Hot Hot Hatch Green Chile Salad Recipe

Posted by on Aug 23, 2011

Sure, I can be hot-headed but I never knew I’m hot-blooded too, until recently.

Everyone warned me to prepare myself mentally for my first Texan summer.  Before I arrived in Austin, I winced whenever I heard my friends complain about how unbearable the scorching summers are.

When I arrived at the airport from Portland, I felt oddly comfortable.  After enduring the rainiest and coldest excuse of a spring/ summer in Vancouver, I was relieved to feel my pores open up.  There and then, I soaked up the heat into my perma-chilly body.

Hatch Green Chile Pepper Salad by Melody Gourmet Fury

With all respect, Texas heat is no laughing matter.  I sweat from walking mere steps from my car to the closest air conditioned establishment. The most intolerable moment is opening the car door after it’s been baking under the unrelenting sun.  From the dizzying suffocation of the furnace-hot air to the sharp sear on my legs from the leather seats, entering a hot Texan car can be summed up as: inhumane.

Grilling fennel for Hatch Green Chile Pepper Salad by Melody Gourmet Fury

Besides that, I discovered that I prefer the dry heat over Vancouver’s constant, nippy drizzle.  I love the sweltering walk to the pool and diving into the revitalizing water.  Watching the sunset on an outdoor patio, with mist from the whirring fans superficially cooling my skin, a chilled cocktail has never tasted so good. I’m never stranded outside wearing the wrong shoes when the sky changes its mind; flip flops are infallible.

Then there’s this: grilling the most robust summer vegetables, throwing on a thick slab of meat, and attempting to cool off with pitchers of sangria. Call me a simpleton but these are the days that I live for.  It’s too hot to cook anything elaborate so I’ve been on a grilled salad kick (here and here).  I also load up on peaches, avocados, mangoes, and whatever else is pricier back home.

Torching hatch pepper for Hatch Green Chile Pepper Salad by Melody Gourmet Fury

Then there are Hatch Chiles (aka Hatch Green Chiles or Hatch Peppers).  Hailing from New Mexico, these long, fleshy green peppers are so well-loved that they have a dedicated festival every Labor Day.  Having never heard of them before heading down South, I relied on @TheRealMrFury to show me how to prep them. There are mild and hot varieties, and some stores even sell them roasted. We naturally decided to take matters into our own hands.

Avocado Hatch Green Chile Pepper Salad by Melody Gourmet Fury

Wielding his blowtorch, he charred and blistered the skin meticulously until not a speck of green could be found.  He placed them in a bowl and covered it with a towel.  We proceeded to grill a fennel bulb that I carefully cut into six wedges with the layers intact.  We shaved half a red onion and soaked it in ice water to take away the sting.  Not wanting to mask the Hatch chiles’ flavour, we incorporated some mild goat’s cheese and a creamy avocado.

After removing the skin and de-seeding the chiles, I popped a few pieces into my mouth.  They’re juicy, sweet,  and have a bright green flavour with a tinge of a pleasantly bitter aftertaste. The heat built up ever so slowly, starting at the jaw and creeping to the tip of the tongue.  The avocado and goat’s cheese’s cooling affect tamed the heat – thank goodness.  These humble looking peppers definitely lived up to their hype. If you’re ever down South in the summer, give these delicately hot peppers a try.

Heat on heat is the only way to go.

Hatch Green Chile Pepper Salad by Melody Gourmet Fury

Hatch Green Chile Pepper Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 Hatch chiles. Substitute with poblanos if not available
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, shaved thinly and soaked in ice water
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • honey
  • olive oil
  • salt and cayenne pepper

Directions

  • Char the chile with a blowtorch or directly on the flame over a gas stove.  Place the chile in a bowl and cover tightly until cooled
  • Meanwhile, rub the fennel bulbs with oil, salt, and pepper.  Grill slowly until tender.
  • Peel and de-seed, and slice the cooled chile.
  • To plate, place three fennel bulbs on the plate.  Divide the chile in between. Place the avocado slices on the fennel and top with goat’s cheese. Scatter the onion shavings on top.
  • Whisk together the lime juice and zest, 1/4 cup of oil,  1 tsp honey, salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Drizzle on the salad and sprinkle on additional cayenne pepper.

Serves 2

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  • Shopaholicinvancouver

    My hubby is going to Texas in November; any must try restaurants/foods recommendations for Dallas?

  • http://www.gourmetfury.com/ Melody Fury

    I’m not very familiar with Dallas because I spend most of my time in Dallas but I had an awesome happy hour + dinner at Tilman’s Roadhouse. Tell him to give that a try :)

  • Heather in SF

    Whet a lovely explanation of the heat of tge beloved Hatch chiles. I have my friend in SFe send me some every year, they’re so addictive. Your salad sounds great, wish warm weather would hurry up around here.

  • http://www.gourmetfury.com/ Melody Fury

    You are so lucky to have a friend do that for you! Enjoy the salad when the season arrives :)