This is the time of year when I go to the grocery store, step out of my car, and the air is infused with the scent of roasting chiles. It’s a heady, peppery smell that let’s me know it’s Hatch green chile season in New Mexico. The local grocery stores set up chile roasters attached to oversized propane tanks, and people line up with their shopping carts laden with enormous burlap bags of green chiles.
This year those burlap bags have been replaced with boxes of chiles – I kind of liked the old world feel of those burlap sacks.
I’d never seen anything like it until we came up here for our first summer, and I couldn’t imagine what these people were going to do with all of those chiles. It turns out they take their roasted chiles home and freeze them so they have a steady supply for the entire year. With all those green chiles they make things like chile rellenos and green chile stew. They add the chiles to casseroles and use them as a topping for burgers and just about anything you can imagine.
This year, I decided to join the chile craze. I didn’t buy a boxful, but I did get a small ziplock bag of roasted chiles that they sell in most grocery stores. It’s just the right amount of chiles to add to a recipe.
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to have a brunch for friends and neighbors, and it was just the beginning of Hatch chile season. I thought a couple of green chile and cheddar quiches would be the perfect main dish. As you know from my previous post on chiles, my taste buds aren’t cut out for extra hot spicy food, so I selected mild chiles. Just because they are mild, doesn’t mean they don’t pack a slight punch. It’s just enough kick to make me feel like I’m participating in the chile fiesta, but not so much heat that my mouth is on fire for the rest of the day.
The brunch was a huge success with 14 of us total and a gloriously sunny Sunday. Along with the green chile and cheddar quiche, we served bacon, prosciutto, smoked salmon, boursin cheese, cantaloupe, and blueberry muffins. To top it all off, we had mimosas and bloody marys with spicy green beans instead of olives.
These quiche were so good, I made them again this past weekend for our friends Chuck and Stan who were visiting from Dallas. They were the perfect compliment to our first breakfast together.
Even if you’re not in New Mexico right now, I bet you can still find some Hatch green chiles wherever you are. If you can’t find fresh chiles have no fear, look in the Mexican section of your grocery store and there you should find small cans of green chiles. They usually come in mild, medium, or hot, and also come chopped or whole. Don’t miss out on this year’s chile season – run, don’t walk, and get yourself some Hatch green chiles, make some quiche, and host a brunch. And don’t forget the mimosas and bloody marys!
Hatch Green Chile & Cheddar Quiche
Make one pie crust using the recipe for yogurt tart dough or pate’ brisee (I’ve been using the yogurt tart dough recipe lately adding the olive oil instead of butter, which makes it much healthier than traditional crust, and it is perfect for quiche).
Note: The following recipe is for one quiche.
4 Hatch green chiles chopped or 1 small can of green chiles chopped
3/4 cup good quality sharp cheddar cheese freshly grated
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp dry mustard
pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°. Place the eggs, heavy cream, milk, dry mustard, and pepper into a large mixing bowl and whisk until incorporated. Fold in the shredded cheese and chopped chiles. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.
If you have one of those things to cover the edges of your pie crust to keep it from burning then place that on the rim of the pie dish. If you don’t have one of those things then place foil around the edge for the first 20 minutes of baking. Bake for a total of 30 to 40 minutes or until the center is set and a knife comes out clean.
Makes 1 quiche that serves 6 to 8