Hatch Chile season has arrived! I’ve got mine, thanks to Melissa’s Produce, and they’re already grilled and roasted with a few bags stashed in the freezer to satisfy my hatch chile craving when they’re long gone. These highly coveted chiles are in big demand, but don’t worry – you’re not too late! Actually, the fun has just begun: Hatch chile season typically begins in late August and continues until mid-October. In fact, this year’s Hatch Chile Festival is on my birthday, how thoughtful of them. Cheers to all the chile heads out there!
Authentic New Mexico Hatch chiles are favorite Southwestern chile with a unique flavor owing to the hot days and cool nights of the Mesilla Valley where they’re grown. In terms of heat index, they vary from mild to medium-hot and are prized for Southwestern dishes like Chile con Queso, Chile Rellenos, and Chile Verde. But the hatch doesn’t stop there – best roasted or grilled, it’s makes a mean sauce and is a piquant addition to salsas, salads, and sandwiches….or pancakes.
Being a huge chile relleno fan, I try them in every Mexican or Southwestern restaurant that looks like they could make a decent one, I’m working on putting my signature on this dish, but haven’t quite perfected it. In the meantime, this recipe for savory cornmeal pancakes with grilled Hatch chiles, bits of sweet onion, and a kicker of candied bacon will surely set your mouth to watering! Swathed in maple syrup they absolutely made my morning, but they would also work well as a grab-n-go if you absolutely had to run or, griddled in a dollar-size and served with a dollop of sour cream – a tempting appetizer. Don’t worry about the bacon, it’s just enough to liven things up, but not enough to feel guilty – and obviously, it can be omitted, but that’s your call.
Savory Hatch Chile and Candied Bacon Pancakes
Sweet candied bacon marries with smoky hatch chiles for a tantalizing pancake that will have you begging for more.
1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 roasted or grilled hatch chiles, chopped (about 1/2 cup)*
1/2 cup candied bacon (recipe below)
1 tablespoon canola oil
Yield: 4 servings
1. Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir to blend well.
2. Combine the milk, egg, and lemon juice in a small bowl, use a fork or whisk to incorporate the egg.
3. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mix with a spoon until well blended and fairly smooth. Mix in the onions, chiles, and bacon.
Serve immediately and enjoy! They’re absolutely scrumptious drizzled with maple syrup
* For me, it’s faster and easier to grill a huge batch of chiles instead of roasting them in the oven: heat your grill to medium heat (350 degrees). Place the chiles over indirect heat, turning until evenly charred on both sides – about 6-8 minutes.Watch closely – you don’t want burnt chiles. Place on a cookie sheet and cover with aluminum foil to steam for 5-10 minutes or until cool enough to handle and remove the skin, stem, and seeds. To roast the chiles: place on a rimmed cookie sheet, roast at 350°F for about 30 minutes, remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil to steam, then remove the skin, stem, and seeds.
For the candied bacon:
1 tablespoon turbinado raw cane sugar or brown sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, set a pie or cookie cooling rack on the cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Sprinkle 4 slices of thick cut back with sugar. Lay on top of the rack.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes (15 if you use regular sliced bacon), or until the bacon is crispy and caramelized. Watch closely with whether you use thin or thick since the sugar can begin to burn.
Allow to cool, then crumble. It’s a good idea to double the recipe because I’ll bet you won’t’ be able to resist munching on one (or two or three) pieces while you’re waiting.
Get in on the craze and join Chef Jamie Gwen broadcasting live from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. and folks from Melissa’s at Bristol Farms in Newport Beach for a fun day of swapping recipes and talkin’ Hatch with other chile heads on September 8th and 9th while they roast your chiles for you! They have the best looking roasters around
OR, have the best Hatch chiles to be found delivered straight to your doorstep (2nd day UPS) by ordering them direct from Melissa’s Produce.