Stater Bros. has announced that the popular Hatch chiles are back in stock, with the vibrant green pepper ready for roasting in-store or at home.
The unique variety of peppers grown in the Hatch Valley Region of New Mexico, Hatch chiles have a short season beginning in early August and ending somewhere around late September.
Nearly every year, Stater Bros. stores across Southern California offer free chiles roasting events for customers who purchase the peppers.
A roasting event is scheduled at Stater Bros. Store No. 190 from 8 a.m. to noon on Sept. 3. The store is at 16904 Main St. in Hesperia.
Buy your Hatch chiles at the store and have the Stater Bros. crew properly roast them in the parking lot located at the store located between “C” and “E” streets.
Roasting unlocks the chiles' flavors, creates a texture and makes it easy to remove their tough outer skin, chile experts say.
The chile roasting process at the store will take about 5 minutes for one small batch before they are ready to be re-boxed for the customer, who can take them home to peel.
Chefs and home cooks say that Hatch chiles are a perfect addition to any recipe that needs a little bit of zing and smoky flavor.
Hatch chiles can be added to burgers, salads, stews, soups, sandwiches or dips. They can also be used in breakfast recipes, enchiladas, chile rellenos and other dishes.
How to roast Hatch chiles at home
Wash peppers thoroughly under cold water and then pat dry with a towel.
Roast peppers for 4 to 5 minutes on a constant flame until the skin is roasted evenly on all sides.
When roasting, the peppers will become softer and have a nice char on the outside when they’re ready.
Pepper can also be broiled in the oven on a baking sheet. To do so, place peppers flat on an oven-safe baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for 4 to 5 minutes and then flip over and continue broiling for an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
For an even char throughout the peppers, remove the chiles from heat and allow the peppers to “steam” inside a closed paper bag, heat-safe plastic bag or heat-safe container with a lid for 15 minutes.
After peppers finish steaming, they should be cool enough to handle and if not then allow them to cool before peeling. Wearing gloves while peeling and chopping is recommended.
Peel the outer skin by hand and remove the pepper's stem by slicing it off.
If you’d like to reduce the amount of heat remove the seeds and veins inside the pepper by slicing it open down the middle and removing the insides with a spoon. If you like heat, keep everything inside.
After that, chiles can be chopped as desired or kept at full size.
Store chiles in containers and or zipped lock bags. Make sure to seal the container or if you’re using a bag, squeeze all the air out and seal completely. It is recommended to store the peppers within 2 hours of roasting to keep the maximum flavor. Securely sealed peppers are safe to store in the freezer for up to 12 to 18 months.
Hatch chile facts
One fresh, medium-sized pepper has as much Vitamin C as six oranges.
Hatch chiles are a generic form of green pepper that shares certain traits with the Anaheim pepper.
According to the Scoville Scale, most Hatch chiles score between 1,500 and 2,500 units — about the same heat level as poblano or Anaheim peppers and just below Jalapeno peppers, which measure 2,500–8,000 units.
Experts say the flavor of the Hatch chiles comes from the soil and growing conditions in the Hatch Valley, where the rich minerals produce unique and tasty flavors
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Hatch chile season back, Staters Bros ready to roast peppers