Hatch Green Chile Rellenos and Green Chile Casserole

by R.B. Quinn and Min Merrell

The famous green chile of Hatch, New Mexico, is the crucial ingredient for homemade chile rellenos. Hatch chile has been spreading far beyond the New Mexico border, thankfully. Bags of roasted chile have been available online for years, but whole fresh chile hasn’t been in the national produce chain for too long. We’ve been lucky here in Nashville to with Whole Foods and occasionally Kroger where we’ve ordered whole cases. Ask the produce staff if they can get them and hold in their cooler for pick up.

Hatch Green Chile

The Roaster Made All the Difference

For years we didn’t have a tumbler-style propane-fired chile roaster. Gas and charcoal grills worked pretty well, but it’s more work and there’s more waste as the smaller chiles dry up and can be impossible to peel. So, we ordered a four-burner tabletop roaster from Arizona, and boy was that a game-changer.

green chile roaster

As we’re peeling off the charred skins before chopping and bagging we always set aside some of the best looking whole chile for chile rellenos.

Hatch Green Chile Peeled

They sound like a project and something often left to the restaurant to make, but they’re pretty easy for the home cook and take only a few steps. They’re just peppers stuffed with cheese, coated with a stiff egg white batter, and fried. Our batter is made with a combo of Tennessee self-rising flour and self-rising cornmeal which adds a little crunch, leavening, and salt. This mixture works like a champ.

Let’s Do Some Quick Hot Oil Frying

Hatch Green Chile

Fluffy egg white batter coats the chile perfectly before frying. We leave the chile stems intact as they make a convenient handle.

Frying operations are simple. Two or three at a time, don’t crowd the pan, and don’t leave your post! Gently flip over with spatula and tongs so as not to splash the hot oil.

But wait, there’s more. You can skip the frying entirely and whip up our casserole version. Just spread the puffy mixture over the chiles and cheese and bake. We don’t make this often enough!

Hatch Green Chile

Roasted chile is also a great add to your homemade Hatch Green Chile Salsa.

…and don’t forget to break out the cast iron for Green Chile Pork Cornbread Skillet.

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