Hatch Chili Season
~catch it while you can~
Anyone who knows me know that I love chilies. Here in southern Arizona I am in my element, especially at this time of year when the enticing aroma of freshly fire roasted Hatch chilies is in the air.
I make an annual trek up to Tucson to the Heirloom Farmers Market chilifest, where Red's Roasters sets up their bank of chili roasters.
Not only do they fire roast chilies on site, but they also have bags of roasted garlic, onions, tomatillo and peppers. The regular vendors at the market had Hatch chili related products for the fest. Malta Joe is a specialty bakery in Tucson that specializes in Maltese pastizza – a flaky, crunchy savory stuffed pastry similar to sfogliatella. Their ricotta, bacan and hatch chili version was perfect.
This year I brought home roasted green Hatch chili – enough to freeze for the winter's green chili verde. I also got a big bag of roasted jalapeno for pickling.
Since the chilies were already cooked, I made a quick refrigerator pickle with some onion and garlic. I added the onion and garlic to the glass jars first and added the hot brine, which I let cool a bit before adding the chilies so they didn't get too soft. Now I am all set for green chili cheeseburgers for a while.
To make quick refrigerator pickles, make a brine with 50% distilled white vinegar and 50% water. You can add some salt – about 1 tablespoon salt per quart. Some people like to add sugar but I don't. If the veggies are raw, cover them with the hot brine or if they are roasted let it cool a bit first. Cover and refrigerate.
Keep it spicy! All the best, Chef Melicia