the crazy hot weather, I somehow find the will to turn on my oven. My husband is pretty convinced that I am completely nuts. I actually stayed up really late last night working on some baking because I thought, for some reason, it might be easier. Instead, I picked the one night that it barely cooled off at all. So now I'm just hot and tired. Such is life I guess, right?
On the plus side, all of my crazy heat-inducing food adventures have lead me to this moment. This moment when I get to share with you the joy of roasted hatch chiles. Last summer, I noticed lots of roadside stands with wooden signs out front that said "Roasted Hatch Chiles". First of all, I had no idea what a Hatch Chile was. Second, I kept wondering why they were such a big deal. So when I saw the pile of Hatch Chiles inside the front door of my grocery store I jumped on the chance to figure out what on earth was going on with these things.
I roasted my chiles on the stove top in a cast-iron skillet. It worked well because I wasn't roasting a large amount and it helped keep the heat down in my kitchen. Yes, it still got hot. But not nearly as hot as cranking up a 450 degree oven would have made it. Roasting chiles on the stove is really simple. Just place them in a heavy skillet (no need for oil or anything) over high heat and let them char and blister. You may want to press down on them with tongs or a wooden spoon to ensure more even roasting. Once the first side is nice and toasty, flip them over and roast the other side. Done and done!
My conclusion is this: Hatch Chiles are delicious. They have a nice amount of spice- not too much and not too little- that works perfectly with things like salsa, chili, and probably countless other recipes. I'm pretty excited to expand my Hatch Chile recipe base. If this hot weather continues I'll be doing that by purchasing pre-roasted chiles because I CAN'T TAKE IT.
Also, I need and air conditioner.
I'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to share how delicious Colorado peaches are. I'm obsessed. So is Riley. We are peach eating fools. Fortunately, I can prolong the peach enjoyment by making things like this salsa. The sweet peaches with the heat of the roasted chiles is perfection.
I love this salsa with chips but it would also make a great accompaniment to grilled fish or meat. You could even put it on a sandwich. Yep. I totally went there.
Moral of the story: make the salsa. If you can get Hatch chiles, get them. Lots of them. Roast them, freeze them, can them...whatever. Just get on it.
I'll be sitting in a tub of ice until cooler temperatures arrive, just in case you're wondering where I am.
Peach + Hatch Chile Salsa
Yield: Four 8 oz jars
*Note on handling chiles: Use rubber gloves or ziploc bags on your hands to avoid getting the stingy oils from chile peppers in your eyes, nose, etc. Wash your hands very well after handling, with or without protection on your hands. If you do happen to get burned on your skin, milk is a neutralizer and works like a dream if you soak a cotton ball and place it on the area. For eyes, rinse well with water.
- 4 large peaches, skin on, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 an onion (about 1/2 cup total) chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 of 3 roasted Hatch Chiles, skin and seeds removed, roughly chopped (for how to roast them, see above in the post itself)
- salt and pepper
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 4 or 5 times to just combine everything. Don't over mix or the salsa will be more like soup. You still want nice texture.
- Season as needed with salt and pepper and extra lime juice, if desired.
- Transfer to jars and store in the refrigerator.