Central Market locations in Texas and an assortment of Tex-Mex restaurants usually set aside a couple weekends this time of year to celebrate the green Hatch chile harvest.
Not wanting to miss out, I zipped over to the Central Market Dallas location last Friday. They had a couple guys out front flame roasting the famous New Mexican chile by the case. Inside the store were various displays of fresh Hatch chile that you could buy bulk. “A” list pods, I should mention.
Central Market is known for their in-house bakery, among other things, so I picked up some hamburger buns and sourdough bread baked with bits of Hatch chile. You could also buy hamburger patties or sausage with the New Mexico green goodness mixed in. Those I passed because it’s pretty easy to make your own at home.
I also got home with a case of Hatch chile that had been fire roasted an hour or so before. The inside of my car still smells like roasted New Mexican chili, but who’s complaining? I’ll have to admit that the chiles looked pretty ugly with a real good toasting put on them. But the outer skin slides off real easy.
You know the Hatch chile season is really underway when you walk into a Walmart in Rowlett, Texas and come face to face with long green New Mexican chile goodness.
What surprised me a little was the improved quality of the green Hatch chili pods over what I had seen the other day at a local Albertsons.
These green chile pods were closer to “A” list. Sure there were some small curly pods to avoid, but plenty of long, flat, heavy green chiles. The kind to take home to Mama Relleno, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.
Here is a quick and easy recipe for New Mexican chile dogs with Swiss Cheese instead of the usual Cheddar. I really like the combination of Swiss Cheese and green chile. It’s an pleasing pairing of flavors and rather mild since dairy products put a damper on the heat of any kind of chiles.
Here is what you’ll need..
1 4 oz can of chopped green Hatch chile. Or use fresh New Mexican chili if you’ve got it.
1 package of hot dogs. I’m using turkey dogs to keep down the fat content.
1 package of hot dog buns. I use whole wheat for the grains and fiber.
Swiss Cheese slices. Real cheese please.
Table mustard, regular yellow or Dijon style (optional)
Zap the hot dogs in the microwave. Apply mustard to the inside of the buns if using,then add Swiss cheese forming a cradle for the dogs. Place the cooked hot dogs on the cheese and top with chopped Hatch green chile, about two tablespoons. Place in hot toaster oven or return to microwave long enough to melt cheese.
Remove and enjoy! This is an easy and quick way to make friends with New Mexico green chile.
For me, there is something magically delicious about putting New Mexican chile together with Swiss cheese. Not just somewhere in the same dish or recipe, but right on top of each other.
Quick examples would include a burger with a slice of Swiss cheese top and and chopped green Hatch chili on top of the cheese. Or an omelet with melting Swiss cheese and chopped green chile as a hat.
Another unlikely but tasty combination is fresh pineapple and New Mexico green chile. In some parts of the Southwest U.S. pizza parlors (does anyone call them that any more?) or the pizza delivery chains offer up a pineapple and green chile pie on their menus.
If your part of the world doesn’t include green chile on the pizza menus you can always have a couple of 4 oz cans of chopped green New Mexican chile ready when the pizza arrives and throw it on while it’s still hot. Try it, you might like it.