Fresh Hatch chilies are available a few short weeks each year, in August and September. These delicious chilies are from the Mesilla Valley in New Mexico, they have thick walls with flavorful flesh – use them fresh or roasted  – then peeled, seeded, and if you like, frozen.

One of my favorite ways to use them, is to spike a white chili with Hatch personality. I like to use a combination of mild and hot Hatch, and adjust them to suit my desired heat level. I taste a little piece to check out the hot chili.  If the Hatch labeled “hot” is crazy hot, I cut the amount in half and add more mild beauties.

The chilies are cooked along with other veggies and ground turkey. Broth, Cannelini beans and hominy are added for this easy one-pot meal.

Garnish with a good dollop of Greek yogurt and cilantro. Yum-Oh-Lah.

Roasting Hatch chilies in the oven under the broiler.

ROASTING FRESH HATCH CHILIES

Easiest way to roast them, in my opinion, is the broil them. Adjust the oven rack about 8 inches below the broiler element. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, with some foil overhanging on the right and left of the sheet’s sides (this will be used to enclose the chilies after broiling.

Now, arrange chilies in a single layer on top of the foil. Broil about 4 to 5 minutes, or until chilies are blistered and some areas are blackened. With tongs, turn chilies over and broil another 4 minutes. Remove from oven and enclose chilies with foil (use caution, everything will be hot). Allow to rest 5 minutes. Open foil and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Peel and remove seeds. If making this Hatch White Chili, chop the roasted, peeled and seeded Hatch chilies. Wash hands. Do not touch eyes or face. Some folks have chili-sensitive skin and should wear plastic gloves when working with chilies.

More ways to roast: Roast over an gas flame on the stove using long-handled tongs, OR on the barbecue using long-handled tongs.

Fresh Hatch chilies are available “mild” or “hot.”

Hatch White Chili

Yield: 6 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped hot Hatch chili
1/2 cup roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped mild Hatch chili
 2 (15.5-ounce) cans white beans such as cannellini beans, drained
 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
 1 (25-ounce) can hominy, drained and rinsed
 Salt to taste
 1/4 to 1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
 Lime wedges and/or sliced radishes

1. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, coriander and cayenne and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon or spatula, until the meat is no longer pink about 2 to 4 minutes. Add the Hatch chilies, white beans, broth and oregano. Cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes.

3. Add the hominy and salt and more cayenne pepper (I rarely add more), to taste as desired, and continue cooking, partially covered, 10 minutes longer. Ladle into individual bowls and top each serving with about 1 tablespoon of yogurt (I like a little more and I push it gently into the soup to get that yogurt-spark started adding its pizzazz) and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cilantro. Garnish each with a lime wedge and/or sliced radishes.