Aug 202010

Fresh Hatch Green ChilesI may have mentioned once or twice . . . or 47 times . . . that my husband and I met while in college in New Mexico.  Both out-of-state students, we fell in love with each other, AND Southwestern Cuisine.  I love any and everything green chile.  Hamburgers?  Infinitely better with chile on top.  Breakfast burritos?  Yes, please.  Shredded Pork? Tortilla SoupCalabacitasEnchiladas?  Queso?  Stew?  Chile Rellenos?  All better with green chile.

So when Hatch Chile Season comes along, I take advantage of it in any way I can!

I know that every year around mid-August

the chiles are coming.

I find reasons to drop by my local grocery, just in case they’ve arrived already.  This past Tuesday I arrived just as they were unloading and setting up the display.

They didn’t even have the prices up yet!

I bought ten pounds worth, and I have a feeling, I’ll be buying about ten pounds more before the week is up!

First things first?  Roasting and canning for the pantry. . . Next week?  A Good Green Chile Sauce (perhaps to be canned.  Still TBD.)  For now?  Here’s the technique for canning . . . but first?

Roasting Hatch Green Chiles

When we lived in New Mexico, when it was chile season going to the grocery store was a SCENT-sational experience.

Outside every grocery store was a nice man, just like this one, who would roast your chile for you.  It wasn’t unusual to buy a 5, 10 or 25 pound bag of roasted chiles and bring them home.

Here in the Midwest, I am thrilled to be able to find Hatch green chiles, but unfortunately, no nice roaster.  Instead?  I have to do it myself.

Last year we roasted them on the grill, over medium heat, turning until they are charred all over, but this year . . . it was raining.  And T. has been working 17 hour days all week this week.  And two boys three and under, a puppy, and constantly having to monitor a grill just doesn’t work (especially while peeking out from under an umbrella.)

So this year, I roasted them in the oven instead.  And I think it worked even better than the grill!

First, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then, either line a roasting pan thoroughly with foil or use a disposable pan (or two) and line the pan with washed and dried green chiles.  It is important that the chiles aren’t wet as you want the chile skin to blister, and not steam in the oven.
Oven Roasting Hatch Green Chiles
Roast the chiles for about 10 minutes on the first side, make sure that they’re blistering (they won’t be black and charred as they would if they were grilled over fire, but they will be discolored and bubbling up) and then turn to the other side and roast for about six minutes more.  They’ll look like this when they’re done.
Oven Roasted Hatch Green Chiles
Remove to a bowl with plastic wrap over the top and continue the process until all the chiles are roasted.  I roasted about 10 pounds of green chile to fill 9 pints of canned, roasted chiles, with 8 chiles per jar.

This filled my two biggest bowls.  Allow to steam for a minimum of ten minutes.  To be honest, I got busy.  I kept the plastic wrap on and the chiles steaming for hours.
Steaming Roasted Chiles
Normally, I’ve frozen them in the past; simply stack four to six (or however many you want in a “serving”) of Unpeeled, Roasted chiles, still in their skin, and roll up in plastic wrap.  Freeze several bundles of servings of chiles in freezer bags.  When you want to use them, simply remove a bundle, allow to defrost and remove roasted chile skin under running water and use as needed.

However, this year my freezer space is extremely limited.  All I have is the small side of a side-by-side fridge.  Our ice maker takes up a third of the space, it seems, and it is packed to the gills with zucchini already.  So, this year I decided to can them instead; here’s how I did it.

Canning Hatch Green Chile

First, you will need a pressure canner for this system.  Green Chiles are low in acid and can not be canned through simple hot water boiling processing.  If you do not have a pressure canner, please freeze them as noted above!

Now, prepare your pressure canner as your manufacturer’s instructions state, and sterilize your jars and rings.  Place the lids in a pot of barely simmering (NOT boiling) water.

This time I sterilized jars using the oven technique – I washed my jars in hot, soapy water, then heated the jars in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.  It ended up working really well as the jars stayed nice and hot as I was able to delay my canning as the boys got put to bed, the puppy let out several times and the actual canning process took longer than I expected to begin.

Fill the jars with the peeled, roasted chiles.  Pint jars held eight chiles by my count.  Then top with 1/2 teaspoon of salt, per jar, and boiling water to fill  until it reaches the fill line (about 1/2-inch from the top and just under the screw lines on the jar).
Prepping Pint Jars
Using a chopstick or bamboo skewer, release any air bubbles by stirring gently.  Top again with extra boiling water, if needed once the air has been released.
Releasing Bubbles from Jars
Top each jar with a lid and ring.  Tighten ring to just finger strength and place into pressure canner.

