Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's Hatch Chile Time: Green Chile, Cheese and Onion Dip



I had planned to slip my next Something From Nothing post into this slot, but then an emergency happened, so that post will have to wait just a couple more days.  The emergency I'm speaking of came in the form of a large drum of Hatch chiles roasting outside my local Whole Foods. How the heck did it get to be Hatch chile time? Seems like it was just the end of school and then the 4th of July and now wham-o, it is almost September.

This kind of threw me into a mild panic because as much as I love late summer's Hatch chiles, I love mid summer more, and Hatch chiles mean fall is coming.  I think one reason I get so excited about them is that our fresh produce season is so short, so when good, fresh things show up in the produce section, I celebrate it.

If you're not quite sure what the big hullabaloo is all about, Hatch chiles are peppers that are grown in New Mexico's Hatch Valley which stretches north and south along the Rio Grande River.  The soil and growing conditions in this area contribute greatly to the consistent and desirable flavor of these chiles which range in heat from mild to quite hot.

So, OK, I'll get a grip on myself and come to terms with the fact that fall is around the corner.  That means that I have lots of good summer recipes to blog about and not much time to do it, so I better get busy.

One of my favorite recipes that really combines some of the greatest things about this time of year is my favorite little green chile dip.  This dip is a harmonious combination of roasted Hatch chilies, Gilroy garlic, green onions, sharp cheddar cheese and cilantro, all stirred in a smooth and creamy sour cream mixture. We really love this stuff and I think you will too.  So grab a handful of chiles and get roasting!


Green Chile, Cheese and Onion Dip

2 medium size green chiles (Hatch, Anaheim or Fresno), approximately 4 ounces
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
2 green onions, light and dark green parts thinly sliced across
1 small bunch cilantro, stems removed and finely chopped (about 1 packed tablespoon)
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (I love toasting cumin seeds then crushing them)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

Place chiles on the flame of a gas grill or gas burner on a stove. This can also be done by placing them on a non-stick pan under the broiler element of the oven.  Watching carefully, cook until the outside skin blisters and turns black, turning them to cook on all sides.



Remove and place hot chiles in a paper or plastic bag to steam for 5 minutes or so.  As soon as the charred skin becomes soft, remove the chiles from the bag and gently scrape off the skins with the edge of a knife.  Chop chiles; set aside.

Place cream cheese, mayonnaise and sour cream in a medium size bowl.  Add the chopped chiles, onions, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper; stir well.   Fold in cheese. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Serve with vegetables or chips.



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