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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cookbook Review: Melissa’s Produce’s Hatch Chile Cookbook + recipe

Hatch Chiles are grown only in the Mesilla Valley of New Mexico. They are only available for a few short weeks each year, in August and September. You might notice the markets like Whole Foods will have roasting sessions during these months to char the outside of the pepper. The pepper can be preserved, frozen, and dried for later use as well. Melissa’s Hatch Chile Cookbook has many recipes to celebrate this flavorful pepper.

Hatch Chile fun facts:

  • A single fresh medium-size green chile has as much Vitamin C as six oranges.
  • Hot chile peppers are believed to burn calories by triggering a thermodynamic response in the body that speeds metabolism.


In the recipes below, Melissa’s Hot Hatch Chile Powder is the main flavor ingredient.

In the Appetizers section, Homemade Spicy Chips were first up on the menu. This was a very simple recipe to prepare with corn tortillas, olive oil, and Melissa’s Hatch Chile Powder. There are several variations that you might like to try. Onion powder and salt were added as a variation. These chips are oven baked so full sheet pans were used to get the most chips in one baking session.

  •  Aromas: Onion, roasted corn, fresh and smoky chile pepper.
  •  Flavors: Spicy chile (but not uncomfortable), roasted corn, slightly salty, and smoky chile.
  •  Textures: Crispy, crunchy, rough grainy and grit from the corn meal in the tortilla, and brittle.
  •  What we liked: Good amount of heat from the chile powder, great texture, and eating it with Melissa’s Hatch Salsa.
  • What we would change next time: Add more salt and Hatch Chile Powder, fried instead of baked.
  •  Rating: 3.1/5


Hatch Chile Deviled Eggs were second on the menu. This was another simple recipe to prepare with eggs, mayonnaise, dry mustard, sweet pickle relish, black pepper, and Melissa’s Hatch Chile Powder. A bit of cilantro was added for presentation and flavor. An egg plate with 24 divots is the perfect size for this recipe.

  • Aromas: Cilantro, egg, sweet relish, mustard, chile pepper, and vinegar.
  • Flavors: Sweetness from the relish, egg, slight heat from chile pepper, and mustard.
  • Textures: Creamy, velvety, firm and soft contrast (egg white and relish vs. yolk).
  • What we liked: Light and fluffy yolk filling, overall flavor and texture, chile powder used as dusting like paprika but adds heat to the finish, balance of savory and sweet.
  • What we would change next time: Add more chile powder for a bit more heat (on top or mixed in yolk filling), add some salt to yolk filling.
  • Rating: 3.9/5


In the Sandwiches & Wraps section, Sloppy Joes were the finale to the Hatch Chile experience. This recipe was also very simple to prepare (recipe below). Instead of hamburger buns, I found slider rolls at the market for a more finished presentation. Everyone could have their own little sandwich instead of a quarter of a larger hamburger bun. For a family dinner, hamburger buns, slider rolls, or even King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls would do the trick.

  • Aromas: Sweet tomato (almost like spaghetti sauce), mustard, beefy, and toasted bread.
  • Flavors: Sweet tomato, beefy, and spicy chile on the back of the palate.
  • What we liked: Great spicy level of heat and overall flavor.
  • What we would change next time: Add more chile powder for more heat, add onions, garlic, and/or bell peppers for contrasting texture and balance out tomato flavor, add more cheese or more robust cheese like bleu or feta, make Sloppy Joe filling the night before to enhance the flavor melding with the ground beef.
  • Rating: 3.9/5


Sloppy Joes courtesy of Melissa’s Produce

  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • 3 teaspoons prepared mustard
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt
  •  1 pinch black pepper
  •  2 tablespoons Melissa’s Hatch Chile Powder 
  •  ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  •  4 hamburger buns, toasted
  •  ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

  1. Brown ground beef in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to crumble, until it is cooked through.
  2. Drain off the rendered fat, then add the tomato soup, mustard, salt, pepper, Hatch Chile Powder, and garlic salt.
  3. Simmer the meat mixture over low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Serve on the toasted buns, topped with the cheese.

Enjoy Hatch Chiles year-round and don’t hesitate to experiment with your own recipes as well.


For more information:
Hatch Chile Cookbook by Melissa’s Produce

On the search for an ingredient that you can’t find in the store, check out Melissa’s Produce’s website or call +1.800.588.0151.

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