Can at 10 pounds pressure for 35 minutes.  After following all of your manufacturer’s instructions, allow to cool and check for seals. They’re ready for the pantry!

What are your favorite ways of eating and cooking green chile?  Any recipes I need to try?


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 August 20, 2010  Posted by  Canning, Drying & Preserving, Summer Tagged with: , ,

  40 Responses to “We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Blogging for . . . Hatch Chile Season”

  1. We live in the Albuquerque are and LOVE Hatch green chilis. The roasters are at all the grocery stores just waiting for us!
    Once we get them home, I freeze them in thin flat single layers in freezer bags.

  2. I’m with you, I don’t want to have to go through the winter without a good supply of green chiles. No matter how many I roast, I always eat my way through them by about February.

  3. We are a chile-lovin’ household. We could totally devour these…I can almost smell them from here! Delish…thanks for sharing with Two for Tuesdays =)

  4. Sarah, I am laughing because one of my dearest friends lives in San Antonio and he JUST sent me an email about how excited he was for the roasting guy selling the chiles at his store! My question for you, as a New Englander–what do they taste like? Are these the chiles in the chile verde that your husband likes? Mild? very spicy? I would be interested to know…I dont think we can get them here, but I might find some at a farmers market in virginia when we visit. Thanks for posting this lovely journey from chile on the vine to table on the two for tuesday blog hop! 🙂 Alex@amoderatelife

  5. Oh I have pressure canner envy! I want one so bad. Someday! I think every store needs one of those nice gentlemen to roast our chiles! Thanks for linking to Two for Tuesdays!

  6. You know how some people love the smell of coffee or baking bread? Well, I love those smells, but roasting peppers is my favorite kitchen scent! I wish we could find some Hatch chilis but I don’t think anyone grows any here (SW Louisiana). And how awesome would it be to have a roaster guy outside the grocery store to do it all for you!

    If I get a bigger pepper batch next year, I may pressure can the excess. I find I’ve been using these roasted chilis more often than not.

    • Paula i live in conover nc , i just ordered and recieved my seeds from hatch. i personally am not growing them as i have a friend who always has a garden,so he is doing it for me,the problem is there are no long green chilis even canned in the store,and definately no roasters at the local stores.i have been able to find a few (fresh) chilis in the store to roast. so that is why im growing this year,i roast in the oven,don’t have a grill. i got hatch green chilis, and big jim which is a bit warmer . i will update later and let you know how they come out.I am from las cruces nmex and grewup watching the chilis grow ther in mesilla where i lived growing up.i cant understand why they are not available even in the can. For christmas my brother sent me 9 -27oz cans of the hatch chilis, so for right now i am in chilis heaven

      • Roy,
        I am also a native Las Crucen, now living in New England. I have ordered frozen Hatch Green Chile from Da Gift Basket, who sells and ships frozen green chile but have yet to find anyone who ships fresh green chile overnight without it being so cost prohibitive. My next step is to try my cousin Chris, the Ristraman, in Mesilla to see how much he will charge me to send me up some fresh green chile and hopefully it won’t mold before it gets here…

  7. I linked to this post from one I am doing about beans, I hope that is ok!

  8. Oh I can’t wait for chiles to hit here! We are on our last jar. Thanks for linking up to Simple Lives Thursday!

    • I know! We use them so often, especially in the fall and winter, that I decided just to stock up and make my own this year! Hatch chiles are NOT local for Nebraska, but I they’re such a favorite in my kitchen that I make allowances . . . 🙂


  9. I grew up in CO and LOVE Hatch chile season. We always roasted, peeled, then froze ours and they are sooo good later on grilled hamburgers or anything, really!

  10. I roasted green chiles last weekend! Great tip on canning them. I always freeze mine but should consider canning some next year 🙂


  11. I’m just amazed at all you get accomplished. I’m actually not a chile lover but you’re tempting me. 🙂 Thanks for adding this to Simple Lives Thursday!

  12. I have never tasted Hatch chiles but I really really want to visit New Mexico during chile season sometime! Thanks for the great post!

  13. I’ve never tasted these but I saw in the Super Saver ad that they will have someone roasting the Hatch chiles at 3 different locations in Lincoln! So we’re going to give them a try. Thanks for posting about these or I would have probably ignored what I read in the ad.

    • Hi Amy!

      How fun! If you get the opportunity, definitely try them! I just oven-roasted and canned my second batch this week . . . I also heard through the grapevine that the La Paloma restaurant in Lincoln might have it on their menu – might have to investigate to confirm this weekend!


