8/16/13

Hatch Chiles – Freeze & Reuse



The annual Hatch Chile Fest is in full swing at Market Street.  These tasty green chiles from New Mexico are part of the nightshade family, which means they are related to the tomato, eggplant and potato.  Did you know that a single green chile pod has as much Vitamin C as six oranges?  Talk about a super food!  Green chiles are also high in Vitamin A, which is important for vision.
 
 

When roasted, this low calorie food really adds a lot of flavor to your favorite dishes.  We hope you are taking advantage of the on site roasters in select stores throughout August.  (If you bought raw chiles, you can find information on roasting them here.)
 
 

Now that you have your roasted chiles at home, how do you store them?  Like other fruits and vegetables, the best time to freeze is at the peak of freshness (NOW!).  This allows for maximum flavor and nutrition.  Freezing the chiles allows you to enjoy their unique flavor year round.  Freshly roasted green chiles can develop mold if stored in the refrigerator, so it is important to use them quickly or freeze.

 

TIP:  Wear gloves while handling Hatch chile peppers, otherwise wash your hands very well and avoid touching your eyes.  Vinegar also helps to remove the pepper oil from your hands.

 

Roasted chiles can be frozen peeled or unpeeled.  I prefer to do all the prep work prior to freezing, so my frozen chiles are ready to go for recipes when I need them.



The roasted skin should easily peel off of the chile flesh by gently rubbing the peppers with your hands.  Doing this under cold running water helps to remove the charred skin.  If you’re having to work to get the skin off, try submerging the roasted chile in a bowl of ice water just prior to peeling.  Once all the skin is removed, slice through once lengthwise and remove all seeds, veins and the stem.  This also can easily be done under cold running water and usually doesn’t even need a knife.  (If you plan to use the chiles for Chiles Rellenos, you may want to remove the seeds, but keep the stem.)



Stack the flattened green chiles on top of each other then place in a freezer bag (preferably vacuum sealed to avoid freezer burn).  If you know you will be using your green chiles chopped, you could also do this before you freeze.  Otherwise, leave whole for more freedom when selecting recipes.

 


TIP:  A lot of recipes for dips, soups and casseroles call for the small 4 or 8 oz. cans of green chiles.  Using my kitchen scale, I like to measure my fresh roasted & peeled green chiles into 4 and 8 oz. portions, so come November when I’m making a batch of taco soup, I can defrost one bag and know that it’s the right amount for my recipe.
 



My $16 half case produced a total of 83 oz. edible chiles.

Freeze at or below 0°F (-18°C).  To ensure freshness, use within one year then restock your freezer next Hatch season.

When ready to use, remove bag from freezer and defrost in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  You could speed up this process by running cold water over your freezer bag. 

If you are craving that roasted flavor but missed out on fresh chiles this year, check our freezer section for Bueno brand green chile in 13 oz. containers.
 

Be sure to check the blog next Friday for a delicious Hatch green chile recipe.  In the meantime, our Pinterest board is full of ideas. 
 
Sources:
 
Aria Gollner, RD, LD is a new Registered Dietitian with Market Street.  She completed her education at The University of Texas in Austin in 2003 and continues to work as a clinical dietitian in Dallas.  She loves food blogs and is getting started as a regular contributor to the Living Well at Market Street Blog.
 
 

12 comments :

  1. Yum! Thanks for the tips! Great idea to freeze in 4-8 oz portions.

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    1. Hey Rebecca! Thanks for leaving a comment. We love the portion size idea too! Enjoy your Hatch Chiles.

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  2. Great idea to freeze the chiles! Thank you!

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    1. Let us know if you use the chiles this fall in a creative way!

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  3. I've never thought of freezing these but duh! Freezing is probably much healthier than canned chiles. Thanks for the great tip.

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    1. We had to laugh too that we had never thought to freeze them or post about it earlier.

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  4. What a great article! My favorite from Market Street so far! Thanks for the yummy tips.

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    1. Oh wow! What a great compliment. Thanks for reading our blog!

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  5. I haven't thought of freezing them either! Thanks Aria! You're awesome.

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