Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hatch Chile Queso

Two years ago, I had never heard of a hatch chile. Then, while wondering the aisles of Wegman's, one of the employees giving out samples of the fresh pepper had me try one, and I fell in love. After that, I felt like I saw hatch chiles in EVERYTHING. On the Border has a hatch chile burger that my fiance loves, and Alamo Drafthouse (our favorite local theater), serves their fries with the most perfect hatch chile queso. Despite that, I never was able to find any in stores, so I gave up the hope of ever making anything on my own with them.

While at work the other week, I walked into the kitchen, and found a bin overflowing with hatch chile peppers! Someone in my office had been growing them, and left the surplus for us to take home. I grabbed a couple, and knew instantly what I would be making: hatch chile queso. Here's how you can make some, too. (original recipe here).

-2 small vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
-3 tbsp minced white onion
-1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
-1 tbsp unsalted butter
-2 hatch green chiles, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
-1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbsp flour
-1 cup milk
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese.

1. In a small bowl, lightly toss the tomatoes, 1 tbsp of the minced white onion, and half of the cilantro.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium-hi heat, melt butter. Add the remaining 2 tbsp of minced white onion, hatch chiles, jalapeno, and salt. Cook, stirring until the onion is softened, about 3 - 4 minutes.

3. Add flour, stir and cook 1 minute until fully combined. Stir in milk. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture begins to thicken.

4. Stir in shredded cheese until smooth, remove from heat. Stir in remaining chopped cilantro.

5. Pour dip in a serving bowl, and top with tomato and onion mixture on top. Serve with chips.
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