Yes, I know there has been an empty seat at The Table for a couple of weeks – between two trips, a new job and getting my oldest off to school it seems I haven’t had a spare moment to think let alone cook – and it has made me just a little crazy!!!!
So the other night I actually had a little time to cook…. and with a refrigerator full of Hatch Chiles from Melissa’s Produce I was itching to get into the kitchen!!!
But first.. I needed a DRINK!
Lately, I’ve seen a few jalapeno infused drinks on menus and I thought “Hmm… what about using Hatch Chiles to infuse a drink?”
So, I decided to find out.
And I liked it… a lot.
In thinking about this drink, two different approaches came to mind. One entailed steeping the Hatch chiles in my “spirit of choice” and the other was to muddle the Hatch chile with the drink ingredients. Since it was going on 5PM I opted for the latter (not having the time to wait for the first because as I said, “I needed a drink!”). So I muddled.
And created what can best be termed a “version” of a margarita on the rocks. (Yes, I know I am stretching the term here a bit but all the creative “juices” went into the creation of this drink and not the nomenclature…).
The flavor of the Hatch chiles was subtle and I definitely think the flavor would be more pronounced if the chiles were steeped in say, tequila or vodka. Started a batch steeping so when it’s ready I will let you know!
Speaking of Hatch chiles did you know we are right in the middle of the season??? In case you missed it, it IS Hatch chile season right now!!!
Related to the Anaheim chile, Hatch chiles are only grown in Hatch, New Mexico. The warm days, cooler nights and volcanic soil of Hatch, New Mexico infuse these chiles with a floral, herbacious note giving them a lovely, rounded flavor with just the right amount of heat without the bitterness that many other chiles have. They are a bit meatier than other chiles which makes them easier to roast and skin and once roasted you can freeze Hatch chiles to enjoy all year – which is good since their season is very short!!!
Even though these wonderful chiles are only grown in New Mexico, they are now available all over thanks to the efforts of Melissa’s Produce. I’ve included a list of upcoming “chile roasts” where you can get Hatch chiles already roasted – perfect for popping in the freezer to enjoy all year round! If you can’t make it to the chile roast, or can’t find them in your local market, don’t hesitate to contact Melissa’s Produce to find out where to find the chiles in your area OR simply order some for yourself – here’s a great tutorial from my friend Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious to get you started!
Wondering what else you can make with Hatch Chiles?
Here are some other recipes to get you going!
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 fresh hatch chiles, chopped
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 4 oz. Cuervo 1800 Tequila (or whatever Tequila you like for margaritas)
- 2 oz. agave nectar (to taste)
- 1/2 fresh lime
- 1 Tbsp. coarse sea salt (for rimming the glass)
- 1 Tbsp. Tanjin seasoning (for rimming the glass)
- Place the lime juice and the hatch chiles in a small bowl. Using a muddler, muddle the hatch chiles with the lime juice - let this sit for at least 1/2 hour.... the longer it sits the more hatch flavor is released. If you can, make this the day before and refrigerate until ready to use!
- Strain the lime juice/hatch chile mixture and pour half into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Add 1/2 of the remaining ingredients (except the salt and tangin spice). Stir and taste, adding more agave nectar if needed. Strain into a salt rimmed glass filled with ice!
- To rim the glasses: Place the salt and the tangin on a small plate and stir to combine. Use 1/2 of a cut lime and run it around the glass rim. Dip the glass into the salt/tangin mixture. Repeat with the other glass.
I use a bit less tequila than normally called for in a margarita recipe so if you like yours stronger, feel free to increase the amount of tequila - just remember to drink responsibly!!