Down the Hatch

Try a fleeting Southwest favorite while you can

Hatch chiles are a rarity in the Northeast–but rarely missed, considering that most New Yorkers don't know what they are. Luckily, some local stores are providing the goods so home cooks can educate themselves.

Green chiles are the pride of New Mexico, where the most-prized varieties grow in the town of Hatch. There, local farmers set up large metal roasters to char the skin of these long, robustly flavored peppers throughout the August and September harvest (the chiles' fleeting season is part of their appeal).

But you don't need to travel 2,000 miles for a taste. At Foragers Market in Dumbo, mild, hot and extra-hot varieties are shipped in from Hatch (a new delivery arrives today). Shoppers can buy the peppers to cook at home or sample their distinctive flavor in such Foragers' prepared foods as skirt steak with chiles, purple tomatoes and queso fresco. Whole Foods locations throughout the city are also stocking Hatch chiles (call ahead to see if they're available).

At home, char them on a hot grill, under the broiler or directly over a gas burner, put in a Ziploc bag and let cool, then peel away the skin and discard the ribs and seeds. Chopped green chiles are a great topping for scrambled eggs and burgers, and they're a must in enchiladas. Or stuff the whole chiles to make the most authentic chile rellenos this side of the Rio Grande.