      • Sarah, my mom told me this week that they have a guy at their farmers’ market that roasts chiles (locally grown – not sure if they’re Hatch, though) and that’s in west/central Nebraska. Thought of you. :>) Oh, and I made your strawberry preserves today! Canning season has offically begun here!

  14. My husband and I were both born and raised in New Mexico and we are still here raising our family! As Nancy said we also freeze them in thin flat single layers in freezer bags. We pretty much eat Chile daily.

  15. We grew these in our garden this year for the first time. They are called New Mexico chiles as they are not grown in Hatch, New Mexico. They are delicious and very prolific, I have up to 14 chiles on each plant! I have roasted and frozen some and will try the canning method as well. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I live in L.A. and grew a bunch of poblanos this year. I’m going to use your lovely blog as inspiration to can them as I can’t find many specific recipes. I roast them as well, some of them are red, most of them are green with some nice heat. I found some Hatch chiles at Whole Foods last fall and they were wonderful, I would like to try to grow them but can’t find seedlings here. Anyway, thanks for your posting, the pics were nice as well as the ‘real life’ anecdotes.

    • order them directly from hatch n mex web site. they are $6.00 per pack but i have enough seeds that 4 big gardens have enough for at least 2 yrs.

  17. You have me drooling over that Green Chile.. We just moved to New England from NM and I MISS green chile soo badly.. it is very expensive to purchase too since i can’t find anyone who sells anything like it here and would have to mail order it.

  18. Anyone heard how the Hatch Greens are looking this year? We plan a drive every year from Colorado Springs to Taos to buy a couple bushels. I was wondering if this is a good year and when the prime harvest will be in?

    • i am from albquerque myhusband and i just got threw peeling 4 sacks of hatch green chili i will can most of it but some i will dehydrate for my sister who lives in jenau ak sheloves it. We bougt our chili from taos at the super save it was only 14.dollars a sack here in abq there going fo 30.00

  19. I’m an Albuquerque girl who has been living in Alaska for 12 yrs. Nothing like some hot chile on a cold winter night. For the first 10 yrs we survived on dehydrated crushed Hatch green chile, which is far better then the canned stuff in the store. Last year for the first time, my local grocery store had fresh Hatch green chile and we ended up buying over 30lbs. I froze most of it, and put up a few jars of sauce. I have been waiting with baited breath to see if the store would carry them again this year, and yesterday they arrived. I bought my first 10lbs, which is a good amount to roast at a time, and will at least purchase as much as last year, and maybe more! I plan on freezing half, and canning the other half in jars like you. Great photos and a wonderful post!

  20. How long can you wait between roasting green chiles and freezing. My boyfriend is visiting Albuquerque and at my request bought me some fresh roasted (I also asked for a bottle of that wonderful smell!) Anyway, they are sitting in his car as he drives back for four days. Is this OK, I.e.are they safe to eat after sitting so long?

    • Debi,

      As long as they stay cool in an ice chest, they will probably be fine! I’ve done that myself, in the past. You’ll be able to smell if one or more has gone bad; just toss those and freeze or can the rest!



  21. I was wondering if you can freeze the chilis without roasting or stemming them first.

    • Hi Dolores!

      I’ve frozen them roasted without peeling or stemming them, but haven’t frozen them raw. I don’t see why you couldn’t, I freeze bell peppers raw all the time . . . hope this helps!


  22. […] Calabacitas means “little squash”.). My version includes summer squash, fresh corn, green chile and bacon, served up in a creamy, cheese sauce. Unctuous, creamy, salty and sweet, it is a […]

  23. When canning do you have to remove the seeds or can you leave them in? When I freeze them I leave them in.

  24. Hi, I just found your site while looking up ways to preserve Hatch chiles 🙂 I spent 10 years in northern New Mexico before moving to the Pacific Northwest and I totally understand the longing for that smell and taste.
    I recently signed up for bountiful baskets the produce co-op and sometimes they have cases of things for people who like to can. This week they had Hatch green chiles, I managed to get 25lbs (yes 25!) for 18 bucks. I danced all the way to the car when I picked it up. But once I got home I realized just how much that is and dreaded the idea of standing over a hot grill to roast them so the oven technique is a life saver! thanks! I’m now off to the dollar store for some disposable pans and to con my BFF into lending me her pressure canner 🙂

    • I got 25 lbs of Hatch Chiles also from Bountiful Baskets – 25 lbs is a little overwhelming to look at. Thanks for posting how to can these – looks like I will be canning and freezing chilies all day!!

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