Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hatch Chiles and Hoarding

Last week while I was in Maine with Adam's parents, just us girls (his mom, my mom, and me) went out and about in my tiny little hometown to do some shopping. We hit a lovely gift store, where I bought a fruit basket for my new kitchen, and an art gallery (so small it has no website, OMG), where Adam's mom bought some beautiful jewelry. We also stopped at my mom's happy place: The Good Life Market. She is such a loyal customer that when she walks in the door, the kid behind the counter says "Hi Suzanne! You want coffee?" and when she says "Hi Ian! Yes please!" he starts making a decaf-nonfat-extra-hot-mocha-latte-with-only-one-pump-of-chocolate-and-no-whipped-cream. WITHOUT HER HAVING TO SAY ANYTHING. Seriously, if you're in the Sebago area of Maine, get thee to the Good Life posthaste. They're great people.

ANYWAY. I got some pickles while we were there. Not just dilled and garlicked cucumbers, but pickled fiddleheads and dilly beans. I've never had dilly beans before, but I love the sound and the idea of them, so I brought them on home to Boston and stuck them in the cupboard, and thought to myself, oh, I'll just bring them out sometime when people are over and we need something to snack on. I have a bit of a thing for being prepared for these spontaneous drop-bys, don't you? Do you ever buy fig jam and overpriced crackers or some frozen mini quiches thinking, hey! how cute will this be if I just *happen* to have this on hand for when people stop by? And then nobody stops by and you end up eating them yourself when even your emergency frozen pizza is gone and you can't bear to cook? No? Just me? So fast forward to Sunday evening when a few friends had stopped by to drink some beers and combat the Sunday Night Blues. Adam asks about the dilly beans in the cupboard, all casual like: hey babe, what are these? Can I open them?

AND I PANIC. But! But! If you open them, then we'll eat them! And then they won't be around when people stop by! And then what will we do for snacks???

Luckily, this was all in my head. On the outside, I'm cool as a cucumber and I'm all suuuure babe, open up the dilly beans! Yeah! And we proceeded to eat the whole jar and they were delicious. I saved the jar, and last night I put some more blanched green beans in the pickling liquid, added a bit more vinegar and some of the blanching water, and stuck it back in the fridge. I tasted one tonight - they're just as good, crunchier even. I think I've proved that you can have your pickle, and eat it too.

Which brings me to the entire point of this post (my, I CAN ramble, can't I?). I bought some hatch green chilies from New Mexico today. I do not know what to do with them. I roasted them under my broiler, a-like so:

They're currently in the freezer on a cookie sheet, and in a minute I'm going to put them in a bag so they're ready to go later in the year*. We did eat one tonight, and I sooort of get what all the fuss is about: they're smoky from the roasting and flavorful with a little bit of kick but not too much. So now I'll just have to decide what to do with them the next time people stop by. I'm partial to these chiles rellenos from Use Real Butter, or this green chile cornbread from Simply Recipes. And there are a lot of green chile stew recipes out there, too... So school me, people. What's the best way to use these puppies?

*Speaking of putting up summer's bounty for use later in the year, have you joined the Canvolution yet? Adam and I are signed up and psyched to be a part of the Somerville event happening on the 30th.


  1. Oh. OH OH OH. I will tell you the best way to use them. Make the recipe for Chile Verde in Cliff Wright's book Some Like It Hot. I'm happy to pass along the recipe-- it's AMAZING. If you don't do this on your own, my husband may come over to your place and rob your freezer of them for our own Chile Verde. Heck, you've made it public, and I can't be responsible for his actions.

    By the way, it's interesting about the Canvolution. We just did a Pickling and a Jams book at work, and the recipes from them have been awesome. It's inspiring.

  2. I like the cornbread idea. I'd also snag a couple to make a stash of fresh salsa.

    P.S. - "Dilly beans" may be the most adorable name for a food, EVER.

  3. I'm from Southern New Mexico (20 minutes from Hatch) Hatch Green Chile is a religion. Our year revolves around green chile season. :) I plan on getting 3 bags (close to 40 lbs) this weekend. This time of year the whole town smells like roasted chile. Just roll down the windows and inhale..ahhhhhh....

    When we roast them a few usually make their way into tortillas with some Asadero cheese just rolled up, not quesadilla style.

    Of course Green Chile Stew (beef or chicken, carrots, onion, whole kernel corn, squash) Rellenos, Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas...

  4. I love dillybeans. I have a friend whose mother puts up all kinds of canned goods, including dillybeans, and I'm hoping that if I can drop enough hints, I'll be able to snag a jar this year. :)

    At the risk of being hunted down and killed by the Mexican food lovers, I can throw out a slightly different idea for those green chiles: put them in stir-fry with a little ground beef and some black bean paste. Mmm.

  5. I promise that I will not raid your freezer for your roasted chiles. (I do hope Hatch chiles are still around when I get back into the country mid-September!) But Megan speaks the truth: if you're a pork fan at all, you owe it to yourself to try a good chile verde recipe with them chiles....

  6. Where did you get the Hatch chiles? I'd love to pick some up.Yum!!

  7. Good freezer shopping! Surely try the pork chile recipe.

  8. Haha, I loved that story. Way to stay cool as a cucumber ;)
    No suggestions from me. I'm sure you'll make something delicious :)

  9. One, I'm totally jealous of your chilis. Two, I was in Maine last week too!