I’m so lucky…
I live in the Southwest, so I get to have freshly roasted Hatch Chiles whenever I want…or when a sweet friend brings me some! One of my blogging friends, Kara, from North Phoenix Moms sent me a Facebook message the other day, asking if I’d like some roasted Hatch chiles. Yes please! For those of you unfamiliar, Hatch Chiles are chile peppers grown in Hatch Valley, New Mexico. The chiles can be mild or spicy, or a little in between, but it is always delightful. The chiles are slow roasted, then skinned, and sold at road side stands throughout New Mexico…and occasionally in Arizona and other southwestern states (at farmers markets and festivals). Hatch chili can add a smoky kick to your dishes, especially Southwest and Mexican recipes, and makes a wonderful addition to this Hatch Chile Corn Chowder.
Hatch Chile Corn Chowder
- 1/2 c. Bacon, cooked crisp
- 1 Tbsp. Bacon Drippings
- 1 c. Sweet Onion, diced fine
- 1/2 c. Carrot, finely chopped
- 1/2 c. Roasted Hatch chile, coarsely chopped
- 1 (15.5 oz) Can of Pinto Beans
- 2-3 Red Potatoes, diced into small pieces
- 5 c. Chicken Broth
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 c. Fresh Corn (You can also use frozen, but fresh is so much sweeter)
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Pepper
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Fine Flour (Wondra)
- 1 1/2 c. Half & Half
Optional: Chopped avocado, chopped tomato, and cooked chicken (cubed)
Cook the bacon until crisp. I cook my bacon in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool, then crumble. If you are using fresh corn, shuck it, removing all the hair. Wash the corn and using a sharp knife, cut the kernels off the cob. Set the corn aside.
Chop the onion and carrot very fine. Put the bacon drippings into a large saute pan and heat on medium. Add the onion and carrot and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Try to remove as many seeds from the roasted chile as you can, but if you want it spicy, keep some of the seeds. Add the chile to the pan and saute a minute more. Chop the potato, with the skin on it, into fine pieces and add to the saute pan. Stir 1-2 minutes until lightly brown. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves; heat on medium high until boiling. Stir every few minutes so the vegetables do not stick. Add the crumbled bacon, corn, pinto beans, salt, and pepper. Stir.
Boil 1-2 minutes, and then reduce to a slow simmer for 14-16 minutes, stirring occasionally. Scoop out the bay leaves. Whisk the flour and half & half together in a small bowl until blended, and stir a little bit at a time into the broth. Heat on medium high, stirring briskly so it does not lump, until the broth thickens a little bit. (This is not a super thick chowder-I wanted the flavor of the vegetables and chile to shine through the broth. If you add too much flour, it will take away from the fresh taste of the vegetables.) Remove from heat and allow to cool a few moments. Serve immediately or freeze until ready to use. At your first bite, you will taste the sweet corn, then slowly, in the back of your throat, you’ll feel the warmth of the chiles. Exquisite!
Note: My meat lover husband likes chicken in his chowder, so I mix in cubed cooked chicken at the end. I also chop avocado and tomato for garnish.
Makes 3-4 servings.
A reader asked me for a recommendation of chile pepper, if you cannot find Hatch chilies near you. I recommended using an Anaheim or Serrano chile if you cannot find Hatch chilies. Hatch chilies are a little bit spicier than Anaheim chilies, but not as spicy as Jalapeno.