If you have never encountered a hatch chile, it’s probably because you don’t live in the Southwest. I don’t, either, but I’m close enough that we get hatch chiles in the store every August.
Hatch chiles have a mild heat and a bright green color. They are somewhere between banana peppers and jalepenos as far as their taste. I really like them because they have a little kick without knocking you out of your chair.
So with all of these peppers flooding the stores for a few weeks, what was I to do with them?
Make salsa, of course!
I make cilantro lime chicken tacos fairly often, and it calls for a jar of salsa. I don’t like most tomato-based salsas, so I use salsa verde in the recipe. Unfortunately, the salsa verde that I love is also $4 a jar.
I managed to make 8 jars of salsa for about $6. Talk about saving money!
This process is pretty involved. From start to finish it took me about 3 hours to make and can this salsa. But, I was saving money, and I only had to do it once to get enough salsa to last a year.
Hatch Chile Salsa Verde
- 18-20 hatch chiles (or poblanos if you don’t have access to hatch chiles)
- 1-3 serrano peppers (use with caution if you don’t want any heat in this salsa)
- 4 Lb. tomatillos, chopped
- 1 1/2 C. lime juice
- 1 C. water
- 1 C. cilantro, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1-2 tsp. salt (taste and adjust)
Step 1: Roast the chiles. Put the top rack of your oven close to the broiler. Turn your oven to broil. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil and spread out the peppers in a single layer.
Step 2: Once they are charred on both sides, put them in a plastic zipper bag and close it up. This will steam the skins loose. I put them in the bag until the next batch of peppers were done, then I put the new ones in the bag and peeled the last ones.
Step 3: Once they are all charred and steamed, peel the skins off. They should slide right off, but a few spots may need some coaxing.
Step 4: Chop the tomatillos, cilantro, onion, and garlic. This takes a long time. Four pounds of tomatillos is nothing to trifle with. Once you are done chopping, place the cilantro, onion, and garlic in a bowl and set aside.
If you have never used tomatillos before, they are small and green, and are covered by a weird papery coat:
So, put the chopped tomatillos in a stock pot.
Step 6: Let the tomatillos sit while you seed and chop the peppers. This is a slimy, sticky job, and you might want to wear gloves. Otherwise your fingers might sting for a while afterwards.
Just chop off and discard the stem, then cut the pepper in half and scrape away the seeds. Then chop roughly.
Step 7: Simmer the tomatillos for about 10 minutes to cook down a bit. Add the peppers halfway through. I added two serranos to start and I ended up with a medium heat to my salsa.
Step 8: After the tomatillos have simmered and you’ve added the peppers, add the bowl full of cilantro, onion, and garlic, as well as the lime juice and water. Stir everything together.
Step 9: Let everything cook for 10-15 minutes, until it’s all cooked down. You want it to cook at a pretty high simmer. After it cooks down, add your salt.
Step 10: While the tomatillos are simmering (step 7) get your boiling water bath and jars ready. Once the salsa is finished, ladle it into hot jars. Add the lids and screw bands (or lids and rubbers, in my case) and process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes.
Step 11: Once they have processed, take out the jars and let them sit for 24 hours.
And try to come to the south for Hatch Chile season. You wont be disappointed.