Every Chile junkie knows that fall spells Hatch Chile harvest time! Named after the original growing area in Hatch, New Mexico, these glossy green peppers are superbly versatile; they can be fire-roasted, peeled, chopped, and made into a sauce.
Thanks to their mild and unique smokey flavor (though you can get them in an extra hot variety) their use is not just restricted to Mexican fare but can also be easily incorporated and enjoyed in a variety of dishes. You can add them to your homemade salsas, burgers, pizza, Indian curries, salads and stews.
So aside from tasting awesome (okay so I’m a fan), it’s no secret that all green peppers provide the body with a host of health benefits.
Here are a few:
Now add some probiotic goodness to the mix by fermenting those tempting green New Mexican chiles and you’re in for a seriously good treat. Where possible I like to keep the preserving process simple by using a brine solution of salt and water.
Lactobacillus bacteria will convert the sugar present in our chiles into lactic acid which is a natural preservative. Fermented foods increase the good bacteria for a balanced gut microbiota ensuring a stronger immune system while simultaneously helping the body properly absorb and digest food.
Hoppin’ Hatch Chiles - What You'll Need
1. In a saucepan heat water. Add salt and stir till dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
2. Slice the tops of each pepper and cut into rings (wearing gloves would be advisable; if not, make sure to wash hands straight after.)
3. Place garlic cloves in the bottom of a pre-sterilized, wide mouth mason glass jar. Next, add in the hatch chiles.
4. Carefully pour the cooled brine over the peppers until completely covered but leaving 1 1/2 inches of headspace.
5. Cover the jar with the Easy Fermenter to ensure perfect fermentation results.
6. Store in a cool, dark place (room temperature 60-70°F is preferred,) for 4-7 days. You can begin to test your ferment at the 4 day mark. If it is not ready, just reseal and test again in a day or so.
7. Once jar has been opened, move to cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop with time.
As always, glad to bring a little fermentation magic into your life!